Grinding noise

  • 3.8L
  • V6
  • FWD
  • 120,000 MILES
There is a grinding noise when I am driving and the noise gets louder when speed is increased and making right turns. The back brakes and rotors were changed last year and front brakes and rotors changed within three months. Front driver side wheel bearing was changed twice within three months and the back driver side was just changed. I am at a loss.
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have the same problem?
Tuesday, September 27th, 2016 AT 4:10 PM

1 Reply

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.

If you find the wheel bearing is noisy again, be aware the most common cause for repeat failure, (in fact, the only cause), is improper installation procedures. More specifically, there must never be any vehicle weight on the bearing assembly when the axle nut is not tightened to specs. Also, that spec is fairly critical. "Tight" is not the correct setting. Most call for 180 foot pounds and a few call for as much as 240 foot pounds. That can only be set with an accurate click-type torque wrench.

Many people install the wheel and tire, then set that on the ground to hold the axle from spinning while they tighten the axle nut. That setting it on the ground just damaged the roller surface, but the resulting noise often won't show up right away. Instead, I just stick a large screwdriver into one of the cooling slots in the rotor to hold the shaft from turning while I tighten the axle nut. If you follow that one requirement, repeat bearing failures are extremely rare.
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Tuesday, September 27th, 2016 AT 4:27 PM

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