Making a roaring noise when driving

Tiny
RANGERMAN118
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 CHEVROLET SILVERADO
  • 73,500 MILES
Making a roaring noise when driving. The noise stops when I make a left hand turn. Bearing on passenger side has been changed but it was two years ago. Not sur what might cause it. It almost sounds like a airplane taking off when I speed up.
Friday, February 15th, 2013 AT 4:13 PM

9 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • MECHANIC
  • 33,778 POSTS
"Sounds like an airplane engine" is the exact description of a noisy wheel bearing.

This video will show you how to change it out,

https://youtu.be/ZgiPRG6jffc

Please run down this guide and report back.
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Friday, February 15th, 2013 AT 4:19 PM
Tiny
RANGERMAN118
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  • 4 POSTS
Thank you for the response. Is there any way to tell which side. I rocked the wheels back and forth and neither were loose. I just had both upper and lower ball joints replaced thought that may have been the cause. Is there any way to check them without pulling the bearing assembly out?
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Friday, February 15th, 2013 AT 6:09 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • MECHANIC
  • 108,554 POSTS
WIth a wheel bearing, it is easy to identify the bad side. When you turn, the vehicle's weight shifts. For example, when you turn left, the weight comes off the left side and is redistributed to the right side. Therefore, there is much less weight on the left wheel bearing and it stops making noise. In your case, that is when the noise goes away. Thus, the wheel bearing on the left side (which the weight moves away from when turning left) is most likely where the problem is. The right side (passenger side) sounds like it is fine. My guess is the sound gets worse when you turn right because more weight is then added to the left wheel bearing.

Here is a guide to help you change the bearing hub out.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/bearing-hub-replacement

Let me know.
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Friday, February 15th, 2013 AT 6:33 PM
Tiny
RANGERMAN118
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  • 4 POSTS
The sound doesn't seem to change any when I turn to the right. It is the worst between 15 and 55 mph. When I am slowing down without using the brakes it sounds really loud. I only have to turn the wheel left about a quarter turn and the sound goes away when I'm traveling about 45. Thank you so much for your responses!
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Friday, February 15th, 2013 AT 7:32 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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There is a tool you might be able to borrow or rent from an auto parts store that borrows them called the "Chassis Ear". It is a set of six microphones, a switch box, and headphones. You clip the microphones to suspect points, then drive around while listening with the headphones. You can move the microphones around to zero in on the source of the noise. Be aware that many mechanics have never seen or even heard of this tool. Suspension and alignment mechanics use it to find rattles, squeaks, and other noises.

Identifying the side by turning a little, as in changing lanes, always worked on the older pressed-in bearings on Chrysler products in the '80s, but when they went to the bolt-on assembly like GM uses that trick could not be counted on. On most of the models by the early '90s the sound did not change when turning slightly, and when it sounded like the noise was coming from a certain side, I was wrong 50 percent of the time because noise travels and can be misleading. The only sure-fire way I ever found was to run the car on a hoist and listen next to each bearing with a stethoscope. One would sound a little rough, but then the bad one would be MUCH louder. Harbor Freight Tools and most auto parts stores have stethoscopes for less than ten bucks.

Some people say you can feel the bad one if you hold your fingertips on the spring while you rotate the tire by hand. I've never tried that myself.
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Friday, February 15th, 2013 AT 8:30 PM
Tiny
RANGERMAN118
  • MEMBER
  • 4 POSTS
Thank you for the help! Going to give it a try and see what u come up with. I was worried it might be the cv joint going out!
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Friday, February 15th, 2013 AT 8:42 PM
Tiny
KEN L
  • MASTER CERTIFIED MECHANIC
  • 43,589 POSTS
Please let us know what you find.

Cheers, Ken
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Thursday, January 11th, 2018 AT 4:22 PM
Tiny
710JIM
  • MEMBER
  • 6 POSTS
I have same problem with left turn noise stops. I have replaced the wheel bearing on drivers side and it is still happening. Any suggestions?
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Sunday, May 31st, 2020 AT 8:34 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • MECHANIC
  • 33,778 POSTS
Please start a new question specific to your vehicle. Unlike with other sites where anyone can chime in to confuse the issue, this became a private conversation between the people involved. None of the other experts are going to see your addition or have a chance to reply. That may not get you the help you need. Here's the link if you need it:

https://www.2carpros.com/questions/new

Be sure to list the year, model, engine size, and mileage. We look at those things when making judgments as to best suspects, and to find the correct diagrams.

As I mentioned early on, the clue of observing the noise stops or gets worse depending on the direction of slight steering change only works with pressed-in wheel bearings such as those on Toyotas, Hondas, and older Chryslers. GMs and newer Chryslers use a bolt-on style wheel bearing. With these, it is impossible to determine the side that is noisy by driving the vehicle. A noisy right bearing can transmit its noise to be heard on the left side, and it is likely to not change when changing direction of steering.

My preferred method of identifying the noisy bearing is to run a front-wheel-drive vehicle in gear, on a hoist, then listen next to each one with a stethoscope. One will be obviously louder than the other one. Another method is to raise the tires off the ground, reach over the top of one and lightly wrap your fingertips around part of the coil spring, then slowly rotate that tire by hand. If that bearing is noisy, you'll feel the vibration in the spring.

Pressed-in bearings have to be destroyed to replace them. The advantage of the bolt-on style is if you guess wrong and replace the wrong one, the old one can be installed on the other side.

Be aware, a lot of competent do-it-yourselfers complain of multiple, repeat bearing failures, and blame it on poor quality. In fact, almost all recurring problems are due to improper installation procedures. Specifically, there must never be any vehicle weight on the bearing when the axle nut is not torqued to specs. Some people set the tire on the ground to hold the half shaft from spinning so they can tighten the axle nut. By that time the damage has been done. It's a simple matter to stick a punch or screwdriver through a cooling slot in the brake rotor to hold it while tightening the nut. The tightness varies by manufacturer and model, and is fairly critical. A click-type torque wrench must be used. A common spec. is 180 foot pounds, but some GM models call for as much as 240 foot pounds.

You may find more information in this article:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/bearing-hub-replacement
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Sunday, May 31st, 2020 AT 7:00 PM

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