Rhythmic whirring sound diagnosis

I’ve got a 2001 Ford Taurus. It has started making a rhythmic beating/whirring sound from the front left wheel.

The brakes looked terrible, so I changed the pads and rotors. That didn’t make any difference. I messed around with the air pressure and rotating the tires. That didn’t help.

If I raise the car and grab the top and bottom of the wheel, there is no play at all. If I grab the front and back of the wheel, it seems like there might be a tiny bit of play, but it’s tough to tell where it might be coming from.

I’m thinking it might be a bearing or CV joint, but do you have any tips on how I could make a definitive diagnosis?

Lift the front of the vehicle and listen with a stethoscope as close as possible to the wheel bearing with the car in gear and the wheels turning. Compare both sides and if your LF wheel bearing is bad you’ll hear it. CVs don’t make whirring noises.

Thanks! I’ve been looking for an excuse to get a stethoscope. :slight_smile:

Also, I forgot to mention it is worse when I turn to the right and it kind of goes away when I turn to the left. I dunno.

I’d bet my right leg it’s a wheel bearing.

Well, I did the stethoscope trick and I think you’re right. You get to keep your leg. So now I got the new bearing on there. But I am stuck right now. I can’t figure out how to get the lower control arm back on the ball joint stud. It just doesn’t go down far enough! I put a wrecking bar on it. I put a big pipe on it. I put a come-along on it. I put a spring compressor on the spring. I tried putting a jack under the hub to lift it up. I have nothing to show for it but a bunch of broken tools and bloody knuckles. What’s the trick?

Hmmm…there isn’t really any trick. Without seeing it I don’t think I can help much. Sorry. Putting a jack under the hub and prying down on the arm should do the trick. Careful not to knock the car off the jack stand…

I got it. Had to loosen the pinch bolt and slide the whole knuckle up while simultaneously using parts from 3 different spring compressors, bending the control arm down with a wrecking bar, and lining everything up with my left knee. =D My car is back on the road! Thanks for all the help.