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Old 06-21-2012, 05:07 PM   #1
Legioss
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Exclamation Noise at speed

Seemingly fast, I've started getting a front end rhythmic bump, that gets louder as I drive faster (hwy speeds). It ALMOST sounds like I have a giant wad of gum on each front tire in the same location. It's NOT the warped rotor issue (had that before). Dealer inspection says I need new front wheel bearings. I'm at 131k, and they quoted me $870 for both front.

Aside from that sounding like way too much money, I'd like to get some opinions if really bearings:

-would BOTH sides go bad at the same time? It doesn't seem like one OR the other.
-would it be sudden? Seemed to appear within days, not over extended time.
-is the repair JUST the bearings, or other parts?
-ways to confirm diagnosis?
-other diagnosis?

Thanks
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:59 PM   #2
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What makes you believe it's coming from both sides?
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClubGitmo View Post
What makes you believe it's coming from both sides?
Rather, to me, it doesn't sound like a LEFT only or RIGHT only.

Per dealer, both sides. Which is why I want to know how to confirm myself if possible.
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:41 AM   #4
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I would always replace both sets of wheel bearings at the same time, even if only one was showing signs of wear...I just think they are the sort of thing that should be replaced together. The Dealer may be thinking the same thing and just telling you to do both.
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:13 PM   #5
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Just another thought: bearings usually make grinding noise as they fail and/or scream a high pitch sound. In my experience the sound you are describing could very well be axel/s failing.
Since you have a front wheel drive only, can you consider jacking up car on blocks and be able to spin both front wheels by hand to see if there is any noise. If front wheels are safely raised off the ground, you could consider starting engine and cause the wheels to rotate to see if there is any bearing noise or if it is indeed axels.
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Old 06-22-2012, 10:20 PM   #6
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How to check the front bearing clearance:
Raise the car up .... Firmly tug at the front wheels (the upper part of the wheel - to each other and from each other) - if you feel no play, everything is OK. If you feel loose, a second person pushes on the brake pedal, and we tug at the wheel - if the play had disappeared, it was a slack in the bearing. The front bearings are always loose, if they are worn. If one bearing is damaged, it refers to a placenta, the other can still do many kilometers.

Spin the wheel like a movie too........ Of course, without disassembling.
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:01 AM   #7
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On my '01 Civic, I just had one wheel bearing replaced and it cost about $275 at a dealer. We called around and got a pretty wide range of prices, even some smaller shops and this one dealer ended up being the cheapest.

You should be able to find a better price if you do end up getting them replaced.

Oddly though, I had the left wheel bearing replaced on that car at about 130k, then the right wheel bearing was replaced recently at about 198k. They never suggested that they be replaced in pairs.
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Old 06-24-2012, 07:01 PM   #8
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Update: A fellow EOC'er who is a Honda mechanic AND drives an Element confirmed it IS my wheel bearing, and I need to change them ASAP. I'll repost after the fix on what this did/didn't resolve.

Thanks for all the feedback so far.
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Old 07-01-2012, 07:47 PM   #9
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Ok, so...

I replaced the wheel bearings on both sides and got a surprise. It also fixed the "loud engine" noise I had been describing in this thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Legioss View Post
Identify That Noise #2!

So after that last big service where I fixed the knocking noises, the squeaking strut (other thread), and did a major service + sparkplugs... My engine is now TOO LOUD. I've been poking around and I haven't been able to come up with an obvious answer.

It literally started as soon as the other items were fixed and service was done. I kept thinking I was crazy and it probably just sounds different because I'm not hearing the fixed knocking noise anymore, or maybe it always sounded that loud and I never noticed since I always have the radio up. But every time I have an Element owner passenger, they point it out =(

It sounds like a small prop plane is flying nearby, high overhead. Or maybe like a dirtbike is tailing me, one lane over.

I hear it whenever the engine is running, even when I take my foot OFF the accelerator.

Ugh. The dealer mechs swear I don't know what I am talking about and my engine always sounds like a small airplane overhead.

Worse, the bumping/knocking noise of broken engine mounts suddenly came back. From what _I_ can tell, and what mechanic inspection says, engine mounts are NOT re-broken. Small bumps at slow speed make it sound like the car is seconds from falling apart in the front left corner. I have taken it in TWICE and they swear they don't hear it, and blamed the noises one 1) a few missing clips in the bumper 2) loose relays from mods. Clearly, neither of those make the loose HEAVY METAL noises I am hearing, but I humored them, replaced clips, resecured relays, etc., and still getting noises. Going to another mechanic soon to take another look. How can you NOT hear that horrible noise?
So... when wheel bearings start to go bad (for me), it makes the noises described above. When they go terminal, it made the new rhythmic thumping noise. You barely start hearing it at 45mph, know you hear it at 55mph, and get a confirmation vibration at 55mph. As they run toward death, those all occur at slower and slower speeds.

Below, pic of left (not dead yet), and right (totally dead) wheel bearings. The right one fell apart when removed. All the lubrication was filled with tiny bits of metal, had dried and cracked, and looked like burnt plastic. Wish I could have gotten a pic before it fell apart.



Things to note:

-plan on doing BOTH sides at the same time. it makes sense, plus the suspect bearing was actually the OPPOSITE of the damaged one for me, so I would have had to do both anyway.
-if you have strut issues, or any other reason to replace them, now would be an excellent time.
-replace all small 'single-use' parts per Honda instructions, nuts, pins, etc.
-i killed my lower ball joints during removal, so I'm assuming you will be replacing both of those as well, or the entire knuckle (Honda joint not sold separate) ((see this thread))

--I also did both tie rod ends and stabilizer links trying to eliminate that other knoxking noise I mentioned, to no avail so far.
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:40 PM   #10
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Mine is at about 126000 and something up front is squealing/squeaking. It sounds like a loose rubber belt, or giant continuous squeegees on glass, and Honda recommended we replace the serpentine. I did that, but it changed nothing. The noise appears mostly in daytime, ALWAYS between 50 to 70 mph. It goes away faster or slower.

Is this wheel bearings?
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