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Okay folks,

This is one I've been wrestling with for a while now. Our '06 3 with 86k on the clock is developing a rhythmic front end noise (kind of a wub wub wub sound) and sometimes, at highway speeds, a very slight shimmy. It seems to get worse when turning, at least when turning right (like when going through a cloverleaf), and worsens on rough road surfaces but sometimes disappears entirely on smooth roads.

My first instinct was to think that a wheel was out of balance. A couple of weeks ago I switched my summer 17" wheels/tires to my set of 16" wheels and snow tires...and the noise persisted (though not the vibration as far as I can tell).

Next thought was wheel bearing(s). Normally they make a grinding noise when they start to go, and I'm not getting much by way of nasty sounds, but I do know that they can also make a rhythmic noise too. I put the front end up on the jack and checked each wheel; no play whatsoever when trying to rock the wheel at the 12 and 6 position.

I had the shocks/struts replaced all around about 6 months and 6,000 miles ago; for the fronts, the struts themselves, strut bearings and endlinks were replaced. Also replaced was the driver's side axle (due to a f*ck up on my part when trying to replace the front suspension myself). And about a year (and 20,000 miles) ago, I replaced the front brake pads and rotors, with no drama from them.

I'm at a loss as to what it could be. There are no obvious leaks underneath the car from broken bushings (though I do know that bushings can wear without leaking), and as best I can tell, the passenger-side motor mount hasn't failed (again). Can wheel bearings wear out like I've been experiencing, but not have any play in them? Any other things I can check/test before I haul the car into the shop? With just one front wheel off the ground (no room to put the car on jackstands in my tiny-ass garage, sadly), if I put it in neutral can I get the wheel to spin freely to check for noise?

Thanks guys!
 

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I might be facing the same problem for the third time as well.

I put on some new wheels and it seems the wheel bearing is going bad, but mine was opposite of what you did: I went from 15" w/ 195/65 to 17" w/ 225/45

It's done the same thing to me twice already. Been dumb enough to replace it with an aftermarket replacement, thinking it was way cheaper but turns out last time I checked they go for $90 new.

It starts with a grinding noise and ends up with a horrible wub wub wub wub noise when going faster (can be confused with tire noise).

Right now I can't feel any play in the bearing either, but when I jacked the car up I turned the wheel and it made a noise at about 3/4 of a full turn
 

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My 04 was making the same noise a couple of weeks ago. I brought it into my trusty mechanic and he showed me that my Hub was loose. The wheel had a lot of movement in it. Which it shouldn't have. I have to replace the Hub and the bolt that comes with it. What sucks is that I can't do it myself since the part needs to be pressed in. UGH! Dealer is charging 425 for part and labor. I heard the hub loosening is common on our cars in the front.
 

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Try measuring the thickness of your rotors in diffrent spots, using a caliper
My driver front seems to be poorly made, becuase one half wears faster than the other, my mechanic also told me it may have been caused by the previous owner slamming the brakes( like emergency panic stop)

we turned the rotor, and that rythmic noise went away, but sure enough, its coming back
 

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Arandomvirus- it sure sounds like your caliper pins are binding...causing the pad to stay pressed onto the rotor instead of releasing when you let off the brake pedal.
This can be caused by lack of lubrication on the caliper pins or use of a poor lubricant that broke down under heat and dried up seizing the pins.
I would take the caliper apart and look at and lubricate those pins before I jumped to new calipers. Its also a good opportunity to paint your calipers!

DrWebster- your problem sounds like tire wear caused by incorrect alignment/bent subframe, bent wheel, wheel out of balance.
an out of balance wheel matched with a defective/leaky strut can cause tire wear issues. to eliminate this i would move the tires around and see if the noise moves with the tire or even changes at all(noise may not go away fully because of poor tire wear along with some other issue). it sounds like you have done some of this already. when i move tires around i begin by swapping the fronts because it keeps the same weight on the tires and it can make it easier to determine some noise issues...then after i test drive i will move the rears to the front and test drive again. it sounds tedious, but its free and gives you a better diagnosis.

also cv axles do funny stuff like this. but not usually, but with reman stuff you never really know what you are getting...even factory reman.

i have also seen a bizarre issue where the transmission engine mount(under the battery on the tranny) was broken and caused a similar issue and noise!

all that being said...it sure sounds like you have a bad wheel bearing. i am unsure if the bearing is replaceable by itself but if you get it as a hub assembly it should not be a hard job to do yourself and skip labor charges. you should be able to eliminate the tires by doing the above tire swapping exercises.

good luck!
 

