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  1. #1
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    How do you tell if you have a bad wheel bearing?

    With the windows down I can hear a, “sppsshhh.. sppsshhh.. sppsshhh.. sppsshhh..” sound cycling over and over, and at all times, that is in time with the wheels and the speed I’m going at.

    You can hear it best if you drive along side a concrete wall, or barrier, or any other object that can reflect the sound back towards the driver. Although.. I still hear it just driving along, even without something to bounce it back. Although with the windows up, you can't hear it. It's not very loud.

    I think I’m hearing it from both front hubs. Possibly the right one more. The car has always made this sound since I bought it at 13k miles. It’s just that… in the last 10k miles it has gotten louder. The Roadster doesn't make this noise, but this isn't much of a cross check, as Roadsters are enough louder overall this could easily be masking it (Sppsshh sound could be normal for all our cars).

    It’s not a particularly burdensome noise or anything. I don't care about that. I’m just wanting to make sure I don’t have a hub bearing going out or something else.

    By the way, if you brake, the sound does not go away. You know.. like sometimes its normal to hear some lite sounds from the brake pads just barely touching some part of the rotor as it spins around.. and then when you step on the brake the sound stops. This “sppsshhh” sound does not go away when you step on the brakes. One last thing.. when you turn, you hear the sound more.

    My Pappy taught me to check wheel bearings simply by jacking the car up and try to rock / pry the tire / wheel back and forth to feel for play in the bearing. THen remove the wheel, and feel the spin of the rotor to make sure it runs smoothly. But.. he was teaching me this on a '67 Chevy.. not a BMW. so ???

    I checked these things out while I was working on the brakes last night. Nadda. No clacking / play in the bearing, and the spin is good. Some.. but only a few revolutions. Comes to a nice slow stop. The bearings appear to be snug, and also not binding.

    35,000 miles on the clock. Never tracked or auto crossed.

    Should I do something else to check the bearings? Could something else be causing it? Thanks guys.












    '02 Z3 Coupe 3.0i [Hellrot II - Walnuss]
    '03 X5 3.0i [GrauGrün - Beige]
    '01 Z3 Roadster 3.0i [AlpenWeiß - TraumRot]


  2. #2
    ZYALATR #50/368s
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    Yes | No

    What brand tires do U have ? My Khumos>

    get louder as time goes by and it does sound like the wheel bearings are going out ...

  3. #3
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    I've had four brands. "Shpooshing" sound seems...

    unefected by the swaps from tire to tire. But they were / are;

    Dunlop 8080E
    Michelin Pilot Sport
    Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3
    Dunlop SP Sport Maxx (current tire)




  4. #4
    GTurismo
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    Im hearing the same sound on my 01 M coupe as well

    Mine has around 26K miles on it. I brought it to the dealer and they couldn't figured out what causes this noise.
    If you figured out what is the root cause, please let me know.

    thanks.

  5. #5
    ZYALATR #50/368s
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    As soon as I put new ones on it was gone>

    now they have 10000 on them and are getting noisey again.

  6. #6
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    Member No: 14708 E.Hands is an unknown quantity at this point E.Hands's Avatar
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    The only sure-fire way to tell...

    That I know of is to disassemble each bearing, clean all grease off and inspect each one for pits.
    My '01 makes slight low growl that I can only here when I'm coasting and turning right. The only time really hear it is when I'm coasting into my carport with the radio off. Although it could be the Quaife differential. It isn't very noticeable and hasn't got any louder, so I have been putting off the bearing inspection myself. I belive that it is part of Inspection 1.

  7. #7
    Incognito
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    one possible way to tell

    jack the car up. grab either side of the suspect wheel and try and move the wheel from side to side. You shouldnt need to use much force, but there will may be a bit of play in the wheel. You can also use the 'good' side for comparison.

    Better to have it checked out sooner rather than later. Maybe not a safety hazard, but at some the bearing will start to work itself in the hub and ruin the hub.

    This was the case in my car at least...(ive replaced the left wheel bearings myself 3 times in my maxima.

  8. #8
    TurnAround
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    Performed that test. They feel great. Guess I ..

    should probably have my mechanic look at them too. You're right.. a bearing is a lot cheaper than a new hub. Car only has 35k. Seems too soon for needing a new hub.

  9. #9
    TurnAround
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    hmm.. one possibility. The wheel center cap..

    The roundel center cap??

    I was working on another wheel last night. When you work on brakes, and then reassmeble everything, because the piston is pushed back the pads aren't contacting the rotor at all. Great time to test for play in the hub bearing and for spin, and for noises. Wheel spins great. Dead silent.. except fer one little thing... the plastic snap in hub center cover roundel. It makes a light tapping noise as the wheel goes 'round. There's some play.

    When I tap on it and fudtz it around a bit... it makes a sound faintly familiar to the pitch and tone of the "shpoosh" sound when I'm driving. I wonder if the noise is as simple as the wheel roundel making its own little aerodynamic sounds when in motion?

    hmmm...

  10. #10
    GTurismo
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    So, did you take the roundel cap out?

    and drive around to see if that noise is still there?
    I eager to find out the verdict.

  11. #11
    TurnAround
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    Coupe is still jacked up for brake work..

    I'll be test driving this weekend.

    Removing the center cap might produce it's own set of noises. What I will do is put something on the tabs of the caps so that they fit tighter, but can still be removed over and over for service. Felt tape. Thin layer of Shoe Goo. Something like that. It won't take much, and it might only need it on two tabs. Don't want to use grease 'cuz that'll just migrate out onto the wheels and make a mess.




  12. #12
    E.Hands
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    A pitted bearing will make noise...

    even if there is not enough wear to feel slack in the tire test.

  13. #13
    GTurismo
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    So?Turnaround, what's the REAL problem 4 da noise?


  14. #14
    TurnAround
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    Been driving her for 3 days now. Noise is gone.

    Tried a variety of "walls" to bounce the shpoosh noise back at me. Nadda.

    I don't know. It doesn't seem very likely that it was the center cap making the noise.. upon reflection. In my experiences with mechanical things in my life, and then thinking about the noise.. it would have to be farther out on the wheel. At 25mph going along side a concrete wall, the center cap would be spinning so fast it would have to be an almost continuous sound. This sound (now the old sound.. since it's gone) has a break in it. Shpoosh, Shpoosh, Shpoosh, Shpoosh. That implies that its farther out on the spinning object and occurs at one point on the wheel.

    Then again.. the noise is gone. So maybe it was the center caps! :-P


  15. #15
    CODGER
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    another fan of Shoe Goo! smart! Best adhesive for

    semi-permanent and vibration resistant requirements...

    John

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