Car Humming

honda
accord

#1

I just bought a 2002 Honda Accord, manual transmission, and it has a humming noise that I’m worried about.

Whenever I get into higher gears, and therefore the revving of the engine is quieter, I can hear a humming noise. It’s constant and increases in pitch, but not volume, as the car goes faster. As far as I can tell, it’s coming from the rear of the car, but it’s a little hard to tell. One very noticeable thing is that the humming noise disappears when I’m going around a bend to the right, but not to the left. Also I can put the car in neutral and coast, and the noise is still there (decreasing in pitch as the car slows).

I kinda figure it’s a wheel bearing, but according to the “Car Talk Noise Emporium” it sounds more like a bad differential.

What does everyone thing it is, and what are the potential hazards if it is the differential and it fails? (I know the hazards of a wheel bearing failing)


#2

There are lots of possibilities, but I would guess tyres.


#3

I checked the tire pressure, and they’re all even. How could I be sure it’s the tire and not a bearing? I plan on doing the whole lifting one wheel off the ground and spinning it test this afternoon.
Should I be looking for any tread wear? Or could I replace the tires with the spare one at a time and see if the noise goes away?


#4

It must be a wheel bearing because the differential in your vehicle is part of the transaxle. So it’s located at the front of the vehicle, not the back of the vehicle.

Tester


#5

Ditto Tester and the bad bearing will probably be on the right rear wheel.


#6

I’ll third that. If the humming is that loud and noticeable a mechanic should not have trouble verifying this.


#7

Ok, new thought. What if the sound doesn’t disappear because I’m taking a bend to the right (and therefore placing less stress on a wheel bearing), but because I’m turning the wheel past a certain degree? If I change lanes quickly, then the sound goes away. And when taking a bend, there is a very definite point where the sound disappears/reappears.


#8

What you describe are the symtoms of a worn wheel bearing.

Tester