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Old 03-17-2007, 02:17 AM   #1
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 33868
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Chesterfield, MO
2003 wrx

Default What is it with wheel bearings?

The car makes a knobby tire noise from 45 mph up. It goes away if I turn to the left fairly hard. It has 70,000 miles on it.

I can't tell where the noise is coming from (side to side or front to back). Sticking your head out the window going 50 doesn't cut it. With the car in the air the wheels have no in out play or movement when pushed at 12 and 6.

Couple of questions for someone that has BTDT.
  1. Will this noise get worse so I can tell which one is bad?
  2. How long will it take? Would you drive the car 1000 miles Sunday and Monday
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Old 03-17-2007, 09:11 AM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 141672
Join Date: Feb 2007

You said if I turn left very hard. CV joints popped up in my head real quick. Get under the car and check em out and compare the right to left side and see if any are loose.
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Old 03-18-2007, 09:13 PM   #3
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 44808
Join Date: Oct 2003
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Council Bluffs, IA
2003 Impreza RS
Platinum Silver


1. Yes.
2. As with anything YMMV, but it could be another 10000-15000 miles before it sounds very bad, even then it could be hard to tell. If the problem started recently it should be OK.

To check bearings I'd secure the vehicle and jack up one axle at a time, then remove the wheels and see if you can tell if any one wheel seems to have more noise than another.

To be very sure you could remove the brake caliper assembly, which would give you noise only from the rotation of the hub (and drivetrain, I guess), no interference from some other garbage. Hopefully it will be obvious when you find the offending wheel.

For later reference, you could take a movie of each hub spinning, if you can't figure out which was making the noise having some evidence to play back might help you later.

Good luck.
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Old 03-20-2007, 02:14 AM   #4
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 134717
Join Date: Dec 2006

you can check by putting cars on the jack stand, all 4 wheels on the air. then put it in 4th gear and let cluch out slow, if its real bad, you can hear it. we had one of the customers car that had really bad bearing. [forester]
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Old 03-20-2007, 07:24 AM   #5
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 133104
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Eldon,MO
2002 silver WRX
oh yes 4:11 gears


I had to replace my right front wheel bearing @ 67,000. I knew which one it was due to the noise it made while turning left. It had a constant noise going straight and when I would turn right it would go away, but when I turned left it sounded like hell with a grinding noise.
The hardest thing about replacing this was getting the axle nut off and finding a shop to press out the old and in the new one.
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