Wheel Bearing noise

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Old 10 Dec 2006, 03:34 pm   #1 (permalink)
camryonero@gmail.com
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Default Wheel Bearing noise

Hi,

This is just to document a problem that I have experienced. I did
google for it before but did not hit on the right solution. The dealer
has fixed the problem, now. I just wanted to share my experience so
others can have an easier time in the future. This is also to see if
other people have had the same problem.

I have a Camry 2005, and it started to make some noise about 1 month
ago. At the begining it was just some minor humming sound. But it got
louder and louder. Here are some characteristics:

(a) The noise only depended on the speed of the car: the RPM
(tachometer) did not matter, in fact, one could shift to neutral while
running and the noise would remain.

(b) The noise was resonant in nature: the noise level peaked at around
44 MPH and 66 MPH, I speculate that there might be yet another peak at
88 MPH, but I never drove that fast to be able to check it. (The actual
numbers should be 45 MPH, 67.5 MPH and 90 MPH, but I guess no one would
believe me I could pin-point with such a precision... so I rounded them
to 44, 66 and 88 to help mnemonics. I mention both sets of numbers here
just to help people Google in the future.)

(c) The noise got louder with time, and the resonance peak spread.
Originally the noise was confined to around 44 MPH and 66 MPH, but
later it spread to other speed ranges as well, while retaining the
resonance peaks at 44 MPH and 66 MPH. The noise is accompanied by minor
vibration of the car (one only feels it at the gas pedal.)

(d) The first mechanic suggested it might be the tires, and indeed I
saw a tiny bit of wear in inner edge of all 4 tires. He did rotate the
tires, but the problems remained. I asked him whether the problem could
come from the wheel bearing, he said it was not likely for a Toyota
under 100K miles. I re-checked the tire pressure (recommended at 32
psi) and all tires had good pressure.

(e) I took it to the dealer, and they indeed diagnosed the noise as
coming from a faulty wheel bearing. Since the car was still under
warranty, they replaced it free of charge. They had to special order
the part, though.

(f) The day before the dealer fixed it, I also realized that the noise
level was asymmetric when turning: louder when one turns in one
direction on a curve, quieter when one turns in the other direction.

The cars runs fine, now. No more noise.

Lesson? Despite the brand name, problems can happen at the factory
level. Early diagnosis and early resolution may prevent long-term
damage. I know noises are one of hardest problems to pin-point: noise
can come from everywhere, and many people complain about different kind
of noise. But clues like (1) independence from RPM, (2) resonance
characteric, (3) left-right asymmetry, etc. should have helped me to
pin-point the problem faster, I just was not lucky when I did the
Googling. I hope this message helps others. I have now been able to see
that from other Google postings that wheel bearing problems indeed have
these characteristics I have described.

-- J.

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Old 13 Dec 2006, 05:40 pm   #2 (permalink)
Richard Cheney
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Default Re: Wheel Bearing noise

I don't think I've ever heard anyone over-analyze a problem quite like this.
Wheel bearings wear and need replacing - RARELY. Having a 2005 model have
this problem (assuming you are the original owner) is a real cause of
concern. If you are not the original owner, are you sure the car was not in
a front-end accident?

<camryonero@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1165786484.785886.75900@73g2000cwn.googlegrou ps.com...
> Hi,
>
> This is just to document a problem that I have experienced. I did
> google for it before but did not hit on the right solution. The dealer
> has fixed the problem, now. I just wanted to share my experience so
> others can have an easier time in the future. This is also to see if
> other people have had the same problem.
>
> I have a Camry 2005, and it started to make some noise about 1 month
> ago. At the begining it was just some minor humming sound. But it got
> louder and louder. Here are some characteristics:
>
> (a) The noise only depended on the speed of the car: the RPM
> (tachometer) did not matter, in fact, one could shift to neutral while
> running and the noise would remain.
>
> (b) The noise was resonant in nature: the noise level peaked at around
> 44 MPH and 66 MPH, I speculate that there might be yet another peak at
> 88 MPH, but I never drove that fast to be able to check it. (The actual
> numbers should be 45 MPH, 67.5 MPH and 90 MPH, but I guess no one would
> believe me I could pin-point with such a precision... so I rounded them
> to 44, 66 and 88 to help mnemonics. I mention both sets of numbers here
> just to help people Google in the future.)
>
> (c) The noise got louder with time, and the resonance peak spread.
> Originally the noise was confined to around 44 MPH and 66 MPH, but
> later it spread to other speed ranges as well, while retaining the
> resonance peaks at 44 MPH and 66 MPH. The noise is accompanied by minor
> vibration of the car (one only feels it at the gas pedal.)
>
> (d) The first mechanic suggested it might be the tires, and indeed I
> saw a tiny bit of wear in inner edge of all 4 tires. He did rotate the
> tires, but the problems remained. I asked him whether the problem could
> come from the wheel bearing, he said it was not likely for a Toyota
> under 100K miles. I re-checked the tire pressure (recommended at 32
> psi) and all tires had good pressure.
>
> (e) I took it to the dealer, and they indeed diagnosed the noise as
> coming from a faulty wheel bearing. Since the car was still under
> warranty, they replaced it free of charge. They had to special order
> the part, though.
>
> (f) The day before the dealer fixed it, I also realized that the noise
> level was asymmetric when turning: louder when one turns in one
> direction on a curve, quieter when one turns in the other direction.
>
> The cars runs fine, now. No more noise.
>
> Lesson? Despite the brand name, problems can happen at the factory
> level. Early diagnosis and early resolution may prevent long-term
> damage. I know noises are one of hardest problems to pin-point: noise
> can come from everywhere, and many people complain about different kind
> of noise. But clues like (1) independence from RPM, (2) resonance
> characteric, (3) left-right asymmetry, etc. should have helped me to
> pin-point the problem faster, I just was not lucky when I did the
> Googling. I hope this message helps others. I have now been able to see
> that from other Google postings that wheel bearing problems indeed have
> these characteristics I have described.
>
> -- J.
>



