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Wheel bearing or... ?

19891 Views 58 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  jn2k108
So I've been hearing this weird humming or ringing noise while going 35+ mph and it seems to be coming from the rear passenger side wheel well. I replaced wheel hub assembly with skf hub assembly. Didn't fix the problem. Then i rotated the tires... didn't fix the problem. So what I'm doing now is I ordered another skf rear hub assembly and two FW48 skf front wheel bearings. Getting them pressed in a few days after they arrive. If this doesn't work, what should my next approach be? Any advice would be wonderful. I was planning on investing in skunk2 coil overs but since this humming has cost me wheel bearing all around and i still have to pay for the wheel bearing to be pressed in, its going to be a little bit still :/
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The noise gradually started, getting louder and more noticeable by the day
car just turned 50,000.
Car has OEM tires, tire guy said I'll need to replace them soon but they are okay for now.
I bought the care when it had about 31,000. IDK if they are oem or not.

Since they were rotated and the sound stays in the same spot, i dont believe it would be the tire. Exhaust system touching body could be possible, didn't think of that but if that was the case i'd feel vibration correct? I dont feel vibration so im thinking its a wheel bearing. I mean, sound travels... but i couldve sworn it was coming from the rear right side. hopefully im not spending for no reason

Did the noise start suddenly?
How many miles on the car?
OEM tires?
Miles on tires?

My order of suspicion, based on your statements above:
Noise path, i.e. exhaust system touching the body.
Wheel bearing
Thank you I will have to pick some up if this doesn't work.. wheel bearings are already on the way. I should've gotten tires first

Not necessarily. Even though sound is caused by vibration, it may not be intense enough to be felt from the driver's seat.
With 50k on the original tires, I would not spend money on other stuff until the tires are replaced.
thanks scotty. do you think that it could also be the tires even though the tires have been rotated?

Wheel bearing noise is generally always there, increasing in frequency as speed increases. If you are hearing the noise beginning at 35mph, I would not bet on the wheel bearings.
Alright everyone.. I need you guys to chime in again. Now here is all what I did in order (reminder its coming from back right wheel well so I think):

Changed rear passenger wheel bearing hub assembly
Rotated tires (At this point i thought it'd fix it but still didn't)
changed the other 3 wheel bearings (all skf bearings) still no...
got new tires bf Goodrich gforce comp 2 a/s and still no!

This is very frustrating.. I've spent over 1100 dollars trying to track down this issue. Of course what ive done has its benefits but it still does the same low pitched humming noise.

I'm going to add that instead of when i go above 35+ mph it is whenever the car is rolling. It's a low howl sound.. almost like an owl and its faint but it is noticeable and sometimes you can hear it very well. More so that other drivers can hear it. I was coasting around 15 mph and still heard it. You can hear it better on a bumpy road. I'm out of ideas, I inspected the exhaust and it is solid as a rock and I doubt that has anything to do with it since it doesn't increase in vibration as rpm increases.

As far as I know, this is what I can think of whats wrong..:
brake caliper rubbing rotor?

Thanks for your input. Instead of trying to figure things out myself I'm about to take it to honda and have them look at it. All the mechanics i've taken it to say the same thing and i'm honestly surprised that its neither the wheel bearing or tires.
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You mean like a tire shop? The two I've been to say the same thing, tires or bearings. I think I'll just bring it to honda and have their service department inspect it.
you don't have any vendor you know that can tackle this issue ?
Previous owner was rear ended in the car, but apparently it wasn't bad. They used the same rear bumper, I know cause there is a part of the paint that is a little cloudy but hardly noticeable. When I first got the car, it wasn't there. It appeared one day and is more noticeable at this point.


Its never been in a side *quarter panel* collision?

Any distortion on the rear trailer arm?
I'm bringing it on monday for honda to look at it for me. Now that you mention it, I remember a mechanic saying that my brake pads were rubbing and that this is normal. I don't think the has has ever had brakes serviced, we shall see.

Check your brake pads. I started to have this last weeekend, about 60,000 miles on the odometer. I hadn't replaced the brake pads yet (ever). Anyway I just got done taking the pads off. Kind of a PITA job because of the Michigan corrosion. The driver-side rear outer pad was worn down to bare metal. The other 3 rear pads were extremely low, but no metal showing yet, and the indicators wouldn't have engaged yet.
Yesterday when I spoke to the dealership to get a quote, the guy mentioned that they try to service brakes around 30k, and I was well-beyond that.
I did that when I was diagnosing what I thought was the wheel bearing but at the time i couldn't hear anything then. Since then it's gotten worse.