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I'm having the same issue with my 07...started around 85K. I've had both wheel bearings replaced, front brake pads/rotors replaced, and now the shop says they thing it is coming from the trans-axle. I'm stumped and tired of pouring money into this issue. Ugh.
 

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nah, my pins are greasy like a mofo ... i even packed the caps with the stuff...
the previous owner somehow caused a cemantite reation ... most likey by braking like an idiot...
and once the cemantite starts forming it just gets worse and worse
 

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I'm having a similar issue occurring right now as well. Just had my tires rotated with my oil change and leaving the shop I noticed the noise. Mine is like a loud hum I guess. I first noticed it in the brake pedal when I hit the brakes, felt like when the brakes get wet and surface rust, but it go away after a few stops. The more I paid attention, i could hear the noise whenever I was driving as well. But only from like 10-35 MPH, anything less or more and I don't notice a thing.

Arandomvirus- it sure sounds like your caliper pins are binding...causing the pad to stay pressed onto the rotor instead of releasing when you let off the brake pedal.
This can be caused by lack of lubrication on the caliper pins or use of a poor lubricant that broke down under heat and dried up seizing the pins
That was a thought I had as well. Changed my front pads and rotors last year and I lubricated them then however.
 

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Hey all!
It's been a while since someone posted on this thread, but I'm currently experiencing the exact same problem on my 04..
Have tested the wheel bearings at a trusty mechanics shop already but they seem to have no play at all.
The does not always happen. It mostly happens when cornering slowly (around 20/30-ish km/h).
I hope you can help me out!
Thanks in advance!
 

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Hey all!
It's been a while since someone posted on this thread, but I'm currently experiencing the exact same problem on my 04..
Have tested the wheel bearings at a trusty mechanics shop already but they seem to have no play at all.
The does not always happen. It mostly happens when cornering slowly (around 20/30-ish km/h).
I hope you can help me out!
Thanks in advance!
What are the exact symptoms of your problem. Noise, wobbling --- ???
 

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Good morning. I have a 2010 Mazda 3. Ever since I have owned the car I have always heard a humming sounds coming from the driver side front area that goes away when turning left but persists when turning right and going straight always. its not crazy loud but its def a humming sound. In the past 48 hours I have had the driver front bearing replaced, both front tires replaced, and an alignment done. The front tires were cupped on the inside. I was told the brakes and rotors need replaced which I will be doing my self. The mechanic looked at both front bearings and said the driver side was the only bearing need replaced. I am going to replace both front brakes and rotors but I haven't found any possible common solutions on these threads. Any help is much appreciated. 110k on the clock.
 

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I'm having a similar issue occurring right now as well. Just had my tires rotated with my oil change and leaving the shop I noticed the noise. Mine is like a loud hum I guess. I first noticed it in the brake pedal when I hit the brakes, felt like when the brakes get wet and surface rust, but it go away after a few stops. The more I paid attention, i could hear the noise whenever I was driving as well. But only from like 10-35 MPH, anything less or more and I don't notice a thing.


That was a thought I had as well. Changed my front pads and rotors last year and I lubricated them then however.
I am experiencing the same issue. What did you do to fix the issue?
 

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Good morning. I have a 2010 Mazda 3. Ever since I have owned the car I have always heard a humming sounds coming from the driver side front area that goes away when turning left but persists when turning right and going straight always. its not crazy loud but its def a humming sound. In the past 48 hours I have had the driver front bearing replaced, both front tires replaced, and an alignment done. The front tires were cupped on the inside. I was told the brakes and rotors need replaced which I will be doing my self. The mechanic looked at both front bearings and said the driver side was the only bearing need replaced. I am going to replace both front brakes and rotors but I haven't found any possible common solutions on these threads. Any help is much appreciated. 110k on the clock.
Exact same issue with my 2013. Following.
 

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I had similar noise in right front that turned out to be a simple fix. Right engine mount under the coolant reservoir was broken .... $30 part 30 min fix.
 
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