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Old 13 Dec 2006, 06:45 pm   #3 (permalink)
m Ransley
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Default Re: Wheel Bearing noise

With Toy recalling more cars than they sold in the US in 05 that does
not suprise me. Their crap quality suprises me

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Old 14 Dec 2006, 12:54 am   #4 (permalink)
camryonero@gmail.com
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Default Re: Wheel Bearing noise

Richard Cheney wrote:
> I don't think I've ever heard anyone over-analyze a problem quite like this.


I am a scientist. I apologize if I am too analytical and use too many
math/physics terms. I am totally ignorant in car mechanics, though.

> Wheel bearings wear and need replacing - RARELY. Having a 2005 model have
> this problem (assuming you are the original owner) is a real cause of
> concern. If you are not the original owner, are you sure the car was not in
> a front-end accident?


Original owner, no front-end accident. The dealer gave me a number to
complain to Toyota. Concerned? Yes, I am totally concerned. I've seen
Accord with over 250k miles and only one wheel bearing needed to be
replaced. So as far as I know, wheel bearings can last for more than
250k miles. This experience has shaken my faith in Camry. I've owned 2
Camrys previously, by the way.

Do you think it is possible for someone to intentionally damage a wheel
bearing? There is one particular tire shop that I don't fully trust, my
wife did alignment there and it came back with a nail on one tire. (The
mechanic I trust does not do alignment, he recommended me to get it
done at this tire shop.) The thing is, my brother-in-law just did
alignment in the same tire shop and also ended up with a semi-flat tire
today (not sure whether has a nail, he'll check tomorrow...) I don't
want to be psychotic, bad coincidences do happen, but has anyone heard
any bad experiences of the sort? Tire places surely gain with flat
tires, but do tire places stand to gain with a bad wheel bearing? Would
someone do that? (I mean, if they want to do tricks, would they resort
to this or something harder/easier?) Anyway, just a wild guess that may
not have anything to do with reality, but I thought I'd mention it... I
am not interested in legal stuff, I am a scientist, I just want to
know... but for now I'll never go back to that tire shop.

-- J.

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Old 14 Dec 2006, 05:34 am   #5 (permalink)
m Ransley
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Default Re: Wheel Bearing noise

Blame a tire shop, thats dumb, he would not get near the bearing. Blame
toyota, Google Toyota US 05 recalls, any car company that recalls more
cars than sold cant stay in business long like that, 05 was their bad
year, toyotas reputation is not what it used to be. In 1974 Ford
recalled moe cars than sold in US, the Pinto was their #1 lemon, I had
the mercury bobcat- a pinto, and got a free motor, the exploding fan
through the hood, bad electric and 10 mpg, what crap they made in 1974.
Lets see sludging toy motors, bad 07 camry transmissions, Toy quality is
not job 1 anymore.

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Old 14 Dec 2006, 08:23 am   #6 (permalink)
Daniel
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Default Re: Wheel Bearing noise

camryonero@gmail.com wrote:
> Original owner, no front-end accident. The dealer gave me a number to
> complain to Toyota. Concerned? Yes, I am totally concerned.

===============
One bad wheel bearing does not necessarily indicate overall quality
problems.
You speak of a mechanic intentionally damaging a component. In my
experience the damage is often unintentional, but still happens.

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