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Wuh-wuh-wuh groaning rubbing noise in the front right wheel area

Hello all,
So I just had my tires rotated, wheels aligned and new wheel bearing installed and I am STILL experiencing an intermittent wuh-wuh-wuh rubbing groaning sound from the passenger front wheel area. The noise usually starts as soon as the car starts rolling and smooths out by the time I hit about 35. Could it be the Cv? It doesn’t change in frequency or intensity when the brakes are applied. Les Schwab said there were no clearance issues that they could see.
Edit: The cv and the bearing has been replaced. It’s not the tires. Apparently the brakes have some sorta high spot on them. Perhaps the caliper is also seizing. Brake job coming soon.

Any difference turning left/right/straight? So it always comes from the right front position, even after you swapped that tire to another location? It sort of sounds like you still have a wheel bearing problem. CV noises are usually more of a clicking sound at low speed that is much worse when turning. Sometimes inner CV’s can make weird noises, so that remains a possibility I guess. Inner CV problems are more rare than out CV problems though. What’s the model year & mileage? Same wheels and tire sizes as from the factory?

Yes there does seem to be difference when taking left and right corners but it’s hard to make the sound go away entirely by turning left it just quiets down. Would replacing the Cv axle work or is the inner Cv a separate part?

2003 137100k

The axle (technically called a “half shaft”) contains both an inner and outer CV joint. Is the sound louder turning one way than the other? If so, that’s an important clue.

If this is of any help, I had a similar problem on my Corolla and it was caused by a tread wear problem on a tire.

Edit: Could be an inner CV I suppose, at that mileage. Still sounds more like a wheel bearing to me.

So, I have no idea what sort of tires were originally on the car. It currently has Toyo Synapse tires on it that are pretty worn but evenly so (I’d put them at 15-20% life). The sound started becoming noticeable after a 200 mile, rather mountainous trip.

This does sound like a CV joint. To further narrow this down, swap the tires front to rear and see if the sound moves. If it does, there something going on with the tires - likely irregular wear.

But I think it much more likely that swapping tires will do nothing - which adds to the CV joint hypothesis.

First thing that was done was tire rotation and as I said a new wheel bearing was installed.

A visual inspection of the inner CV joint boot makes sense. Easy enough to do. If it has torn or split , at the minimum the boot has to be replaced, which requires removal of the half shaft.

Is it possible for it to be worn out with out boot damage?

Yes,it could have some play in it. Post a sound clip because we are just guessing here or see another mechanic

Yes, but unlikely unless there’s a lot of miles on this vehicle. What is the model year and mileage?

So the bearing and Cv was replaced also but the sound continues. Could the knuckle be responsible?
The previous owner hit a curb. 2003 137k.

Also I started driving this morning and the sound only started after I took off after the car came to one (almost) complete stop.

You said that your are STILL experiencing this problem. Does that mean you had all this work done because of this noise or were there other reasons for doing this?

I could imagine you have a warped rotor that makes contact with the brake pads or a lazy caliper that does not retract after you apply the brakes.

Well, hmmm… with all the wheel bearing and both inner and outer cv joints you’ve replaced, and also eliminating the tires as a possibility by rotating, you got yourself a bit of a mystery groaning noise there OP. It could be the hub isn’t aligned with the rest of the car, and that is stressing the bearing. But that would show up w/a wheel alignment test, plus you’d be seeing weird wearing patterns on the tire tread. Have you had the front alignment checked? Noticed any weird tread wear problem? Like the tread is being scraped, or rubbed with sandpaper?

If nothing there, then

  • the tire is rubbing on the plastic wheel well inserts, or
  • the wheel is rubbing on the brake caliper, or
  • the brake disc is rubbing on something, possibly the brake pads

One idea, squirt the brake disc w/water, see if that makes the noise temporarily diminish. Could provide a clue. Also ask the shop to check both the disk & wheel run-out with a dial indicator. The disc and wheel are supposed rotate in their own parallel planes without wobbling, and a run-out measurements tests for that. .

I’m starting to suspect the brakes. Last night I was coming home and I listened for the noise as I was coasting off an on-ramp. I dropped below 25, 20, 15 and didn’t really hear it. I rolled through that stop (no brakes at all (sorry!)) and made a point to fully stop at the next intersection. The noise was then very obvious. The front disks definitely look pretty worn and slightly notched. I also used an IR thermo. on the front disks and there wasn’t a significant difference but the passenger disk was slightly warmer none the less. I’ll squirt the disk next time I get a chance.

That was after about 11 miles of steady 55 mph by the way.

Yes, I was trouble shooting and chose those repairs based on known Subaru weak point, bearings in particular.

I replace the pads and rotors and the noise is gone. Now to replace my squeaky struts.