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Tire noise...

Old 10-24-2013, 08:57 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2013
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Default Tire noise...

I have an 04 camry that is making a noise that sounds like a tire rub on the wheel well. It gets louder when I turn right. I checked and the tires aren't rubbing anywhere I can see, so my next thought is a wheel bearing going bad. Strange thing is it sounds like it could actually be coming from the rear of the car. Is this even possible its a rear wheel problem that could get louder when turning or should I just take apart the front and check bearings?
Old 10-24-2013, 09:38 AM
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One check for bearings is to shift the cars weight from side to side to load and unload the bearing. This can be done by driving at speed and moving the steering wheel to make the body sway. The more load on the bearing the more noise. Same for front and rear bearings.

A bad bearing tends to make a growling noise that after a certain MPH blends into the road noise.

If you suspect a front bearing suggest just changing it as they are very time consuming to access and are sealed. Access requires taking off the steering knuckle/hub assy then pressing out the hub, then bearing, then reversing the procedure. The front bearings are heavy duty double row ball bearing type.

Unfortunately the rear axle/hub/bearing is sold only as complete bolt on assy. Suppose it possible to take it apart to access the bearing but no instructions are provided. If the car has ABS the sensor is incorporated into the back of the axle mount making taking the unit apart even more complicated.

Toyota has procedures for measuring hub run out and axle play but you might rotate the hubs by hand and compare with opposite side for feel and play. A bad wheel bearing tends to get louder with mileage, might just wait until sure you know it is bad bearing and the location.

Unlike the old days, inspecting bearings on this car is almost impossible and very time consuming.
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