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Old 04-11-2012, 12:46 AM   #1
Daydream M3
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How to determine road humming noise caused by feathering tires or wheel bearing?

ive been reading a variety of posts to determine this awkward noise im experiencing while driving at speeds about 30mph and below. The sound usually dissapears while driving faster such as on highway drives. My tires are toyo t1rs and fronts have about 60to 70 percent tread but ever since ive been reading about feathering and improper wear, i wonder whether my tires are worn differently and thus causing the road hum noise? Alternatively, im thinking it may be wheel bearings as well but how could i check? i have about 180000 km on my car now so they may be failing?

Can anyone suggest simple tests i could perform myself to rule out which of the two problems could be contributing to my problem?
thanks in advance
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:55 AM   #2
steelheaderfishing
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move your tires around

fronts to back but first turn in tight circles left and right try to go fast then go straight and go the other way .Tires are hard to tell and what ive read there are a lot of bad tires that they sell as first when thay should really be blems or junked !!!!!
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:15 AM   #3
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Check your tires for uneven wear and for stones stuck in the treads. Check tire pressure.

Notice if the sound changes on different road surfaces...take a route you don't usually take.

Bearings? Could be, but the bearings are pretty durable. You may have hit something...who knows. As said, try turning.

I find that taking a high speed sweeping turn is good for picking up bearing noises...the loaded wheel will complain if that's it. But, be careful, as it's hard to isolate the location of sounds...and what you think might be a front bearing, might be a rear...or could be diff while, csb, or just a loose heat shield resonating at a particular frequency.

Anyway, you said you were wondering about how to check for uneven wear on the tires...and for that you'd look...maybe measure. Rub your hands on the tires, if you notice they feel like fish scales (uneven from front to back on the tread pattern 'pieces' then it could be the strut. Uneven inside and outside, could be alignment, but I'm going to randomly guess one of your tires is low on air! Use door jamb pressure and adjust slightly from there to suit your tastes for under/over steer.
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:54 PM   #4
Daydream M3
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Originally Posted by dmax View Post
Check your tires for uneven wear and for stones stuck in the treads. Check tire pressure.

Notice if the sound changes on different road surfaces...take a route you don't usually take.

Bearings? Could be, but the bearings are pretty durable. You may have hit something...who knows. As said, try turning.

I find that taking a high speed sweeping turn is good for picking up bearing noises...the loaded wheel will complain if that's it. But, be careful, as it's hard to isolate the location of sounds...and what you think might be a front bearing, might be a rear...or could be diff while, csb, or just a loose heat shield resonating at a particular frequency.

Anyway, you said you were wondering about how to check for uneven wear on the tires...and for that you'd look...maybe measure. Rub your hands on the tires, if you notice they feel like fish scales (uneven from front to back on the tread pattern 'pieces' then it could be the strut. Uneven inside and outside, could be alignment, but I'm going to randomly guess one of your tires is low on air! Use door jamb pressure and adjust slightly from there to suit your tastes for under/over steer.
hey dmax, thanks for the reply, youve been helpful in responding to all my posts and thanks. Im pretty sure its not my tire pressures because Ive checked them many times before based on your recommendations from my other posts and they are exactly at the door jam limits.

So try to drive and turn hard right and left and I should hear something? What if I jack my car up and spin the wheel and listen for unsual noise... would that work. If there was uneven tire wear.... is the noise more likely to happen with inner tire wear or outter tire wear? Thanks again
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:08 PM   #5
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You can measure tread depth to assess the evenness of tire wear.

Bearings might be hard to hear just spinning them, but the usual symptom is a 'whoot whooting' sort of noise. But as noises can be deceiving, you'd want to try to see if the noise starts with the front or the rear wheels...you can really only pick that up when load is put on or taken off...not so easy.

A stethoscope might help you pick up the sound by just spinning if it's bad. Humming might be early signs of bearing, but usually they wouldn't hum. Maybe you want to risk mounting a go-pro around your car?

Sorry...not much help, I know.
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Old 04-14-2012, 01:53 AM   #6
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I had a humming that was present at nearly all speeds and was wondering whether tires or wheel bearings. Turned out my right front bearing had one chipped ball. Noticed also that the race had dents in it

I'm wondering if it's possible for a hard-hitting pothole to do something like this. All the other balls look perfect.

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Old 04-14-2012, 08:59 AM   #7
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I had a humming that was present at nearly all speeds and was wondering whether tires or wheel bearings. Turned out my right front bearing had one chipped ball. Noticed also that the race had dents in it

I'm wondering if it's possible for a hard-hitting pothole to do something like this. All the other balls look perfect.

wow, that looks bad. i notice my humming the worst between 30km/hr to 50km/hr and i guess as speeds increase the hum diminishes to dissaperas when i go at higher speeds like the highway but maybe the sound is still really there but because its more audible at lower speeds i just forget and dont pay attention to it at higher speeds. it just seems to me that the noise is so audible in the cabin that i would think of associating it with a mechanical malfunction like a wheel bearing as opposed to tire feathering. the wheel bearing would be a better part to fix then to ditch two front tires that haveat least 60to70 percent more tread left.
thanks
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:15 PM   #8
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I've heard that wheel bearing noises transmit well throughout the chassis and can even ventriloquize. If you raise the car and put your hand on the strut/spring while spinning the tire and feel vibration, it's the bearing.
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:24 PM   #9
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do you have a mechanics stethoscope? They come in real handy. You can put it on the wheel bearing cap and you'll hear if anything is wrong right away.
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:29 PM   #10
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Thanx!
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:42 PM   #11
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For what?
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