Detecting the noise in wheel bearings can be a tricky job. However, with the correct understanding of how to diagnose the problem, it becomes easy to solve noise-related issues in wheel bearings. A rumbling or cyclic noise can be heard in wheel bearings with problems in their smooth functioning. If the driver senses even a slight problem in the smooth running of wheels, he should go for wheel bearing noise diagnosis. If the problem of bearing noise is not addressed in a timely manner, it can hamper the functioning of wheels.
The noise emanating from wheel bearings can differ from wheel to wheel depending on the degree of damage caused to them. At first, the noise originating from wheels might sound like a whistle. However, if the problem worsens, the noise could grow louder. Therefore, it is necessary to find out the exact cause of noise.
A common trick used for identifying problems associated with wheel bears is checking whether noise heard at the time of acceleration and deceleration remains the same. One should drive the vehicle along a circular path, both clockwise and anti-clockwise, in order to find out which of the wheels (left or right) emits the sound caused by a damaged bearing.
The noise originating from a wheel bearing doesn't change with changing speeds; however, it might increase or decrease at the time of turning. Therefore, one can say that the noise heard at regular intervals, while driving at a steady speed, is a sign of problem associated with bearings.
Do not confuse wheel bearing noise with that produced by a damaged CV joint; both the problems are different from each other and they need be dealt with separately.
Noise produced by wheel bearings is a result of lack of lubrication and in some cases, physical damage caused to them. Friction between dry areas of bearings produces a humming sound; the sound repeats at regular intervals.
A mechanical jack proves to be of great help in lifting the car; wheels (i.e. bearings) can be easily diagnosed for wheel bearing noise. While spinning the wheel with one hand, one should place the other hand on the strut assembly. If there is any problem in the smooth functioning of wheel bearing, a noise can be heard.
It is necessary to lift the vehicle to find out the side from which the noise originates. Wiggling the tire back and forth should helps us understand whether the tire is fitted loosely or not.
In one of the methods used for diagnosing such kind of noise, the vehicle is driven at a constant speed; slight changes to the speed are occasionally made. It is important that you vary the speed because there are certain cars which make noise only at certain speeds.