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Excessive noise/hum while driving--diagnosis?

Hello everyone, I’m brand new. I have an issue that has been bothering me and I tried to call the show last Saturday about it. I didn’t get through, not surprisingly!

I have a 2002 Prius. It hasn’t been well maintained over the last year and a half, and I had been hearing more and more ambient noise while driving. I thought it was because the tires were wearing out. Well, in the last month I finally got caught up on maintenance (oil change, some new filters, etc.) and got a new set of tires; however, the excessive noise is still there. It becomes noticeable at about 25 mph, and gets louder and higher in pitch as speed increases; there’s a noticeable vibration as well from about 45-50 mph.

I don’t think it’s engine related; the noise happens whether I’m accelerating or just coasting. Any advice? Thanks!

Wheel bearing? heat shield?

Caught Up On Maintenance ? I Didn’t Know One Could Catch Up On That. I Look At It More As An Ongoing Thing.

If you’ve got a wheel bearing going bad you’d better quit putting off a replacement. Get it checked out ASAP.



Fair enough, that maintenance is an ongoing thing; put it this way, it needed it for a long time but didn’t get it, then it finally got a comprehensive catch-up.

Thanks for the suggestions. I’ve been reading up on wheel bearings, and the noise doesn’t really match the full descriptions I’ve been hearing, but it certainly couldn’t hurt to check … and it sure could hurt not to!