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Hi everyone, long time lurker here. I usually can find my answers just by searching but I've had no luck. My Element was making a noise that sounded like a wheel bearing. Noise starts around 30 mph and increases with speed. It's obviously coming from the front. When I steer left the noise stays the same but when you steer right the noise goes away. This was what lead me to replace the front right wheel bearing. It's Worthy to note that there was absolutely no play from the wheel shake test. So now I've replaced that front right wheel bearing and took a test drive but the noise remains unchanged, exactly the same. The tires look fine but I'm going to swap left for right quickly to check but after that I'm out of ideas as to what could make a noise like that. Any thoughts would be appreciated or if I missed it a link to a previous thread. I look forward seeing some replies or else my only other option is that I've installed the bearing incorrectly somehow and will need to throw up my diy hands and have a shop do it. Thanks for your time
 

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I had a VW Passat until recently, and I was sure it had a bad wheel bearing or bearings; I replaced the tires and got an alignment and the noise was gone. The old tires still looked good, but they were kind of cheap tires and got really noisy as they wore. Not sure if that's what your problem is, but swapping them as you suggest could be a good start.
 

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Mine always sounds like there's a wheel bearing going even though they are fine. I would say it's due to the fact that I run all-terrain tires but it sounded like that back when I used more of a performance type tire. It's just the road noise I seem to get from my E.
 

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How are the front brakes? If the linings are worn, the wear indicators may be close to the rotors, and only really make contact when you turn the steering wheel.
 

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Maybe it's the left side wheel bearing making the noise? If you've only replaced the right-side bearing, no way to know for sure until you inspect the left side. Your assumption that because the noise went away steering right, that it was the right-side bearing, may have been incorrect.

At minimum, jack up the rig and spin the left-front tire to see if there's any noise or roughness you can hear or feel. Grab the tire at the top and pull it in-and-out. There should be no slop.
 

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I was certain I had a wheel bearing issue and took it to a local trusted shop to have it checked out. They did other work for me but said there was no reason to replace the wheel bearing as it was the tires that were making the noise. It's time for shocks and struts on mine...
 

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i’ve had a weird “metal rubbing” noise off & on for some time, also, & the last place i had an oil change told me it was the wheel bearings (couldn’t tell if it was front or rear, driver’s side). the price to do the work was out of this world, so i’m not even considering it. i’d gotten new tires a year or two ago & it seemed the noise wasn’t. noticeable much after that, but now seems to show up many times. (note: 41,000 miles, 2010)

the noise only seems to show up when i first start up... usually it mysteriously disappears within a couple minutes (before that, it can be somewhat obnoxious - to the point i’m wondering what people are thinking as i drive by).
 
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