2003 Ford Explorer Front End Noise

Tiny
MSPRAGUE80
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 FORD EXPLORER
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 82,000 MILES
I have a '03 Ford Explorer with ~82000 miles and auto 4WD. A noise has developed that appears to come from the front end which is proportional to speed. This does not appear to be a wheel bearing related noise since simple wheel bearing tests check out ok. There is plenty of fluid in the transfer case and the differential. My concern is that the "auto" 4WD may be stuck on, but I can't verify that. Any suggestions on what could be the culprit?
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Sunday, July 4th, 2010 AT 2:09 PM

7 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
I first need to know how you checked the wheel bearings. Next, when you turn the steering sharp from a start, does the steering wheel seem to fight you?
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Sunday, July 4th, 2010 AT 10:18 PM
Tiny
MSPRAGUE80
  • MEMBER
To check the wheel bearing, I jacked the front end off the ground, grabbed the top & bottom of the wheel and pushed/pulled on the top & bottom of the wheel. There wasn't a lot of play in the wheel.

When turning the wheel sharply from the start, there doesn't appear to be any fight from the steering wheel.

If the wheel bearing/speed sensor assembly wasn't $200, I'd just replace it to remove it from the list of possible causes.
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Monday, July 5th, 2010 AT 4:51 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Does the noise change when you make turns?
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Monday, July 5th, 2010 AT 8:57 PM
Tiny
MSPRAGUE80
  • MEMBER
The noise and vibration felt in the car does get worse when during to the left (which appears to be the side which the noise is coming from).
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Wednesday, July 7th, 2010 AT 8:24 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
If it gets worse on a left turn, you either got a wheel bearing problem on the right or a joint problem on the left.
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Wednesday, July 7th, 2010 AT 9:33 PM
Tiny
MSPRAGUE80
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the insight on my problem. I ended up changing out the left front wheel bearing and the problem went away. The old wheel bearing wasn't completely shot, but the seal was toast and you could feel the vibration when you spun it. It was only a matter of time before it completely went.
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Saturday, July 10th, 2010 AT 7:03 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
I'm glad you got it fixed. It sounded like a bad wheel bearing.

Let us know if you have other questions in the future and thanks for using 2carpros. Com.

Joe
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Saturday, July 10th, 2010 AT 7:23 PM

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