Humming noise sounds like tire tread sound but louder

Tiny
VANESSA TENBRINK-RANDOLPH
  • MEMBER
  • 2006 SATURN ION
  • 1.8L
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 130,000 MILES
My car has been humming loudly at highway speeds. I do have new tires with a more aggressive tread but I swear it is getting louder. I do not feel any vibration through the steering wheel, however, there is some vibration through the floorboard. There is no clicking when turning left or right. The brakes are less than 10,000 miles. There is a current rotation, Alignment and balance. It is not screaming like I remember a wheel bearing doing. I just do not know where to start.
Vanessa
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Thursday, December 22nd, 2016 AT 10:04 AM

29 Replies

Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
Go to a parking lot or curvy road. Drive along and listen to the noise, does it change as you turn right/left? Louder, harsher? Wheel bearings can make loud sounds, but the common one for a sealed unit is a loud hum. It will change as you load/unload the bearing as you turn the wheel.
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Thursday, December 22nd, 2016 AT 12:04 PM
Tiny
VANESSA TENBRINK-RANDOLPH
  • MEMBER
Is it correct that when you turn right, it will load the left and when you turn left it will load the right?
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Thursday, December 22nd, 2016 AT 12:50 PM
Tiny
VANESSA TENBRINK-RANDOLPH
  • MEMBER
I tried in a parking lot but, I heard nothing turning left or right. I only start hearing the "loud hum" when I reach twenty five mph and faster. The faster the louder the hum.
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Thursday, December 22nd, 2016 AT 1:00 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
Could very well be tire noise as it only starts at speed. Could also be a rear bearing, See if a local parts store has a chassis ear for rent or get a cheap digital recorder and microphone and record the sounds at each tire well. If they all sound the same, it is the tires.
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Thursday, December 22nd, 2016 AT 2:14 PM
Tiny
VANESSA TENBRINK-RANDOLPH
  • MEMBER
Thank you, I will do that.
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Thursday, December 22nd, 2016 AT 8:10 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
I have seen those front bearings on those car be bad and not change louder or softer turning left or right. Sounds to me like a bad wheel bearing. If your going to fix it yourself? With a Jack and jack stand I can tell you a trick to find which one it is with out chassis ear or even driving the car.
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Thursday, December 22nd, 2016 AT 11:10 PM
Tiny
VANESSA TENBRINK-RANDOLPH
  • MEMBER
What is your trick?
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Saturday, December 24th, 2016 AT 9:56 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Put the front wheels up off the ground on Jack stands on a level surface. Make sue you pull the brake. Put the car in neutral then put one hand on the coil spring and spin the wheel as fast you can with the other hand. If the bearing is bad you will be able to feel the roughness in the coil spring. Compare the both sides to each other so you can feel the difference.
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Saturday, December 24th, 2016 AT 4:03 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
Similar to mine, but I use a stethoscope to listen to the bearing through the hub.
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Sunday, December 25th, 2016 AT 6:57 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
The coil spring works great it acts as a tuning fork it carries the vibration great.
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Sunday, December 25th, 2016 AT 7:12 AM
Tiny
VANESSA TENBRINK-RANDOLPH
  • MEMBER
Thanks so much, both of you, for taking the time to reply.
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Monday, December 26th, 2016 AT 9:02 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Your welcome what did you find?
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Monday, December 26th, 2016 AT 12:10 PM
Tiny
VANESSA TENBRINK-RANDOLPH
  • MEMBER
Nothing yet, all tests have passed. I did find a (not sure what to call it) rock guard? Behind the bumper that had two pop rivets that had broken and it allow this piece to vibrate with the road wind. I also read some reviews about the tires I have purchased and the biggest, repeated complaint is that road noise from the tires increases after about 5000 miles.
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Monday, December 26th, 2016 AT 12:44 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
You might have something there with what you read about your tires
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Monday, December 26th, 2016 AT 12:47 PM
Tiny
VANESSA TENBRINK-RANDOLPH
  • MEMBER
Yes, but I can definitely feel that rock guard (?) Vibrating through the floor board. That's what made me discount "tire noise" being the sole issue.
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Monday, December 26th, 2016 AT 9:31 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
I could give you the advice a shop around me seems to use "Noise complaint - told customer to turn radio volume up."

I actually get a lot of tire noise complaints in the winter, cold rubber and studded tires really sing on concrete and the owners have forgotten from last year.
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Tuesday, December 27th, 2016 AT 12:32 AM
Tiny
VANESSA TENBRINK-RANDOLPH
  • MEMBER
Well, the only problem is that the stereo stopped working after I replaced the battery. Still haven't solved that issue.
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Tuesday, December 27th, 2016 AT 9:17 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
So you trued my trick with all four tires?Take the mud guard off and see where your out noise wise?
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Tuesday, December 27th, 2016 AT 12:32 PM
Tiny
VANESSA TENBRINK-RANDOLPH
  • MEMBER
I'm not sure I understand the meaning of your last response. I only did the front two tires. What do you mean with the mud guard. And, if you don't mind, what do you think about the stereo issue. I check the fuse inside and under the hood and neither running to the radio is blown. It is the factory stereo. I've read many forums that report the problem but other then the fuses, there are no other suggestions. Everything was fine until I installed the new battery.
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Tuesday, December 27th, 2016 AT 2:03 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
I think he means to remove the loose guard to rule that out, but I'm thinking you probably secured it in place already.

On the stereo issue. You might want to post that as a separate question to get more exposure. With it tied to this question it will get lost in the mix.

Looks like 3 fuses total
Radio (ACC) fuse 10A
Radio (Batt) fuse 15A Both on the BCM at the center of the dash
Radio fuse 21 20A in the under hood box.

My thinking is that you need to enter a code into it because the anti-theft feature has activated.
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Tuesday, December 27th, 2016 AT 6:49 PM

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