I forgot to ask: did you ever jack up the car and rotate each wheel by hand before doing anything? That's a potentially good way to isolate a noise coming from a corner.
Alright so I took it to honda after new wheel bearings and tires and they said that I'll need a set of tires. They put a different set of wheels on and apparently the sound went away which I will never know for sure. Sounds like after spending 2 days on the car the mechanic is at a loss and doesn't want to spend anymore time on the car. So now what, do i throw out the brand new BF Goodrich a/s sport tires I just bought and get a set from them or do I take it somewhere else? They are charging me $125 just for diagnostic fee and no work was done. What a waste of time and money.
So you're saying that there is something wrong with the old set and new set? What about rim damage? maybe the rim is bent and the guys at tire barn didn't notice.

This is plausible.
Short story:
There was a CRv with a noise in the rear when driving at certain speeds.
After verifying the noise.
I swapped 4 wheels/tires from a V6 Accord to the CRv and viola! The noise was gone!
So yes, tires even new ones could make noise.

Far as you will never know; ask them to put the other wheels/tires on your car...Then YOU will know for sure.
I'm not talking about road noise, I know that exists. I'm talking about a noticeable humming that almost sounds like an owl "whooooooooo" and makes the car vibrate slightly.
I'm going to tire barn today where i got the tires from and they are going to inspect the new tires. If they don't find anything, then i will break the tires in more and hope for the best..

Tires make noise.
The dealer told you they swapped different tires (wheels) and the noise was gone.
If that is true, that the noise is gone... not sure where to go, other than different tires.

Rim damage:
You said that rotating the tires (wheels) did not change the noise.
So, if a rim was damaged to the extent that it was making a noise.
The noise should have moved with the wheel/tire.
Yeah man it's holding me back from the mods i want to do... Frustrating!!!
Wow, this is a prime example of throwing money at a problem.
Thats crazy.. so you bought the truhart shocks/struts with eibach pro-kit to see if that worked and then it didn't so you went with HFP after the bushing was replaced?

Tell me about it. I just went through this with suspension noise. It turned out to be a bad bushing in a rear control arm.

3x Alignments @ $100 each
Return shipping $26 warranty replacement
Replaced suspension with HFP kit $800

Now I can't unload the barely used Truhart shocks/struts with Eibach pro-kit that are just fine.
wow, so what do you plan to do with the truharts and eibach

1. Installed Truhart shocks/struts and Eibach pro-kit springs with SPC camber kit
2. Had alignment done.
3. After 1000 miles or so I started hearing sound in rear end and checked nuts/bolts and nothing was out of spec.
4. Replaced springs/struts and removed camber kit with HFP kit
5. Had alignment done as toe was way out. Found I needed the rear camber kit again in rear.
6. Reinstalled SPC camber kit in rear and had alignment done.
7. Removed SPC camber kit to send in for warranty exchange
8. Reinstalled SPC camber kit and had alignment done.

At least now the car rides awesome and doesn't have any odd noises!
Unfortunately I am the only one I know that has a Honda/Acura. I bought this tire, posting link so you can see tread pattern:

TireBarn.com - BFGoodrich g-Force COMP-2 A/S 215/45R17 19100M

I agree with views on the wheel bearing and it sounded like it was the bearing at first. I really wanted to confirm the theory but when they (Honda) called me to tell me what they did, the tires were already off the car. When I asked if I can go for a ride with the tech with the new wheels they said, "The mechanic has already spent three hours over the course of two days on the car. If you would like this to be done, we will have to add onto the hour's diagnostics fee ($125) in which we are well over the hour's time." At this point I felt like a jackass for asking... but oh well, Im taking it to tire barn where my warranty will cover the additional diagnostics.

A wheel bearing usually changes with speed of the car. Some tires also sound different depending on tread pattern. Do you have a friend with a similar honda that you can switch wheels with just to confirm this theory?
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I remember chatting with you in another thread about what tires I should buy. I ended up with these. Thank you for your input.

I'm not really following the thread, but I have these tires and have no issues.

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Now that you mention it, I sure doesn't look like the tires we have they actually look like this :


The photo in that link doesn't look the comp-2 A/S.

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Update on steps taken so far:

1. Changed rear passenger side wheel bearing.
2. Rotated tires.
3. Changed other 3 wheel bearings.
4. Bought new tires.
5. Brought to Honda service department. Diagnosed as road noise from aggressive tread pattern.
6. Brought back to Tire Barn for inspection and alignment. Said tires are fine.
7. Brought to another mechanic. Diagnosed as road noise from aggressive tread pattern.

Bringing back to Tire Barn tomorrow and I'm going to get a different set of tires... Honda said when they swapped wheels and tires that the sound went away. Hopefully this works and stops the echoing howling noise.
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