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Loud road noise- bad wheel bearing?

65937 Views 13 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  michaelvbrown
2005 XLE Limited AWD: I have noticed that the road noise has gotten significantly worse in the last 6 months. I don't think it's the tires as they have been well inflated and still have about half their tread left. The noise gets very noticeable starting at 30 mph and gets louder with speed, and you can even feel the "grinding" vibration in the accelerator pedal and steering wheel. It's as though the bearings in the front wheels have lost their lubrication or something. I had an oil change and chassis lube done recently, no change. Any ideas what to look for or how to troubleshoot? I have the extended warranty, but my fear is that the dealer will say "that's just how it was made."
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That's a good start on troubleshooting from tbalon. For an actual mechanical inspection, a basic check of bearings is relatively easy, requiring only jacking up the wheel off the ground then grabbing it to see if it has free play to tilt in and out (it should have almost no play, and the rear wheels can be used for comparison if the potential problem is only in the front).
jlee1060 said:
I have the extended warranty, but my fear is that the dealer will say "that's just how it was made."
I find it disturbing that reasonable people have become this cynical about dealership service, and I suppose I must take some of the blame with my comments regarding my experience with dealerships.

An honest independent mechanical shop - even just a tire shop - should be able to give a reasonable assessment of bearing condition (by the check I mentioned above) in very little time, and thus very little cost, regardless of warranty. I'm talking about minutes, not hours, of labour.
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