Intermediate humming noise at a certain speed

Greetings everyone, now I have this Lexus at 30k miles and I hear an intermediate humming noise between 65-75 mph. It certainly sounds like a bad wheel bearing, but contrary, it can be heard only within this speed regime and it starts from a slow rhythm to a faster one as I accelerate through 65-75. Letting the foot of the gas does not affect the sound, neither acceleration nor braking. It seems coming from the rear left, and interestingly sound goes away as I steer right. I appreciate all the comments, and have a safe drive!

That it changes with a change in steering angle points to wheel bearing. You could try changing tire locations and see if that makes any diff - on the slim chance it’s a tire.


Thank you! I’m gonna certainly check tires and update the topic here. It’s great that you point out to a bad wheel bearing. But in that case I would expect noise to disappear as I steer left since noise coming from the rear right. Also sound level does not change throughout the range and it’s intermediate. I would say 120-130 bpm hum hum hum… Should I still suspect a bad wheel bearing?

I could not spend 10 minute driving my old Corolla with a bad wheel bearing because the noise inside the cabin was unbearable.Thats when the entire hub was ready to fall off.Did you try lifting the vehicule and testing the wheel for side to side motion?

I couldn’t agree you more. Lifted the car. There is no motion at all. Both 9-3 o’clock and 12-6 o’clock. No clicking noise whatsoever.

Look for plastic trim at the front of each rear tire, at the base of the rocker panel that may be rubbing on the tire.

So I’ve checked it and realized something interesting. Tires don’t rub against somewhere, however, ride height at the rear left is less than half an inch -I’d say about 0.4- lower than the right side. At first glance I didn’t notice, but when I traveled my hand around I can feel the difference. I don’t know if it’s even related or acceptable…?

Check for missing hardware along the exhaust system or a loose heat shield that can flop around as you turn.Noise can be transmitted through the floorboard and you will feel it as a vibration inside the cabin.It usually starts like a tinny sound(buzzing)at certain speed.

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Great you pointed out! So I’ve checked alongside the wheel and saw that the fender liner was broken. It came out easily. I reinstalled the rear bumper so it wouldn’t flutter. Then I had a test drive. It’s now quieter, but the issue is still there.

I’m almost sure it’s a bad wheel bearing, here comes why:

  • checked for any visual defects
  • removed all tires, corrected any balance issues on a balancer
  • installed left wheels to right and vice versa

I still hear the noise, not noticeable enough, but there. My car is 2016 and roughly at 30k miles, isn’t it too early to have such an issue? Would hitting a pothole at 75mph be enough to ruin the bearing…? Big unfortunate.

Wheel bearings are cover by the Powertrain warranty, 6 years/70,000 miles (page 18 of the warranty/maintenance book).

A large pothole is likely but usually they go bad because of age,milage or someone hit a curb without telling you.If the wheel feel solid or there is no play when rocking it back and forth its very unlikely its a wheel bearing.In my experience,road salt is the #1 cause of bearing failure if you live in the snowbelt.What happens is that salty water will eventually get past the seal and start to corrode the bearing.

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