FrontEnd Noise From Right Front Tire

Posted in Engine & DriveTrain

Two mechanics have been unable to resolve my front-end noise issue.

I drive a 2001 Hyundai Elantra with 216,000 miles on it. It has a manual transmission.

About eight months ago, I started hearing a strange noise that sounded like it was coming from the front right (passenger side) tire. After some inspection, I saw that I needed to replace the right outer tie rod end and did so with a dealer part. I also noticed that the inner boot of the right half-shaft was seeping gear oil, so I replaced the entire half-shaft with an aftermarket part (could not afford the $375 dealer half-shaft price). The noise still remained. Some guys at my tire shop thought it might be a tire problem. Since my tires were getting worn, I replaced them all, including balancing and a 4-wheel alignment. Even after this, the noise is still there.

It sounds like the noise made by off-road tires being driven on the highway, like a tread mis-alignment sound, if that makes sense.

I thought it might be the wheel bearings, but it seems like they would have failed by now, since I have put over 22,000 miles on the car since the noise began. Or could it still be the bearings?

Yes, I was thinking it might be the wheel bearings but I am amazed they have lasted so long since the noise began!

I try to do most repairs myself, but sadly, I do not have the tools to replace (press-off) sealed wheel bearings, so this is going to cost me!

Thanks for all the responses!!

There are 5 Answers for "FrontEnd Noise From Right Front Tire"

    1. Jen says:

      My only experience is when I had a noise like that – it was the rotors and brake pads. But I assume it’s something else for you b/c seems like a mechanic would’ve picked up on that.

    2. ?RaiNbOw ? DiiM? says:

      I would assume it would be the bearings, still. Could nobody seriously diagnose it in a real shop?! Yikes. Yeah… the wheel bearings, my best guess. But Im not a mechanic, just a service advisor. However, ive seen it before. almost like a vibrating noise? Yepp, wheel bearings.

    3. Roadrunnermike says:

      Yes it sounds like it could be the bearings, they should have noticed when they replaced the shafts, but its hard to tell sometimes, the bearings when bad sound like a loud roaring sound and gets louder the faster you go

    4. Country Boy says:

      Wheel bearing noise sounds like a low pitched constant groan which gets louder the faster you go. Jack the car up on jack-stands beside each front sub-frame rail. #1.Place your hands at 6 and 12 o’clock on the front tire and push in at the bottom and out at the top. If you notice any chuck or looseness the wheel bearing needs replacement. #2. With the frame rails on jack-stands start the car and put it in drive. Have someone run the speedometer up to 65 mph and you listen for wheel bearing noise while standing next to the offending wheel.

      Your observation is very good concerning winter tire noise. That’s exactly what a worn wheel bearing sounds like!

    5. mister ss says:

      I would install a new wheel bearing on it.