1999 Ford Escort, manual transmission. Car has 190K miles. I was driving home Thursday when in the last couple miles of my trip I started to hear a grinding/clunking sound from the front right wheel. Seemed to coincide with the speed of the vehicle. Got worse when I turned right and alleviate when I turned left. I didn’t get a chance to troubleshoot that night but did so last night (Friday).
I first drove it again about a mile and the sound got substantially worse in that short period of time. I’m thinking it’s either the cv half shaft or the wheel bearing. I take the front tires off and look at both half shafts - they look okay. Rubber boots are intact and shafts look okay from what I can tell. I put the tires back on. I spun the wheels freely while in neutral and didn’t hear really any grinding. I grab each tire at 12 and 6 and shake violently - no slop or noise on either tire. I do the same at 3 and 9 - each tire had a touch of slop but they were equal. Well, at this point I don’t have much to go by except that maybe it’s a bad bearing though now I don’t have much evidence.
I decide to go for one more quick drive to try to collect more ‘data’. The noise is completely gone. I’m bewildered. I decide to take it to the highway and get it to 60 mph … no noise. Nothing. How could that be? Could I have done something when I shook the wheels violently (knocked out debris?). I find this impossible to believe.
Thanks for the thoughts!