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Old 10-07-2013, 11:51 PM   #1
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vibration frequency increases with speed


I have a 2001 Bonneville SSEi. There is a vibrating sound like something plastic is rubbing against the tire. It sounds like an airplane. As I speed up, the sound increases in frequency similar to an airplane if increasing in speed.

The sound is independant of the transmission, gear shifting or if the engine is engaged or disengaged and is only contengent on the speed of the car. I've checked to verify it's not the CV joint or cover, the plastic shielding, but no luck. I can now feel the vibration in the steering wheel and on the driver's side floor board. The only other thing I can think of would be the drive shaft or UV joint, but the car has been in no minor or major accident.

Please advise...FYI, it's not a metal on metel or metal on rubber sound, isn't the brakes (checked them). Any ideas?

Thanks.

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Old 10-08-2013, 07:04 AM   #2
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vibration frequency increases with speed


Sounds like a wheel bearing

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Old 10-08-2013, 08:06 AM   #3
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vibration frequency increases with speed


Possibly a lost wheel weight, but from the age and since it's getting worse, I tend to agree with wheel bearing.

Accident would have nothing to do with drive shaft or U-joint. Maybe check them as well.

Last edited by daveb1; 10-08-2013 at 08:08 AM. Reason: second paragraph
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:25 AM   #4
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vibration frequency increases with speed


Could also be the plastic shroud they sometimes put around the anti-lock brake sensor wire at each wheel. Goes from the wheel hub (near the brake caliper) back over to the suspension (strut column?). But I doubt it'd be enough to cause a vibration you'd feel in the wheel.

Maybe a chunk of something got wedged in-between the dust shroud on the back of the wheel and the rim. That sometimes happens after off-roading in my Jeep GC. But that likely would have worked loose when you removed the wheels to check the brakes.

You did look at both sides of the brake calipers, right? I've seen pictures of caliper horror stories where people ignored the grinding so long that the discs worn down until the pads started clanking against the casting supports in-between the disc faces.
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:37 PM   #5
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vibration frequency increases with speed


It is what it is. You have piece of plastic rubbing on wheel. Very likely, fender well cover.
If you have jackstand, jack side up and spin tires by hand. Even better, jack both sides, turn engine on, and put into D. Let 'm spin and pinpoint the noise.
You know how many cars I have seen driving around with grocery bag stuck underneath?
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Old 10-09-2013, 09:46 PM   #6
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vibration frequency increases with speed


Didn't sound like the driver's side wheel bearing, but I was. I replaced the assembly and it's back to normal. The way I finally figured it out was by taking sharp turns and the constant sound was worse when puttin the weight of the car on the drivers side. I had to do this before the car warmed up or the sound wasn't noticeable, meaning the sound became louder and a difference when turning from right to left was no longer noticeable. Hope this helps some down the road.
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:21 PM   #7
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vibration frequency increases with speed


Or, you could have just rocked wheel back and for vigorously with hands on 6 and 12.
Good you found it.
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:13 AM   #8
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vibration frequency increases with speed


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Originally Posted by ukrkoz View Post
Or, you could have just rocked wheel back and for vigorously with hands on 6 and 12.
Good you found it.
Not necessarily, modern bearings can howl while still being tight, driving a figure eight on smooth pavement is the best way to diagnose, sometimes it takes having 2 people in the car to determine which side. Put it up in the air, no load, no noise.
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Old 10-11-2013, 05:13 PM   #9
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vibration frequency increases with speed


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Not necessarily, modern bearings can howl while still being tight, driving a figure eight on smooth pavement is the best way to diagnose, sometimes it takes having 2 people in the car to determine which side. Put it up in the air, no load, no noise.
Yep. Two people with good hearing and a big parking lot so you're away from other vehicles and their noise. What sounded like a front bearing turned out to be a rear one, only found by someone sitting in the back seat and listening, head out the window.

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