Wheel bearing going bad

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Dec 6, 2014
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I have a wheel bearing starting to make noise on the driver's side of our 2012 Honda Odyssey. (Noise goes away when turning left)

Any tips for determining if it's the front or rear? It isn't loud enough to tell. Neither wheel has play or anything unusual.
 
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Jan 24, 2013
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That's a tough one. I'm inclined to say its your front hub. I've seen rear bearings fail on civics rather frequently.. That was years ago. No experience with newer models. If it were me, I'd put my friend in the rear of the car with his fat ear over the wheel. (fat people hear better). Have him listen for the noise. I'd switch, and do the same myself.

I've also got to play the devils advocate here, and throw brakes into the mix too. Its tough. If you've never heard a bad wheel bearing, you can make a lot of bad assumptions.
 
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I have a wheel bearing starting to make noise on the driver's side of our 2012 Honda Odyssey. (Noise goes away when turning left)

Any tips for determining if it's the front or rear? It isn't loud enough to tell. Neither wheel has play or anything unusual.
Best way is jack up the vehicle and rotate the wheel, a bad wheel bearing will feel gravely and make noise.
 
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down in the park
yes and if that doesn't give a conclusive answer, you can remove the wheel and turn the hub, less inertia so you are more likely to feel notchy turning
 
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I heard a slight rumble on the A4 around 80k miles and seemed to come from the front left. It wasn't even bad enough for turning side to side to make a difference, just barely audible above 30 mph. Put the car up on 4 jack stands and started it and put in drive. With the wheels turning i placed the tip of a long screw driver on the back of all four bearings and the handle against my skull behind my ear and sure enough the front was making a tick tick tick noise and the other three made a smooth swooshing sound.
I replaced the suspect bearing and all is quiet again.
 
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I heard a slight rumble on the A4 around 80k miles and seemed to come from the front left. It wasn't even bad enough for turning side to side to make a difference, just barely audible above 30 mph. Put the car up on 4 jack stands and started it and put in drive. With the wheels turning i placed the tip of a long screw driver on the back of all four bearings and the handle against my skull behind my ear and sure enough the front was making a tick tick tick noise and the other three made a smooth swooshing sound.
I replaced the suspect bearing and all is quiet again.
Yes! Genius! My cars aren't AWD, but that's smart! Isn't it great when you think of something like that, and it works out well for you?
 
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Jan 12, 2020
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Alderaan
I have a wheel bearing starting to make noise on the driver's side of our 2012 Honda Odyssey. (Noise goes away when turning left)

Any tips for determining if it's the front or rear? It isn't loud enough to tell. Neither wheel has play or anything unusual.

After you end a long drive, listen to each wheel.....sometimes you can hear the sizzling from the wheel bearings and grease that overheated during your drive
 
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D60

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Nov 6, 2017
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After you end a long drive, listen to each wheel.....sometimes you can hear the sizzling from the wheel bearings and grease that overheated during your drive
This or the quick touch test to see which is hotter (although a dragging brake can throw ya off the scent) ....or an IR thermometer if'n yer fancy
 
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I’ve only had two cars that needed bearings, but in both cases, both sides were bad. The second car, one bearing went one year, the other side went the following year. I realize they don’t have to wear evenly, but the next time it rolls around, I plan to do both.
 

D60

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I’ve only had two cars that needed bearings, but in both cases, both sides were bad. The second car, one bearing went one year, the other side went the following year. I realize they don’t have to wear evenly, but the next time it rolls around, I plan to do both.

Some of that's just budget for us smelly Walmart shoppers .... a decent unit bearing for a 3/4t can be $150 at RA and $300 at AutoZone (they "self-insure" their LT warranty) so ....

....as they said in Contact: "The first rule in government spending: why buy one when you can buy two for twice the price????"

And for the record, I try to avoid WM but sometimes they're a necessary evil it would seem. Things aren't getting cheaper today but hey, we can always choose truth over facts......
 

2010Civic

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I had my dad ride in the back and it seems to be the rear. A wheel bearing/hub assembly from Honda is just over $100 our price. So if it is the front then oh well.
 
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