Wheel click at high speed

I have an '02 Camry with 82,000 miles. I recently noticed a clicking from the front left wheel starting at 68-70 mph. The click varies in frequency with slight bumps in the road. It seems to stop if I touch the brakes, and it might get less if the road turns enough to increase the G force (not too many times on highway going this speed on a curvy road, so I’m not sure.) It never happens under 65 mph. We recently had local flooding and I drove through about 8 inches of water. The noise was a few days later in dry weather at 80 degrees. It did not occur when the car was starting off cool, but not until I was driving for about 5-10 minutes. The tire and wheel look OK, but it has not been on a lift nor have I been to a mechanic yet. I don’t want to get talked into expensive repairs that I don’t need, but I don’t want to put off something now that is dangerous or will turn into a bigger expense later.

I would say it is either your bearing or your cv joint. Look under the car at your cv joint rubber boot cover for tears in it. Also, you might jack it up and try moving the tire back and forth and up and down. If there is movement, it is probably your bearings need repacking. If you find nothing, your next move is to take it to a shop and have your front end checked.

These are sealed bearings. There isn’t a repair procedure for them, only a replace procedure. Try jacking it up (just enough to get the wheel off the ground), and turn it slowly by hand. It should turn nice and smoothly (don’t forget you’re also turning against the brakes rubbing, and portions of the transmission). If there are any grindign nosies or spots where it seems to “bump” over something, then it’s proably bad.

Sounds like a wheel bearing, and it will gradually get worse over time. If you have space, you can rock the steering wheel back and forth while moving (swerve left/right) and listen for it. It should get louder and softer as you change the amount of force on it.