Unable to Diagnose Noise After 5 months. Desperate

I sometimes want to listen for any chirping noises coming from the truck’s driveshaft, in order to know if there are any problematic u-joints afoot. The best method I’ve discovered is to drive next to and parallel with a big bus. Any driveshaft sound reflects off the side of the bus back to me, easy to hear. The next best alternative is to drive close to a long line of those 3 foot tall cement lane dividers they use for road construction.

If OP cannot find a way to make a conclusive diagnosis, shop has tried chassis-ears etc, the best option is probably to just replace the suspect wheel bearings on a flyer. Suggest to replace both side’s wheel bearings, rather than just one. If that doesn’t solve the noise, at least you will have new wheel bearings.

Since you are 100% certain that the noise is coming from that particular wheel on the rear and the tire is not the problem then it is the hub bearing…
As long as nothing is loose and flopping in the wind, there is nothing else that will make a howling noise that changes with speed on the rear…

Makes sure your inner fender well is not loose and the tire is rubbing it at speed due to the wind moving it around… Look closely for rub marks…

If you are really bored then swap rear hub bearings side to side, if the noise moves then you found the problem…

I agree with db4690 that asemaster has the best idea…

If nothing above finds the problem then it may be time to call a Priest… lol


What about the ring and pinion?

The ring and pinion is at the front of the car in the transaxle.

So, update- The never ending saga continues another day…

Brought it to a mechanic a friend recommended. Super nice guy. Seemed knowledgeable. Got right in the car for a test drive. He heard the noise in the back. He said the noise wasn’t that of a bearing and he knew the tire was new so that wasn’t the issue either. He said the noise, this “woo woo woo” noise at higher speeds is more of a “normal road noise” from a car like this, a Honda Civic. I sat stonefaced and stunned. I said dude I’ve been driving this car since 2017 and this was never here until 5 months ago, and this noise is NOT normal and that it’s driving me insane.

We left it at that and he was too busy to lift the car to do any visual assessment. It’s at a point now where I’m losing my mind. Yes it is definitely a “road noise” but this is a noise that is far from normal. Was shocked he even said that.

Tires WILL make or break a car, OEM tires are normally very quite and ride smooth, they do that hoping you will buy the vehicle… lol
If you have not been keep up with the tire rotations and wheel alignments (at least checking to make sure in spec) and then you buy a cheap tire, it could be even your new tire making noise…

So what brand and model tire did you buy???
AGAIN, have you rotated the tires either front to rear or side to side to see if the noise follows???


Good Year Assurance all season. They’ve been solid tires for me for years.

There is no reason to move the tires to the front because as I wrote, the tire/wheel in question (left rear) was recently replaced, brand spanking new, and the noise remained back there.

The right rear tire is also relatively new. Maybe a year old. I thought hey, maybe just maybe it’s been bc of slightly uneven tread in the back tires since the right rear is older, but to make a noise this bad (at high speeds) there’s just no way, imo.

It’s possible that the right rear tire is defective in some way and is throwing everything off, causing the left rear tire to appear more noisy. I would move the right rear to the front and see if the noise moves up there. If so then that’s the problem

I’ll admit that years ago I replaced a rear wheel bearing due to howling noises while driving. That didn’t fix it.

The noise was coming from the tires. The tires had more than 50% of the treadwear left on them and looked fine.
I learned my lesson.

Have you had the rear tire alignment checked?

What kind of shop is this that made you an appointment for your noise and then sent you away? That’s like making an appointment with the dentist for an aching tooth and then the dentist saying “sorry, I don’t have time to do an x-ray and exam today.” Listening and looking isn’t going to get you anywhere. You know there’s a noise and you know it’s not normal, and the next step is installing some test equipment and driving the car to determine the source of the noise. I’d expect the charge for this to be between $150 and $200 depending where you are located.

I had a wheel alignment done on the car a couple of months ago. I’m assuming that goes for both ends, no?

Man, I had the exact same experience with an '03 Camry. Turned out the tread had heal/toe wear pattern on the rear tires causing the howling.

Like I said somewhere else, if it drives you nuts, at some point you just replace parts. What does a new hub and bearing cost, $150? Another $150 for a four wheel alignment, but Acura has a 50% off special. If that doesn’t do it, not much else except alignment could be off on that wheel.

I had some road noise on my olds. I ended up just replacing both front hubs and bearings and that did it. Had bad noise on another car and tire wear. Had to put a shim kit in the rear to fix alignment on a car with 20,000 miles. My wagon had rear end noise. I told the mechanic it was the left but he replaced the right bearing and axle. He was right. I can go on and on with different opinions from different mechanics. Some were right and some were wrong. You just have to decide to take the bull by the horns and start eliminating the possibilities. The time for more opinions is over. Imho.

Even without unusual wear patterns tires get a lot louder as they wear.

sometimes only if you asked for a 4 wheel alignment.

I echo getting the 4 wheel alignment checked, and also echo rotating all 4 tires. It may not help, but it will rule things out. This is part of diagnosing: ruling things out, even if they don’t make sense.

@Mac0908 for the mechanic you visited to turn you away screams to me that you were seeking a free diagnosis. Is this accurate? You said you don’t trust mechanics (I trust these people as far as I can throw them,) so are you being stingy with your money in seeking help? A good diagnoses will cost you money as the mechanics time, knowledge, and experience is worth it.
If i’m reading into this wrong, I apologize.

Do shops have gadgets that will spin a free-wheeling tire (like a rear tire on a Civic) really fast while car is on the lift? I’m imagining an electric motor spins a rubber wheel , and you place that wheel against the car’s tire to get it spinning at the equivalent of 60 mph?

@George_San_Jose1 What are you getting at?

It seems to me that @asemaster still had the best idea with the chassis ears and it seems that NONE of the shops that op has taken the car to have and/or know how to use it

What you are proposing doesn’t make sense to me, George, for 2 reasons

First of all, spinning the tire at 60mph in the air unloaded and presumably having someone get very close to listen for noise seems a little dangerous

Second of all, as I already mentioned, spinning the tire in an unloaded state is most likely not duplicating the conditions when the noise normally occurs

The chassis ears is perfect because you hook the leads up, switch channels as needed and determine exactly where the noise is coming from . . . and all the components are in their normal loaded state


Yes, shops (or at least the one I managed for 6 years) have exactly that type of device. But it’s not useful here because the weight of the car needs to be on the wheels.

The simple and obvious answer keeps getting ignored here…a shop with chassis ears.


The misdiagnosis I mentioned above is what precipitated me buying my chassis ears. They’ve paid for themselves many times over…

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