Front wheel bearing issue

JHZR2

Staff member
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
47,052
Location
New Jersey
My 91 318 has developed a ticking sound that I believe is a front wheel bearing. I believe it is the left, because I got a popping noise one time when making a right turn. Driving through a parking lot, I've noticed that if I hit the brakes, the noise stops, then after a bit, it starts. It goes away with a hard turn in either direction, but I'm saying left because of the pop on the right turn once (can't replicate it consistently), and the fact that I already replaced the rot one (doesnt mean they can't be worse quality than originals). I also cannot hear it when traveling faster than around 30 mph. Some of that is likely road and engine noise, but there are no other observable issues. When my right one failed, it was groaning under highway driving. Any thoughts to these behaviors? Would anyone think it migh be anything different than a left wheel bearing? It's the fact that noise goes away at higher speeds and with turning in either direction that gets me... Thanks!
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2013
Messages
1,919
Location
Villa Park, IL
wait what? my wheel bearing got worse at higher speeds... just read the rest, ya that's confusing.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 24, 2014
Messages
665
Location
WA
Jack your car up and spin the wheel. If you don't hear it, grab the spring and spin the wheel. It will feel gritty though the spring usually. Finally do a "shakedown" where you wiggle the tire side to side, up and down, then apply force as if you were trying to lift the tire. Grab a friend and see if you cam identify any/all sources of freeplay
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2014
Messages
665
Location
WA
Also verify it's not something else like a loose fender liner, the tire plies coming apart, or something stuck in the tire
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
Messages
27,034
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
It doesn't sound like a bad front hub, it could be but they usually have a growl and a roughness to them when they go bad. Does this one have drum brakes in the rear?
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Thread starter
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
47,052
Location
New Jersey
No drums, discs all around. There is a little drum in the rotor hat for the parking brake.
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
Messages
27,034
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Try the maneuver and just apply the parking brake slightly at the same time. It might be time to look in the parking brake drum.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Thread starter
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
47,052
Location
New Jersey
Pads on the front are new, rears are recent. Rust and scale in the parking brake is believable.
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
Messages
27,034
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Pads on the front are new, rears are recent. Rust and scale in the parking brake is believable.
Don't be surprised if you find a broken spring or delaminated shoe, that can cause occasional popping noises and clicking.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2005
Messages
7,725
Location
MIchigan
Try putting it up on jack stands and running it. I'm guessing it's your brakes since you already changed the other bearing and know what a bad one sounds like.
 
Top