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Loud noise in front wheels

Hydundai Elantra 2000. I have a loud hollow-sounding noise coming from my front wheels. The higher I acelerate the louder it gets. The tires are less then 2 years old and the front brake pads, I replaced 3 years ago. I’m wondering if this noise is the result of worn wheel bearings.


I’m having trouble with imagining what a “hollow-sounding” noise is. Is it like a buzz, roar or drone? Or perhaps more like a thump or click? Does it change at all as you steer (e.g. reduce or increase if turning one way or another?)

The first things to look at would generally be abnormal tire wear and/or some other kind of tire issue (such as belt separation), or - yes - wheel bearings. But there are plenty of other things as well. Describe the sound better.

The tires are fine; I just had them checked and rotated this morning. As for the sound, it’s difficult to describe. However, a roar does come close. I hear it when accelerating above 35mph.

Does the pitch/volume of the noise change when the steering wheel is turned (i.e. changing lanes)? If the answer is yes, that is an indication of bad wheel bearings.

Ed B.

Noises from the front end are rarely a good thing. First step, I think, would be to swap the tires front to back. Check the door panel to make sure that “they” haven’t specified different front and rear pressures and adjust the pressures if necessary. If you are lucky, the noise will move to the back and you’ll know that the problem is a tire.

If not, take the thing to a mechanic and get him/her to check the struts, wheel bearings, ball joints, tie rod ends and anthing else that comes to mind. Or do it yourself if you have any idea what to do.