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Old 08-18-2011, 09:35 PM   #1
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intermittent squealing


Im getting intermittent squeeling from the front wheel well
Itll last anywhere from 2 to 20 seconds and only seems to happen when travelling at about 50kph. Slowing down or speeding up stops it.
Its not overly loud or high-pitched noise, but it definately sounds like metal on metal.
Any advice on troubleshooting or first place to look would be helpful

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Old 08-18-2011, 09:47 PM   #2
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intermittent squealing


Brake pads or wheel bearings.

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Old 08-18-2011, 11:20 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by rusty baker View Post
Brake pads or wheel bearings.
Would the brake pads cause squeeling if you werent braking?

If it is the wheel bearing, a special puller is needed to get it out of its housing, correct?
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Old 08-18-2011, 11:30 PM   #4
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intermittent squealing


it depends. if it's front wheel drive, you have drive axle going through the hub bearing. Most cars, hub bearing has to be replaced and on some of them - it's PITA.
I had squealing bearing on Ford Ranger and I simply replaced the bearing itself, without replacing the pressed in journal. Took care of squeal and was about $8 worth fix. No pullers, no special tools needed.

jack stand that wheel in question, set it all up so that you can spin wheel freely. Bearings normally do noise sounding like beetles crunch.

Hub bearing should permit no play in the hub, with hands at 6 and 12 on the wheel.
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:32 PM   #5
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intermittent squealing


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Originally Posted by phantasm72 View Post
Im getting intermittent squeeling from the front wheel well
Itll last anywhere from 2 to 20 seconds and only seems to happen when travelling at about 50kph. Slowing down or speeding up stops it.
Its not overly loud or high-pitched noise, but it definately sounds like metal on metal.
Any advice on troubleshooting or first place to look would be helpful

Normally a wheel bearing will make a noise anywhere from 35 mph and up, the noise gets faster as the vehicle speeds up. Plus its typically there or not there, doesn't really do intermittent.

I would check for brake pad wear first, brake pads have little metal "indicators" on them that will make a metal screech noise. The noise can come and go, braking, just driving, turns.
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:34 PM   #6
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intermittent squealing


hey, jackstand front securely, turn engine on, get her into gear, and bring up to 50 with wheels spinning up in the air. might be easy to pin point the origin.
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Old 08-21-2011, 06:19 AM   #7
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I'd start with the simplest thing first and rule out the brakes. I had an old Subaru that did the same thing, turned out that the caliper just wasn't releasing 100%, so pad was "bouncing" off a tiny high-spot on the rotor which somehow made a sort of squealing/chattering sound.
Wheel bearing could be a total nightmare depending on car, my Kia requires the bearings to be pre-loaded on a vice and you have to play with different shim sizes to make the bearing fit correctly. Almost have to have the dealer do it.
Hopefully changing yours wouldn't be that bad!
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Old 08-21-2011, 02:08 PM   #8
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intermittent squealing


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Would the brake pads cause squeeling if you werent braking ?
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:54 AM   #9
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What make/model of car? The fact that it happens at only a certain speed and quits with a slow down/speed up doesn't sound like a wheel bearing problem or even a brake problem. I'd first check the water pump/accessory drive belt(s). It could be engine RPM related. It could be a heat shield rubbing when the engine harmonics are just right.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:39 AM   #10
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What make/model of car? The fact that it happens at only a certain speed and quits with a slow down/speed up doesn't sound like a wheel bearing problem or even a brake problem.
My experience with wheel bearings on their way out is that they will make the most noise when you are turning at higher speeds, like on the on-ramps (or off-ramps) of a highway
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:56 AM   #11
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@phantasm72
It's the brake pads. The pads have a wear indicator (a little metal tab) that contacts the rotor when the pads get too thin. If you hit the brakes when you hear this sound, the sound will typically go away. If you are just starting to hear this now, you've got about 1-5000 miles before that intermittent squealing turns into grinding when you brake.

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