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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So i get this sort of humm sounding noise at highway speeds (40mph+) and i have no idea what it is. I got two flat tires in the same week a month ago and got my wheel re-balanced both times, but think the second time something didnt end up right. Its kinda like a wubwubwubwubwub sound and it gets louder if i make a big sweeping right hand turn on the freeway (re-balanced wheel is right rear)


so is this an unbalanced wheel? wheel bearing? any help or insight would be great :thumbsup:
 

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I suspect the sound is a left wheel bearing, but still might be the tire.

If directional tires and they removed them to patch your flat, then maybe they put them on backwards, or maybe the tire is damaged, so they certainly warrant an inspection.

On the bearing possibility, the wheel with load will produce the whooping sound...you might be able to detect the difference by driving and noticing when the sound starts...in the front or the back, but it'd be hard. Easier to lift it up and spin wheel...and look for any tire defects, flat spots, deflections in sidewall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I suspect the sound is a left wheel bearing, but still might be the tire.

If directional tires and they removed them to patch your flat, then maybe they put them on backwards, or maybe the tire is damaged, so they certainly warrant an inspection.

On the bearing possibility, the wheel with load will produce the whooping sound...you might be able to detect the difference by driving and noticing when the sound starts...in the front or the back, but it'd be hard. Easier to lift it up and spin wheel...and look for any tire defects, flat spots, deflections in sidewall.
jacked the car up and tried shaking the wheels up/down left/right and they seem pretty snug. i was reading up on the symptoms of a bad wheel bearing and i dont really have any, they say the noise is not loud enough to hear at highway speeds but i definately hear something.

so anyone else have any insight to it being an unbalanced wheel? no vibration or anything, just a noise
 

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jacked the car up and tried shaking the wheels up/down left/right and they seem pretty snug. i was reading up on the symptoms of a bad wheel bearing and i dont really have any, they say the noise is not loud enough to hear at highway speeds but i definately hear something.

so anyone else have any insight to it being an unbalanced wheel? no vibration or anything, just a noise
I had a bad front bearing in my e36...it made a distinct whoop whoop sound...slight feel to it in turns, but mostly the whooping. When I replaced it, I saw the the inner race had a slight groove cut in it...literally a 1 mm wide, about 4-5 mm long, and if a 1/2 mm deep, I'd be surprised. I was actually surprised I could hear or feel it it was so slight.

You can do nothing and wait for it to get worse. You wouldn't feel it by wiggling the tire, and frankly, spinning it probably not either. To get the whoop, you need speed, load, and weight...I guessing.

Still could be flatspotted wheel or tire (had car been sitting for a long time at ordinary or below normal tire pressure?)

Doug
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I had a bad front bearing in my e36...it made a distinct whoop whoop sound...slight feel to it in turns, but mostly the whooping. When I replaced it, I saw the the inner race had a slight groove cut in it...literally a 1 mm wide, about 4-5 mm long, and if a 1/2 mm deep, I'd be surprised. I was actually surprised I could hear or feel it it was so slight.

You can do nothing and wait for it to get worse. You wouldn't feel it by wiggling the tire, and frankly, spinning it probably not either. To get the whoop, you need speed, load, and weight...I guessing.

Still could be flatspotted wheel or tire (had car been sitting for a long time at ordinary or below normal tire pressure?)

Doug
hmm interesting, how do you think that groove got cut in yours?

and im gonna rotate the tires tomorrow front to back to see if the noise follows the wheel, that should help figure out if its a wheel/tire related issue


no the car doesnt sit for seriously long periods of time, i drive it a few times a week while at school, but not months at a time or anything so idk :dunno:
 

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Unbalanced wheels have always vibrated for me - especially at the same speed - the higher the speed the more violent it will be. IT could be fine to 40 mph but at 60 - shake the wheel.
 

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hmm interesting, how do you think that groove got cut in yours?

and im gonna rotate the tires tomorrow front to back to see if the noise follows the wheel, that should help figure out if its a wheel/tire related issue


no the car doesnt sit for seriously long periods of time, i drive it a few times a week while at school, but not months at a time or anything so idk :dunno:
How? Probably over 100K miles of holding up the front of a 3200 lb. car moving a lot. It's all metal, and although sealed, not indestructible. Parts just break. Bearing fail and this is how. It loses some grease, salt/grit gets in, starts wearing away things...one day a little groove in the race...next day, bearings get hung up a little in that little groove making it a little bigger until one day you hear it...the next year, you feel it.

If it's only a sound and you don't feel anything, I'm sure it's not dangerous. Usually...not always...but usually it seems to me that you sense dangerous pretty well. Many here worry about every little change of sound, and although these sounds are often leading indicators of an issue, they don't always mean something is 'terribly' wrong. Inspect tires, rims, and after that, in the front, all you got spinning in time with the wheel rotation is the hub with bearing built in.

I like your idea of rotating to see if the sound moves...though I should confess that in another current thread, I'm seemingly alone in thinking we shouldn't rotate our tires (that is, unless it's for a good reason...and in your case, I think it is).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How? Probably over 100K miles of holding up the front of a 3200 lb. car moving a lot. It's all metal, and although sealed, not indestructible. Parts just break. Bearing fail and this is how. It loses some grease, salt/grit gets in, starts wearing away things...one day a little groove in the race...next day, bearings get hung up a little in that little groove making it a little bigger until one day you hear it...the next year, you feel it.

If it's only a sound and you don't feel anything, I'm sure it's not dangerous. Usually...not always...but usually it seems to me that you sense dangerous pretty well. Many here worry about every little change of sound, and although these sounds are often leading indicators of an issue, they don't always mean something is 'terribly' wrong. Inspect tires, rims, and after that, in the front, all you got spinning in time with the wheel rotation is the hub with bearing built in.

I like your idea of rotating to see if the sound moves...though I should confess that in another current thread, I'm seemingly alone in thinking we shouldn't rotate our tires (that is, unless it's for a good reason...and in your case, I think it is).
ya that makes sense that it just comes with the mileage, just verifying that it wasnt any particular event that caused it

and my tires and wheels are square so there's no problem with rotating them, im just gonna swap them back even if the sound does follow the wheel
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Update:

so i finally got around to swaping the wheels around (front to back on both sides) and the sound is still there :(

The rear rotors are surprisingly very rusty too. I wonder if the pads are just rubbing against the rotors at speed....i was reading up a little bit on it but i have no idea what it could be. There is no play in the wheel when the car is jacked up either, is play in the wheel the only sign of a bad wheel bearing or does it make the high speed sound too?
 
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