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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All;

In the last month, the amount of road noise that I've been hearing while driving has increased probably 500%. It used to really only be at high speeds, but now I can hear anything over 50km/h over my music (which is fairly loud). I have Toyo winter tires on right now. I have checked the tire pressure, and from a quick glance I didn't notice anything wrong with the tread wear, although I don't really know what to look for. I got the tires with my car (which I bought used) they are nowhere near new, but they seem to still be in good shape, or at least they were when I put them on.

I searched for a while and found a few topics, but there was no obvious answers to the problem. What could be causing it? The sound seems to be coming from both of the front tires.

If anyone could tell me what could be the problem, and what to look for, that would be great. I was thinking about rotating the tires tonight and maybe getting some rubberized coating to spray in the wheel wells. Is this a good way to go?

Thanks in advance!

-edit-
I read a thread that said it could be the bearings, I'll check those tonight. Any other ideas?
 

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How do the inside of the tread blocks feel? Are they "chopped"? What I mean by that is...does it feel like they aren't round but rather undulating (wavy)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
[quote author=MicaGT link=topic=137910.msg2972956#msg2972956 date=1236089002]
How do the inside of the tread blocks feel? Are they "chopped"? What I mean by that is...does it feel like they aren't round but rather undulating (wavy)?
[/quote]I'll add that to my list of things to check when I get home from work :)
 

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What you could do is rotate your tires front to rear and see if the proper remains in the front or follows the tires. That's the easy way to pinpoint whether or not the tires are the culprit. I would not suggest spraying anything to try and mask the noise...if it's as loud as you say it is, there is a problem and the problem needs to be taken care of. If you decide the noise is not the tires, you may want to check your wheel bearings. Did you have new tires installed recently or is the road you now frequent a new one (to you)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
[quote author=MicaGT link=topic=137910.msg2973022#msg2973022 date=1236091884]
What you could do is rotate your tires front to rear and see if the proper remains in the front or follows the tires. That's the easy way to pinpoint whether or not the tires are the culprit. I would not suggest spraying anything to try and mask the noise...if it's as loud as you say it is, there is a problem and the problem needs to be taken care of. If you decide the noise is not the tires, you may want to check your wheel bearings. Did you have new tires installed recently or is the road you now frequent a new one (to you)?
[/quote]Well I was planning on spraying the coating on to help reduce the noise... maybe I'll wait until I pinpoint the problem though. I installed my winter tires myself back at the begginning of November. I think I noticed the road noise towards the end of december. I drive 80km a day (I work out in the sticks), all highway driving. About half of the highway is new (concrete) the other half is old pavement with a fair amount of bumps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry to BUMP my old topic, but my problem hasn't gone away yet.

- I switched to brand new tires and got them aligned/balanced etc.
-Replaced brakes and rotors. They do rub a bit but i'm told its probably normal. After driving at high speeds the rotors are cold, so i presume its not enough rub to generate the kind of noise i'm hearing
-Sound seems to fill the entire inside of the car, and does not change no matter which way i turn the car
-Sound starts ~40km/hr builds until 70 then remains constant but quieter at ~120
-What does it sound like? umm a loud oscilating noise. I heard someone in another post say 'it sounds like a podracer'. yeah. Thats what it sounds like lol

What can i check, and what could the problems be? Its not the back bearings, and unless its both front bearings its not that either.
 

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Are you a 5spd or an auto? if you a 5spd, try popping it in neutral to kill any possible gear whine that may be happening. I would only do it at lower speed, 70Km/hr max due to loss of control issues. Im not sure if auto's like that or not?
 

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motor mount?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Had the mounts checked the day before my 5yr warranty expired. They replaced one, which fixed my vibration, but not road noise.

I'm in an automatic. i've put it in neutral before and coasted off the highway, and it seemed that it did not affect the noise - the noise would gradually get quieter as my speed decreased.

Any other ideas?

->offtopic - John, i think i remember reading a topic a while ago where you asked if other people noticed that their cars slowed down really fast while in gear without gas... yeah, i notice that every day :p
 

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still could be wheel bearing(s) if it makes a wahwahwahwahwahwahwah sound...doesn't have to grind or pull (idt)

beyond that and maybe diff or cv...
 

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Does the frequency change with engine speed? With wheel speed? Does it change at all with different steering input?

My brother was complaining of something similar in his 3i, and I believe I've narrowed it down to a bent wheel, but that's something the tire shop should have noticed.

John_in_the_LBC beat me to it while I was replying, but an axle or the differential is starting to sound like a possible culprit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Frequency does not change with engine speed, but by wheel speed. Does not change with different steering input.

