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Need you input-Possible Wheel Bearing


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Experiencing a strange noise coming from our 97 OB. I was able to reproduce it and at about 45mph and up I get this "barely" noticeable low tone howling. The thing about it is I can make it come and go by pressing or letting off the accelerator pedal. I can make the noise disappear by finding the "sweet" spot with the accelerator pedal where I am neither accelerating or decelerating. It comes right back as soon as you press or release the pedal. You don't have to be under hard acceleration. It then will disappear when your speed drops below 40mph. I think it a right rear wheel bearing but I am not familiar with wheel bearing making that kind of noise and being able to make it come and go. I have had differentials do that. I don't think it is that because the noise doesn't sound like it is coming from under the floor. Any input with past experiences on this would be great. Thanks
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  • 2 weeks later...

I had a similar situation in my 95 Legacy. I could get this noise to appear on acceleration OR deceleration, usually loudest around 25-30 mph. It would go away if holding a constant speed.

It did not "clunk" while turning at low speed like an outer CV join does.

It turned out to be a very worn front inner CV/axel joint, requiring new axels.

Give the axels a good shake with your hand to see if there is ANY play at the inner joint. You may need to rock the wheel on that side as well, as even a loose axel joint may be seated well enough after driving to not appear loose.

It wasen't until my second time up on a lift at a shop that the axels were noticably loose.

Any shop/brake place should be able to give the wheels a shake and tell you if it's the wheel bearing.


Either situation is dangerous and should be fixed!!!!


My local shop put in NEW axels for $10 more than rebuilt. My rebuilt axels lasted only 40-50k miles: the labor is more than the part, so go with the new parts!

Good luck!

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Jack the car up, and try moving the whole tire firmly.

If you have any play coming from behind the wheel, it's probably a wheel bearing.

This is also a good practice to do to find any loose suspension parts. Its how I discovered my RF balljoint wasn't any good.

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