Loud whine/grind from front right wheel

2000 Chevy Blazer 4x4 automatic with 158K

Had both front hub assemblies replaced about 3-4K miles ago.

About 200 miles ago had new rotors/pads installed on all four wheels.

Christmas Eve I left for my 1000-mi round trip drive to see family… 75-mi into the trip I start hearing a subtle noise, sounds like something is stuck in the tread of the tire–a rhythmic “vrrrrrrrrrrrr” noise, sounded like a failed bearing. Within 30 seconds it went from “do you hear that noise” level to “holy crap we’re gonna die when the wheel falls off!” at this point it was more like rocks in a jet engine…

The rhythm of the noise slowed with the speed of the car, but didn’t change as I hit the brakes

I pulled off the highway, and as I was slowing I hit about 3-5MPH and I heard “clunk” and the noise stopped.

I was already late, and would be dead meat if I missed Christmas Eve… so I called a couple of rental places and ended up getting a compact car from a place 2 miles away. The Blazer drove fine and made no noise the ride there…

The night before I left for the trip I engaged the 4HI for about about 5 seconds to back into my drive way, it worked perfectly normal, and didn’t make any noise for the first 50-70mi of the trip.

I’m going back tomorrow, it’s parked at the rental lot… I’m hoping I can make the trip home uneventfully, then to a mechanic later…

What could be wrong?

I saw this online as an answer to loud noise from the front wheel:

“The part that caused this is the transfer case switch. It didn’t engage the front front haftshaft all the way and caused the shift sleeve and gear to get damaged. To repair this you need a …New transfer case switch, new shift sleeve and the gear that the sleeve moves onto. This is a common thing on these trucks, I would think that the warranty policy you have would cover this repair.”

Does the noise change as you are going down the road and veer strongly left or right? If so wheel bearing. There are different quality bearings available, go for the best!

Hi–both wheel hubs (which include bearings) have been replaced within the past 3-4K miles.

The noise was extremely loud, then none at all after stop and re-start… so I don’t think it’s the wheel bearing.

In 2wd the front transfer case is totally disengaged. If it makes the noise in 2wd it is not 4wd related. Check the lights and make sure trans has disengaged.

Hi–Def was in 2HI, the 2HI light was on steady when the noise was occurring

I thought it was maybe driving strangely (like when 4HI is on), but to be honest, I was just interested in safely navigating from 70MPH middle lane to side of the road.

The noise stopped completely when I stopped… almost like something “fell”, there was just a moment where it went silent. I looked around the road around me because where the noise stopped and the vehicle stopped was only about 10-20’… nothing on the ground…

It drove fine 2-3 mi to the rental place.

I was thinking maybe the mechanic messed up doing my brakes (which was last Wednesday) … I only put about 100-200mi or so on the car since then.

Aside from a missing bolt, or very loose bolt, what else might have been done incorrectly in a brake job that would cause this, but not seem to affect braking?

A sticking caliper might be an option.

It could have also been a foreign object that got caught in the tire or rim. I know it may be hard to imagine, but I’ve had a few odd items that got caught up in there that caused all kinds of strange racket.

On the safe side, however, get the front suspension and axle checked out to make sure nothing is broken.

I’m thinking this is possible, but noise went from quiet to loud over 10-20 seconds… the fact that it disappeared completely does make me think it was something that dislodged itself as I slowed down.

I plan to bring the car in ASAP to be re-checked, I’ll try to update the thread, though I suspect the mechanic will find nothing wrong…