Does sound like the wahwahwahwah, as i said before its worst around ~50km/hr ('deepest' noise) then the frequency gets high enough at ~120 that it becomes a bit less noticable.

Yeah, I just went to a local auto garage and had new nankang NS-IIs put on... they didn't say anything about bent wheels :shock: I figure that would be obvious.

Ummm... I hope its not an axle or differential.... wouldn't that cost a fortune to fix?? Is there any way to check to see if that is the problem?

Thanks!
 

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What you're describing, since you have ruled out tires, sounds like wheel bearing noise. That would seem the more likely culprit compared to transaxle noise. How is it that you have ruled out the rear wheel bearings? I only ask because I once had a VW Golf that I was sure had a bad front wheel bearing, and it turned out to be a rear bearing.

For your sake, I hope it is nothing more serious than a wheel bearing (even that will not be cheap). I think that is what you will ultimately find it to be. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
[quote author=$chocker link=topic=137910.msg3062766#msg3062766 date=1239854189]
What you're describing, since you have ruled out tires, sounds like wheel bearing noise. That would seem the more likely culprit compared to transaxle noise. How is it that you have ruled out the rear wheel bearings? I only ask because I once had a VW Golf that I was sure had a bad front wheel bearing, and it turned out to be a rear bearing.

For your sake, I hope it is nothing more serious than a wheel bearing (even that will not be cheap). I think that is what you will ultimately find it to be. Good luck.
[/quote]Thanks :)

I checked both rear wheels when i changed my brakes, no noise when rotating them w/o caliper on =/
didn't have the car in neutral so i couldnt check the fronts, which i will do asap. So w/o taking it to a garage, is there any way for me to diagnose any of the other possible culprits?
 

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My car has the exact same problem - the noise was horrible a few months ago and after I got new tires it got better; now it seems to be coming back again. And from the moment I first noticed it I thought it was like a podracer as well.

Last time it was coming from the back tires (tread was uneven); now since the noise is alot less (mostly I can only notice it from 25-30mph) I can't be sure where it's coming from, but I think it's coming from the front. Only problem is, I can't find any tread wear issue - partly because the pattern of the new tire tread makes it harder to figure out if the wear is similar to what it was before. Anyway I want to get this fixed, I don't like having something potentially wrong with my car :(
 

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have the struts checked along with alignment if that hasn't been done. bad shocks/struts can lead to uneven tire wear too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
PS mine turned out to be ONE bad bearing. Didn't show the symptoms of one (different noises when turning, etc), but i finally broke down and took it to the shop and they replaced it and now my car is nice and quiet again :)
 

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Nice to know you got it figured out! I'll have to see if it is the bearing or not, since my car's symptoms seem very similar it could very well be the same problem. On the other hand, the noise gets worse on asphalt (it used to get way, WAY worse on asphalt, now it only gets a bit worse) so it still could be a tire problem, but something's got to be causing the wear if that's the case..
 

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Alright, sorry to keep bumping the thread, but I've changed my mind and I'm thinking the problem with my car is that it's the wheel bearing as well, specifically the one on the front passenger-side wheel. I got on some asphalt, went up to 30-35mph (when the noise is the worst) and swerved back and forth (don't worry I didn't kill anyone) and sure enough, when I swerve to the left the noise gets worse, and when I go to the right it goes away. I jacked up the car and the wheel in question doesn't jiggle at all, but I'm still suspecting the wheel bearings due to the fact that Cab0oze's 3's symptoms sound EXACTLY like mine (podracer oscillating noise etc). Sometime next week the 3 is going into the mechanic so we'll see if he agrees with me (and if so, if that fixes the problem)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
[quote author=SV link=topic=137910.msg3150649#msg3150649 date=1243640276]
Alright, sorry to keep bumping the thread, but I've changed my mind and I'm thinking the problem with my car is that it's the wheel bearing as well, specifically the one on the front passenger-side wheel. I got on some asphalt, went up to 30-35mph (when the noise is the worst) and swerved back and forth (don't worry I didn't kill anyone) and sure enough, when I swerve to the left the noise gets worse, and when I go to the right it goes away. I jacked up the car and the wheel in question doesn't jiggle at all, but I'm still suspecting the wheel bearings due to the fact that Cab0oze's 3's symptoms sound EXACTLY like mine (podracer oscillating noise etc). Sometime next week the 3 is going into the mechanic so we'll see if he agrees with me (and if so, if that fixes the problem)
[/quote]Yep, sounds like thats your problem :) Let us know if it really is...
 
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