A loud humming noise from the right rear while the van is being driven

I drive a 1999 Plymouth Grand Voyager with 3.3L 6 cyl engine, and about 130K miles on it. I hear a loud humming noise from the right rear while the van is being driven.

This problem started about 2 months ago. An auto mechanic suggested that the wheel bearing in the right rear side had to be replaced. How much would it cost to replace it ? Does this have to be replaced at all ?

If the noise is coming from a bad wheel bearing, the bearing should be replaced.

When the bearing fails the wheel will stop turning, no matter how fast the van is going. It’s also possible, worst case scenario, for the wheel to come off.

Not good.

Diagnosing a bad bearing is not difficult, but it can’t be done over the phone or the internet. Take the van to your mechanic.

This is not a money issue, it’s a safety issue.

Does the hum change in pitch as vehicle speeds increases and decreases? If yes, it is likely either a tire problem or a bad wheel bearing.

To see if it is the tire, rotate the tires and see if the noise changes. For instance now it is coming from the front, or isn’t a loud, or louder.

If not the tire, then there isn’t much you can do with a wheel bearing. These bearings are sealed units now and when they go bad you replace them. It will cost some money but not major bucks.

You can keep driving, but when the bearing fails it overheats and comes apart and your wheel can go down the road on its own. You don’t want to know what happens to the car. If you don’t roll over you’ll just have significant damage to the rear suspension and brakes.