2007 Hyundai Accent propeller sound

A propeller sound started in the front several weeks ago at higher speeds (60 mph), but has gotten louder and more noticeable at slower speeds now (20-30 mph) It is from the front, and changes frequency with speed. It is not linked to rpm’s of the engine, but there is a slight change in the pitch when going over bumps at higher speeds. My mechanic thought it might be the bearings in the front wheel(s) but he checked these and said they are fine. He put his daughter in the car, lifted it and tried to locate the sound as she accelerated with the car in gear (sounds dangerous to me), but he was not able to locate it, but I think his hearing is not all that good. The car is well maintained by my mechanic and drives normally (except for the irritating sound). Thanks for any advice/ideas I could pass on.

Might be a tire starting to separate.

Second that it might be a tire… might be wheel bearings, too.

With it on the rack with it running it seem’s he should have been able to tell if it was bearing’s.

It seems like he should but there is no load on the wheel bearing on a lift. That will change the noise. The good news, if it IS a bearing, it will get worse and easier to hear!


Thanks to all for the helpful ideas and advise. I am increasingly convinced that it is a front wheel bearing.

I would be looking at the tires , that is usually a bad or out of balance tire . Bearings are usually more of a constant whine .

Folks here have said that sometimes wheel bearing problems can only be diagnosed by replacing the bearing w/a new one and see if the problem goes away. Standard diagnosis methods don’t always work for wheel bearings. Are there any unusual tire tread patterns present?

Find where you will be able to get car into a steady left/right curve on the speed of 25+ MPH.
Cloverleaf works the best.
This test will load the outer bearing more and if it is indeed a bearing, you will hear it in one curve, but not another.
It will also help you pinpoint if this is a left or right one what makes a noise.

My mechanic mentioned that about the bearings and it can get to be an expensive proposition (for an old car) if you replace the wrong ones… I took it out on a country road at about 30 mph and swerved from side to side. It seemed when I turned to the right, the noise abated more than when I turned to the left. That would suggest it is the left front, but to me the sound is coming from the right side… I do not see any funny wear on the tires and they are only a year old.

thanks. John

Turning to the right puts more force on the left bearing. More force on the bearing increases bearing-related noises. If the noise is reduced turning right, the problematic bearing suspect would be on the right side.

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Tell your mechanic to use his chassis ears . . . that is a brand name, by the way

If he doesn’t know what you’re talking about, he’s probably not the guy for you


These really take the guess work out of chasing noises

There’s even a wireless version

It’s kind of sad that the noise is loud and obvious, yet the mechanic can’t figure it out . . .

If he used chassis ears, he’d be able to drive the car with a load on the bearings

Thanks! I’ll show him this.