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Old 03-17-2009, 06:26 AM   #1
niko
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What's that noise..wheel bearing?

Over the last few weeks my Focus seems to make a low pitch scraping type noise when I slow down. It's hard to describe the noise, it's like a loud tire type noise. I thought maybe its the tires but it seems to get louder when I apply the brake, even when I just push it in some and not brake hard. Like the tires are already making noise, but when I push the brake pedal in just a little bit, I hear the additional noise, it sounds like the tire noise but louder, like a low scraping noise.

Last year I replaced the front rotors and brake pads, so they are definitely not worn down all the way, although I have not taken off the tire to check yet, but a cursory examination everything up front brakes wise looks OK. The outer pads look great yet. The rotors of course are starting to look worn but on this car rotors dont ever seem to last long. I drive mostly highway miles but there are several stop lights on the high speed road (very annoying!) so I think my rotors tend to overheat in the summer.

I thought maybe its the back brakes making the noise but it really seems like the noise is coming from the front right hand side. But its hard to tell - but usually I think the instincts of where the sound is coming from are right but who knows.

I thought maybe wheel bearing? But I jacked up the right side last night and tried to shake the tire around but it was solid. How can you tell if you have a bad wheel bearing for sure?

Otherwise my last thought is that the front brake has gotten glazed and needs to have the pads lightly sanded. The front brakes on my car have always had trouble like this, they start to feel "hard" and "scrapey", even with plenty of pad left, if that makes any sense. When I first replaced the rotors/pads it felt beautiful.

Can tires themselves just get louder when you brake? Anyway the sound is annoying me...lol. I am a worry wart when it comes to car sounds.

Thanks for any input!


-niko


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Old 03-17-2009, 09:59 AM   #2
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Sounds like a wheel bearing...my buddy had a similar sound in his Taurus. It sounded like tire noise, and the noise would change with the speed of the vehicle, and would get slightly louder when braking. We did the pads/rotors first cause that was my first thought (and cheapest & easiest...hehe), but the noise was still there. Once we changed the bearings, the car drove smooth as butter.
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Old 03-17-2009, 05:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osufans View Post
Sounds like a wheel bearing...my buddy had a similar sound in his Taurus. It sounded like tire noise, and the noise would change with the speed of the vehicle, and would get slightly louder when braking. We did the pads/rotors first cause that was my first thought (and cheapest & easiest...hehe), but the noise was still there. Once we changed the bearings, the car drove smooth as butter.
Try to jack the car up. Then turn the each wheel to see if it is rolling quietly. Compare each of the four wheels and pinpoint the one that is loud. It is the wheel bearing to be replaced. I replaced mine. Bought the front bearing for 35 $CA at part store and paid 1 hour of labour at 59$CA. Total of 100$ CA taxes included, and now no more noise. (The noise was like a ball wolling in a wooden box)
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Old 03-17-2009, 08:14 PM   #4
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jack up the car, hold the tire at 12o'clock and 6 o'clock position and pull and push the tire, any loose play most likely worn out bearings. a bad bearing sounds like you have 33 inch mud tires on your car, loud whurring when they go bad.
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:08 AM   #5
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Hi Guys,

Thanks for the replies. I still have a bad finger injury (deep cut last week) so it's hard for me to work on myself right now. Taking it to the dealer tomorrow morning to have them check if the bearing is OK or what it is. It may just be the tires are going bad, even though I've only had them for about 8 to 9 months or so. I never rotate them as often as you are supposed to.

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Old 03-18-2009, 08:54 AM   #6
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yeah, lack of rotation could cause cupping, which creates a rumbling noise when you go down the road....if that's the problem, next time you'll know better, right? :)
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Old 03-18-2009, 04:03 PM   #7
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my guess would be the bearing being that you have almost 200k miles on the car.

i would suggest doing it yourself, or your going to have a $500 bill
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:38 PM   #8
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Hi

Ok dealer found that the axle bearing was bad. Is that different than the wheel bearing?

Anyway that was $250 to fix. While they were in there I also had them put in new E-brake cables since my ebrake was sticking and making my rear brakes hot. Another 250 lol so ya 500 total.

As a side note my thermostat housing is leaking again. Do we have the aluminum ones available yet?

My car definitely seems to ride smoother now too since the new bearing, but you know, I dont know if it's a placebo effect or not :P




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Old 03-20-2009, 03:36 PM   #9
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i suppose you could call it axle bearing, as the cv shaft goes into the hub. either way, glad to hear it's fixed.

as for the t-stat housing...i've not seen the aluminum available yet...i was told that the housing doesn't go bad, but the o-rings on the metal plug on the bottom of it do. you might want to look at that. talk to b16sir1991, Mike from Hilbish. He'll hook you up. :)
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:56 PM   #10
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that was your hub bearing, and most of the time you can get away with just replacing the o ring on the engine block side of the thermostat housing, it cost 3 or 4 dollars from ford. worst case it that the housing is cracked, but that doesn't happen nearly as a leaky gaskets...
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