2002 Ford Explorer

Noises problem
2002 Ford Explorer 6 cyl All Wheel Drive Automatic 101000 miles

Hi, 2002 Explorer XLS. Grinding/growling/buzzing noise coming from front end while vehicle is moving. Most noticeable at slower speeds or when rounding curves. Noise is consistent with speed, almost like a tire rubbing but is definitely not the case. At higher speeds straight line noise almost gone but still there. Noise still consistent after 4 new tires installed with no change. Have read many things about possible bad power steering pump to axle/differential internal bearings. Vehicle steers fine with no effort to turn steering wheel. Vehicle also has a front end shudder/thump on auto transmission upshifts, and a loud clunk (transmission area) when letting off the gas in 4x4 low at very low speeds.
November 10, 2009.

Chances are it is an axle bearing. However, when moving and you hear it, turning one way or the other usually changes the intensitiy of the sound. For example, if you have a bad bearing on the left side, if you make a left turn, the vehicle's weigh is transfered to the righ side of the vehicle. Thus, the sound may quiet. The opposite would happen on a right turn.

Does that happen at all? Have you checked to make sure the u-joints on the drive shaft are tight and not worn? Is there any clicking with this?

Yes, what you're saying is true. Transferring weight to the right side of the vehicle when rounding a left hand curve intensifies the noise. With the front end raised I can hear a slight clicking when spinning the passenger side front wheel by hand. There is also quite a bit of play in the front driveshaft u-joint when rocking the wheels back and forth. Thank you for the quick response. I ended up taking it to a garage. I just don't have the right tools or time to deal with it myself right now. The garage hasn't called me back yet, but now with your info I can compare notes. Thanks!

Nov 11, 2009.
I was thinking of you today. I had an Audi A6 with a clicking noise in the front end today. The last mechanic said he needed an axle and CV joint, 1200 bucks. I drove it and did hear a ticking when turning left, but not the type of noise a CV joint would make. I took it back to the shop, lifted it, spun the tire and heard it again.

To make a long story short, the repair cost ten dollars. The tab on the center cap of the wheel was bent the last time tires were put on it allowing it to make a ticking sound. Wow! The guy was happy. I thoght he was going to try to kiss me. (LOL)

I know times are tough right now and every penny counts. Let me know what they tell you and I'll try to help you with questions or concerns.


Thanks again for this follow up info. You guys are awesome. Honestly, I never expected to get a response from the original question. I guess there are still a few people around who like to help out others and share information like this.

My problem turned out to be a bad front wheel bearing. It didn't make the same kind of noise as other worn out wheel bearings I've had in the past, but replacing it fixed the problem. Thanks again for the help and replies.

Nov 13, 2009.