I took my parents 2006 Honda Odyssey with less than 50k miles to the local Sears to have the tires balanced since the steering wheel was vibrating at highway speeds (65 -75mph). The car sounded fine when we dropped it off, however, when we picked up the car I noticed that starting from about 5 mph on up, there was a loud noise that initially sounded like something was stuck to the contact patch of the tire. The frequency and decibel level of the noise would increase in sync with the car speed up to about 60 - 65 mph. Then, either the noise would fade or the wind noise would drown it out. I’m not sure which. We took it back to Sears to show them. Checked tires and nothing was on the contact patch of the tires. They claim that it was a coincidence that the wheels started making noises immediately after they finished working on it. They said that it is probably bad wheel hub bearings. Is it possible that this was just a coincidence? Why would the bearing not make any noises before the wheels were balanced? Is it possible that balancing the tires messed up the drive train (and it not be the mechanics fault)? Or did they simply mess up/sabotage the wheel and are not fessing up to it?
p.s. as a mechanical engineer, I understand the principles behind the mechanics of vehicles, but I am not a mechanic therefore I have very little experience when it comes to repair procedures. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks.