Noise in 2005 Camry - front left wheel

My 2005 Camry started to make a, for a better work, “grinding” noise that appears to come from the left front side. It seems to appear around 40mph. Other symptoms:

  • the noise is not present when the car is in park even when rev-ing up the engine
  • the noise appears to be correlated to the car/wheel speed
  • if placing the shift in neutral, the noise does not change while the speed doesn’t change
  • if starting in 2nd gear, the noise only appears around 40mph when the engine is about 4500rpm. Here it is a little hard to distinguish as the engine masks it
  • if switching the the 3rd gear, the noise does not change
  • if switching to “D”, the noise does not change
  • coasting at neutral at more than 40mph still gives out the noise
  • when going over higher spots in the road (when the load of the wheels is reduced) the noise intensity goes down

There is no (or very low) noise at low speeds. Also, no noise when taking sharp turns.

Had both front wheel bearings changed and the break pads, and the noise did not go away.

I will be taking the car to a transmission place soon, so any thoughts/advice will be appreciated.

You say you had the wheel bearings and the brake pads changed, why? To fix the problem? Or because they needed repair? Or because you took it to your mechanic and he/she said that what was needed to fix the noise? Or did YOU think changing those parts would fix the noise and just tell the mechanic to change the brake pads and wheel bearings?

My suggestion is to take the car to a mechanic with the description you have above, let them ask you questions and drive and inspect the car to determine the problem and the proper repair.

It sounds like a driveline noise, the brakes are the first place I’d look at both ends of the car, second, wheel bearings, both ends, third, CV joints and shafts and then transmission last. I’d guess CV joints on the left side but you didn’t say how many miles the car has on it.

I did not tell the mechanic what to do. The break pads needed replacement. The mechanic thought that the bearings were the most likely source - after driving the car. The CVs looked OK (car only has 70k) so he did not say anything about those. He was actually fair and only charged me for the bearings and not the labor associated with their replacement.

The noise appears to come from the front so I have not thought about the back side. I guess the noise can propagate through the metal.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Jack up each rear wheel and give it a spin. Listen, then grab the coil spring and see if you feel a rumble.

Insightful, do you mean the suspension coil?

Yes. You’re looking for a difference between the right and left side.

OK. Thank.