I have a '97 Ford Explorer that has a loud roar. The noise changes intensity when I turn from side to side but does not exist in park or neutral. Everything I have read about shocks talks about the bouncing…is it possible that I am past that stage and I now just have the roar?

Appreciate any ideas you guys have! Thanks!


I would not worry about shocks - but I would worry about wheel bearings, and I would worry about it sooner rather than later.

If you have a decent jack and stands, you can get a clue yourself. Jack up and support, then spin each wheel listening for excessive noise (unfortunately I can’t define excessive well - the wheel rides on bearings and the sound should be nice and smooth with no scraping or grinding or such). Also grab each wheel at about 3 & 9 o’clock and try to rock it back and forth - there should be little if any play.

If the wheels are noisy and have play in them you should replace the wheel bearings asap - actually, if the roar is that loud - immediately would be safer.

If you do this and the wheel bearings seem fine, then you likely need to go to all of the joints in your drive train (CV joints in the front and all other linkages between transmission & wheels).


I agree with AA that, while your shocks may indeed be bad, shocks DO NOT produce the symptoms that you described. As was said, this is likely to be either a wheel bearing problem or possibly a problem with the CV joints on your front axles. This is not something that can be deferred, as it is a potential safety defect.

Visualize driving at high speed, and having one wheel suddenly lock up and stop turning–that is exactly what a seized wheel bearing would cause. On an Explorer, this could very likely lead to a roll-over accident if it occurred at high speed, so I would urge you to have this taken care of a.s.a.p.