September 13, 2012 at 1:00 pm #1707
I don’t know when this problem started as I thought it was always loud compared to a Buick sedan. Maybe a long time, maybe less than 10,000 miles. I just changed them at 79,000 on our 2004 SE.
My front end was going wah wah around 15-20, prominent at 40, really annoying at 69 so I started to cruise at 66 where it was slightly less.
My first thought (hope) was a bad tire or balancing as the tires were getting thin. Not to mention the fat 60 series tires. Balancing couldn’t be accurate after shaving a 1/4″ off the tread height, right? Since winter is coming and the sales are a bit better in summer, I decided to try new tires (Hankook Optimo H727 was the Consumer Reports choice for better winter traction in an all season tire…we’ll see!!).
Nope, not better.
OK, even though I’m tracking well, maybe I’m scrubbing the tires because of an alignment. Best thing for new tires is an alignment, right? Probably so, but no improvement.
Scanning the web, so I’ve determined it’s the bearings. Let’s look: Fricken A! They feel tight and no play in them. Let’s go to a shop and have them look. Same deal: nope, they feel good. Let’s drive it. “You know, it sounds like a bearing, but to be honest I can’t be sure since it feels tight, like it should.”
Went home and ordered the Timken (spend a few extra dollars for quality) hubs off of Amazon as it saved me about $25/side.
Was louder on the DS so we did it first. No improvement. I was really hoping that it was going to at least be an improvement if not “all better.”
Looked at everything underneath and still couldn’t see what was wrong. Boots are all OK, etc. Took it for another drive and then (here’s the “a-ha” moment) I suggested the tech and I switched seats and drive it again. We both said it was louder on the driver’s side BUT, there was a bit of vibration (under the feet) more prominent on the passenger side. Since I had the part, I said…do it.
I honestly wasn’t confident it was the problem. But, no more noise!!!
Not sure how hard they are but my (non Nissan) tech said about an hour for each side. So my guess is a max of 3 hours if doing both sides (for the shop). Maybe a learning curve if you DIY.
Because of others’ complaints of bad rotors, I debated having new ones installed (this would have incurred no additional labor as they were taken off to get to the hubs) but declined for now. They seem fine with my driving style. But you might consider this option.
I bought and had them installed on both sides for about $400+tax, total.
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