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Hi all: I have a 2010 EX with 176K miles. It's developed a sound I can't explain. It's a rhythmic "grinding" like sound coming from the rear. It keeps place with the cars speed. It can be quite loud, but sometime barely there. It's pronounced when turning the steering wheel to the left, but goes away when turning to the right. The crazy thing is that it's normally there when first starting to drive, but after driving for a short time it goes away.

Yesterday it was loud for most of a drive to work, then I stopped at a light. When I started moving again it had gone completely.

I'm not mechanically adept; I can't figure out what's happening....
Any thoughts?
 

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Either the brakes have worn out or you could have rust in one of the rear brake shields or the E-brake.
 

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Thanks a bunch for the replies.
I should have but forgot to mention that applying brakes had no effect. Wouldn't either of these things be consistent? It's the disappearance of the noise that confuses me...
 

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2003 Honda Element Sunset Orange Pearl 2WD Automatic 135K Miles I Love It!
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I had the identical problem on mine. It was louder turning left and quieter turning right, just like you described. It would start at about 45 MPH, was most noticeable about 50-55 MPH, and would start going away around 60 MPH.

Check out your rear wheel bearings. I replaced the right rear bearing on my '03 EX 2WD a few months ago, problem solved!

Just raising up the car and spinning the rear wheels didn't reveal anything wrong, but I had to remove the wheels, brake calipers, and the rotors, and then spun just the hubs before I could detect anything. The left one was fine and spun smoothly, but the right one had some roughness. I ran it like that for awhile, but eventually it got louder and I had to replace it.

Here's the link, which includes some video links, which would be very helpful to you if it turns out that you need to do this job yourself:

 

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Thanks a bunch for the replies.
I should have but forgot to mention that applying brakes had no effect. Wouldn't either of these things be consistent? It's the disappearance of the noise that confuses me...
If you want, drive until you hear the noise and then pull the e-brake lever up a little until you feel it slowing the car. If the noise still doesn't change, I still think you have rust in the rear brake shields. Wheel bearing sounds really improbable.
 

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Hi all: I have a 2010 EX with 176K miles. It's developed a sound I can't explain. It's a rhythmic "grinding" like sound coming from the rear. It keeps place with the cars speed. It can be quite loud, but sometime barely there. It's pronounced when turning the steering wheel to the left, but goes away when turning to the right. The crazy thing is that it's normally there when first starting to drive, but after driving for a short time it goes away.

Yesterday it was loud for most of a drive to work, then I stopped at a light. When I started moving again it had gone completely.

I'm not mechanically adept; I can't figure out what's happening....
Any thoughts?
i had that annoying metallic grinding noise that would come & go over time, but at times it would be really loud & annoying (& would make my 2010 sound like a junker). there’s these shields in back on the wheels (you’ll see talk about it if you do a search for that grinding rotational noise). a station nearby was almost gonna remove these shields/plates (if i told them to), but instead they decided to grind down the outer lip. that helped A LOT.

i didn’t really have the noise so much when turning (that i noticed - maybe cuz the noise would start just when driving straight down the street), & now it’s totally gone, except there’s a slight noise on the right rear, while turning right. seems kinda like the other noise, but they tried grinding that shield down more, which didn’t have any effect. i also had brakes done during this whole timeframe (which didn’t take care of that original horrid noise - only the grinding/sanding of the lip did), so i was wondering if the break job caused the right turn noise, since it didn’t seem part of the original problem...

they’re wanting me to drop it off someday, which is difficult, & i haven’t done it yet.

i’m just glad to have gotten rid of that annoying rotational metal grinding noise (that reminded me of rust).
 

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Hi all: I have a 2010 EX with 176K miles. It's developed a sound I can't explain. It's a rhythmic "grinding" like sound coming from the rear. It keeps place with the cars speed. It can be quite loud, but sometime barely there. It's pronounced when turning the steering wheel to the left, but goes away when turning to the right. The crazy thing is that it's normally there when first starting to drive, but after driving for a short time it goes away.

Yesterday it was loud for most of a drive to work, then I stopped at a light. When I started moving again it had gone completely.

I'm not mechanically adept; I can't figure out what's happening....
Any thoughts?
I had the same issue and it turned out to be the circular plate that is part of brake assembly that had either changed shape over time or had been altered by brake installer.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Did it disappear after driving a few miles? Was it absent on some days? That's what I can't figure. Seems like something should be wrong all the time i if it's wrong....
 

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2003 Honda Element Sunset Orange Pearl 2WD Automatic 135K Miles I Love It!
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Did it disappear after driving a few miles? Was it absent on some days? That's what I can't figure. Seems like something should be wrong all the time i if it's wrong....
Mine with 2WD (which turned out to be a bad right rear wheel bearing) would tend to get a bit louder and a bit quieter at times; but it never went away entirely until I replaced the bearing.

Again, you'll have to remove the wheel, caliper, and rotor to properly check out one of those rear bearings. But, unless you live in a road salt state and have a lot of rust problems, it's not a difficult job to check out, and is something most DIYers can usually do in the driveway.

And if you find that both of your rear bearings turn very smoothly, at least you have eliminated one possible cause.

But, one thing you didn't mention in the thread: Whether you have 2WD or AWD. With the 2WD version, you would only be turning the hub when checking it; which would make a bearing problem easier to detect. If you have AWD, you would be turning both the hub and the drive axle; which may make it more difficult to find a bearing problem.

Hope this helps!
 

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Did it disappear after driving a few miles? Was it absent on some days? That's what I can't figure. Seems like something should be wrong all the time i if it's wrong....
mine seemed to disappear after it warmed up some, but then again, at times i would hear it if i was driving right next to a wall of some sort, where it could rebound back.

one place tried to say wheel bearing(s), at a cost of like $450-900. um, no. & my main noise wasn’t even that.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I appreciate all the responses! Thank you all. I'm still perplexed. One day is loud, but goes away; the next day there's absolutely no noise whatsoever. I did engage the ebrake as suggested, and that made no difference in sound. As to whether it's 2 WD or AWD, it is AWD.
 

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2003 Honda Element Sunset Orange Pearl 2WD Automatic 135K Miles I Love It!
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I appreciate all the responses! Thank you all. I'm still perplexed. One day is loud, but goes away; the next day there's absolutely no noise whatsoever. I did engage the ebrake as suggested, and that made no difference in sound. As to whether it's 2 WD or AWD, it is AWD.
With AWD, you would never be able to do it how I did (2WD) as shown in the link. The entire knuckle would have have to be removed, and if it's rusty, you may need to replace the knuckle bushings as well.

But, it certainly wouldn't hurt to just raise up the rear of the car with a good jack and jack stands, give the wheels a spin, and maybe you can get a better idea of what is going on there.

One test is worth more than 1000 expert opinions! :)
 
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