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Discussion Starter #1
About three months ago, I hit a huge triangle pipe covering a wire in the road at about 25MPH. When the back went over, I heard a huge crashing noise. I inspected the underside immediately, and didn't see any damage. A couple weeks after, I started getting a lot of road noise. I want to also mention, that about a week after I hit the road bump, I replaced my brake pads and rotors. The passenger side brake pads were worn very unevenly. The pad on the back of the rotor was completely worn down. All three other pads (both driver side pads and pad in front of rotor on passenger side) had a good quarter inch left of the pad. I mention this because if not wheel bearings, I'm wondering if the squealing noise I'm about to describe could be due to this pad rubbing again.

At about 30 MPH, the humming type noise begins. At 60MPH exactly, there is a very loud, high pitched whine coming from the front passenger side tire. And at about 60-65 MPH, there is now a grumbling type noise that is definatley from the tires because I can hear it go faster the faster I drive. Now here's the issue. I've read how to test for bad bearings. I drove on the highway for 1 hour straight, and when I got home first I tested to see if it was hot. The hubs on all four tires were cool as could be. On the front right tire, where I'm getting the most noise, the hub cap is gone so I can actually reach in and touch it. It was very cool. So I jacked up my car, and tried to wiggle the tires. None of them wiggle at all. When I spin the front passenger side tire, every time it makes one complete rotation, there is somewhat of a high pitched noise. It only makes it for about 1/4 of a revolution. It also didn't spin very freely as the back tire did. Not sure if this is normal due to the car being front wheel drive or not, I had the car in Neutral. The back tire did not wiggle at all when holding it top and bottom and left and right. It spun very freely. But there was somewhat of a grumbling noise when spinning it.

Here are two videos I took about two weeks ago of the noise.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67IP-veWlmA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nvO916POew

Even though, for the most part, I passed the two tests for bad wheel bearings, could it still be wheel bearings? Or should I start looking at other things?

Thanks in advance, I absolutely love this forum and everyone that takes the time to answer these questions!
 

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it sounds like a wheel bearing, sometimes when they go bad and you wiggle the tire it wont move, but you'll get that growling noise and when you go faster it gets louder, I've seen a lot do that every day at work but it defiantly sounds like a wheel bearing to me
 

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Brakes!

Uneven wear implies something "hanging up", and a dragging brake will make noise.... (similar to what you describe).

Do the wheels spin easily? & evenly side to side?

Honestly, given the symptoms described, I'd recommend rebuilt calipers B4 even checking it over. The "check over" would be to confirm the initial diagnosis....

Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Just wanted everyone know that I finally got my car in the shop today at Tires Plus where I had all my tires put on a year ago - they offer free diagnosis and if it was a tire issue, lifetime free balancing and rotation. They didn't actually inspect the bearings, but pulled and listened to all tires. They said they were 99% sure it was because my rear tires were "cupping". He said he thought because there is no weight in the back, and because I have never rotated my tires due to the back tires causing my car to shake badly on the highway when they were on the front, this caused them to cup. So I asked him to rotate the tires and balance them, and I'm hoping this will "even" out the cupping. Also, he looked at the passenger side pad on the back of the rotor to see if it was wearing unevenly, and he said everything looked perfect. So at least I know my pad isn't sticking anymore. Anyone have any thoughts on this? Am I wrong to assume this? And does his diagnosis sound correct?
 

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The front wheels are not going to be able to be spun by hand like the backs......you are rotating the driveshaft, the differential and a couple of tranny gearshafts. Is the noise that you mentioned in your first post changed at all? With new pads you may have what feels like binding until they are worn in......and it takes very little rotor radial runout to give you a "rub per revolution". My one concern would be that when you ran over the road debris that something got bent. It sounded nasty. "Cupping" is kinda vague......one has to see it. "Squealing" is not a noise that I would associate with a wheel bearing. As far as noise being caused by a wheel bearing.......a wheel bearing can pass the "shake" (excessive play) test but can in fact still be the source of noise, and it may not make any noise until the bearing is loaded. The noise can be almost imperceptable at first but will usually increase as the amount of bearing damage increases over time/miles. Are you positive that the brakes are all releasing......does the car "roll freely" on a sight incline when you release the brakes?
 

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Let us know how you get on. I had the noise like a wheel bearing gone, did all the usual tests, no play when the wheel was unloaded. I changed the wheelbearing anyway, and the noise went away too.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I just wanted to post a reply to let everyone know what the problem was. The back tires were "cupped" which caused the loud noise. Now that I know its not a safety issue, I've kind of become accustomed to the noise level and don't notice it much anymore. They are Pirelli tires and I was reading it's pretty common for these type of tires.
 

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I just wanted to post a reply to let everyone know what the problem was. The back tires were "cupped" which caused the loud noise. Now that I know its not a safety issue, I've kind of become accustomed to the noise level and don't notice it much anymore. They are Pirelli tires and I was reading it's pretty common for these type of tires.
Hey Rzimmerman30,

Glad to hear the problem was taken care of [thumb].

Noemi
 
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