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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2011 SES with an automatic transmission. I have a 120 mile round trip commute for work and I make that trip 6 days a week. That out of the way, my car has a lot of miles on it for its age.

My tires have aprox 15,000 miles on them and I rotate and balance them regularly. My car has recently had the front end aligned. I replaced my front brake pads and rotors about 5,000 miles ago as well as my front stabilizer bar end links.

Now, onto my issue... Ive recently noticed a very faint noise which seems to be coming from the right front, almost sounds like a faint power steering pump whine when it is low on fluid but I do not hear the noise unless I am driving. I've checked my all my fluids, belt, and tensioner pully and they seem fine. Also worth mentioning, the noise does NOT change with engine RPM but rather with the speed of the car.

This morning on my way to work, I turned the air and the radio off, I was running 65mph on a very smooth, freshly re-paved portion of I-35, I let off the gas, placed the car in nuetral and listened. As my speed went down, the noise changed pitch slightly, I then placed the car back in drive and accelerated back to 65 and the noise resumed the original pitch I heard. I hear the noise from 10mph to 80mph.

Do you think it could be the front wheel bearings? If not what else should I check?

If so, where is the best place to buy them? I'll be replacing them myself.

Also, if I tear it down that far, should I do lower ball joints and inner/outer tie rods?

:: Obligatory photo of said car ::[unsure]

 

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Definitely sounds like a wheel bearing but it could also be the bearing in the passenger axle carrier. I would recommend taking your wheels off, removing your calipers and rotors and try spinning the hubs by hand. If you feel any grittiness or noise when turning them then you have a bad wheel bearing.
 

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Another check that might help, bearings often make more or less noise as you turn while tire noise stays constant.
 

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I had this issue and I blame potholes over time. The noise was most present turning to the left. I replaced the right front wheel bearing myself seeing as Ford wanted $330+. The axle was a PITA to push through the hub resulting in me pulling the axle out of its joint and tearing the boot. So I had to get the whole axle out of the car and with the help of a friend was finally able to separate the axle from the hub. Car sat for a week and a half until I could decide if the axle could be saved or not. It couldn't. And your ball joints shouldn't need replacing unless they're causing you problems. Same with tie rod ends.
 

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I'd pass on the ball joints/ tie rod ends too.
 

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Ball joints and tie rod ends shouldn't even be mentioned. This car is only 4 years old. Haha
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Definitely sounds like a wheel bearing but it could also be the bearing in the passenger axle carrier. I would recommend taking your wheels off, removing your calipers and rotors and try spinning the hubs by hand. If you feel any grittiness or noise when turning them then you have a bad wheel bearing.
I will try this over the weekend since the weather is supposed to be nice.

Moved to "General Technical Chat".
Thank you.

Does the pitch change when you sway the car left to right while driving?
I tried this on the way home last night, it did not seem to change pitch as I turned the wheel from side to side.

I had this issue and I blame potholes over time. The noise was most present turning to the left. I replaced the right front wheel bearing myself seeing as Ford wanted $330+. The axle was a PITA to push through the hub resulting in me pulling the axle out of its joint and tearing the boot. So I had to get the whole axle out of the car and with the help of a friend was finally able to separate the axle from the hub. Car sat for a week and a half until I could decide if the axle could be saved or not. It couldn't. And your ball joints shouldn't need replacing unless they're causing you problems. Same with tie rod ends.
I hope I dont have any issues taking the car apart, everything has came right off and gone right back on so far. I've changed springs and all kinds of stuff with no issues.

I'd pass on the ball joints/ tie rod ends too.
Okay.


Ball joints and tie rod ends shouldn't even be mentioned. This car is only 4 years old. Haha
She may only be four years old, but we drive a lot and Oklahoma roads SUCK... You wouldnt think the bearings would be an issue after only four years but they are.

Thank you for all the input guys. I'm leaning more towards the passenger side axle carrier bearing than the actual wheel/hub bearings. I will probably change them all along with the idler pulley, tensioner and belt.
 

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I'd jack it up on stands & check for bearing noise 1st. I have a faint wheel bearing noise going the road at speed, not sure which one, thinking its a rear one, as they wear out sooner.
 

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She may only be four years old, but we drive a lot and Oklahoma roads SUCK... You wouldnt think the bearings would be an issue after only four years but they are.
Wheel bearings are a very common weak point on these cars so it's not surprising to me at all that they might be going at 4 years. Ball joints and tie rod ends however I've never seen go on these cars at 4 years of age.
 

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The rear ones are fairy easy to do. The fronts you need to pull the spindle's off & press out the olds & press in the news & reassemble the spindle's.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The rear ones are fairy easy to do. The fronts you need to pull the spindle's off & press out the olds & press in the news & reassemble the spindle's.
I bought a new 2 ton low profile aluminum racing jack and a 20 ton shop press at harbor freight friday so that wont be a propblem. [headbang] My old jack had started bleeding off and my new one was too tall to fit under my car now that its sits low.



 

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Like that jack. Try jacking up one one side & leave the other side on the ground, blocking the rear tires w/ a 2x4 or brick & start up car & see if its noisey on that side & then try the other side. This works for the front, for the rear I'd probably replace both of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I jacked it up today, removed the wheels, calipers, caliper brackets and rotors. Everything seemed to spin freely and I didn't notice anything that threw a definite red flag.

If anything, the passenger side felt slightly grittier than the drivers side.

I am going to replace them all as well as the belt, tensioner and the idler pulley if it has one. I already have new struts and shocks for it.


While I was in there today I cleaned and greased the brakes with ceramic brake caliper grease.
 

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Like that jack. Try jacking up one one side & leave the other side on the ground, blocking the rear tires w/ a 2x4 or brick & start up car & see if its noisey on that side & then try the other side. This works for the front, for the rear I'd probably replace both of them.
>>>>>Have you tried this?^^^^^^
I jacked it up today, removed the wheels, calipers, caliper brackets and rotors. Everything seemed to spin freely and I didn't notice anything that threw a definite red flag.

If anything, the passenger side felt slightly grittier than the drivers side.

I am going to replace them all as well as the belt, tensioner and the idler pulley if it has one. I already have new struts and shocks for it.


While I was in there today I cleaned and greased the brakes with ceramic brake caliper grease.
Try the above to see if you can hear a humming noise.
 

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That gritty feeling may be it all you need. I'd do what Felix says but I'd rather do it with the engine off, in neutral and get under it and spin it by hand.
 

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That gritty feeling may be it all you need. I'd do what Felix says but I'd rather do it with the engine off, in neutral and get under it and spin it by hand.
I'd use the motor to get the wheel speed up so you can hear it.
 

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My focus had 98k on the bearings and there was actually visible slop in the bearings with the cv axles out.
 
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