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Old 02-26-2014, 06:15 PM   #1
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Loud howling noise.

Hi, I'm new to the forum and signed up to get some help. I have an 03 GT that started making a very loud howling noise. It sounds like its coming from the left rear wheel. The noise is there when cruising on the freeway at about 65-70 mph. It completely stops when I hit the brake pedal even just enough to make the brake lights come on it stops. Also stops when going over bumps or when turning any degree(like switching lanes.) No sure what it could be. (hope its not the diff) Its like a sound you would hear if you blew over an empty jug. It does it no matter if I hit the gas or if the throttle is completely closed. Only in 5th gear as well. Also it happens sometimes when I am starting from a stop. It doesn't make the noise all the time but it has been happening more frequently (today it did it the whole ride home on the freeway). The car is nearly stock with a CAI, Cat back exhaust and a short shifter.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:02 AM   #2
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Mine was making a similar noise and it was the axle bearing was bad, along with the axle.
It may be a sticking caliper making the noise, so inspect everything carefully. You'll need to figure out what it is though because if it is the axle bearing you should get it fixed ASAP!
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Old 02-27-2014, 06:37 PM   #3
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If it was a sticking caliper wouldn't the car be sluggish like as if you were driving with the hand brake on? Also, the axle bearing, is that as simple as release the axle from the diff, replace the bearing, put it back in, and refill the diff with oil? Or would I have to dismantle the whole differential to get to it?


Also some observations I made today while driving home. It does it when the wind pushes the car and also if I have to turn the wheel, at all, to the left it does it.
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:10 PM   #4
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No. You don't need to dismantle the entire rearend to replace the axle bearing. It's just like you said.
Strange it only does it while turning though. Mine did it constantly, just different noise levels at different speeds.
I'm guessing the wind is coming from the left so you are correcting to the left.
If the caliper sticks you may not feel it. It may be sticking just enough to be making noise.

The trick to this is finding the source of the noise without replacing any unnecessary parts...
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:47 PM   #5
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What would cause the noise to stop completely with the brakes applied? I know it changes the load on the bearing but the noise stops even if I press the brake pedal just enough to make the brake lights come on with no braking or load change. Also the noise doesn't get louder the faster I go. Sometimes it happens when taking off from like a stop sign or something and its the same volume as it is on the freeway.

I've never done any differential work before so I'm wondering if I should leave this to the professionals. Or is it as easy as replacing a front wheel hub?

Thanks for the help btw.
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:57 PM   #6
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Potentially a warped break rotor. After driving see if the wheel is hotter than normal to the touch. Could possibly be the culprit.
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:52 PM   #7
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When you hear brakes squeaking, it's vibration causing the noise. The pads could be touching the rotors just enough to cause a noise.
These things can be difficult to diagnose, at times.
To do the axle bearing, I would get a repair manual. You need a "moderate" skill level.

It may help to diagnose this problem if you put the rearend, SECURELY, on jack stands and, SECURELY, block the front wheels, then fire it up and run it up to the speed where you're hearing the noise so that you can listen for where the noise is coming from. It helps to have a friend sit in the car and hold the speed while you listen.
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Old 02-28-2014, 03:22 PM   #8
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I think it might be the brakes. When I got home today I felt the rear wheels and the left (where the noise is coming from) was very hot to the touch whereas the right wheel was cool. Now to find out if its the rotor or the caliper. I'm thinking the caliper because when I got the car I put new rotors all around. I inspected the rotors before I put them on and didn't see anything out of the ordinary.
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Old 02-28-2014, 03:35 PM   #9
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If it is a bearing it would be best to get a bearing kit for the whole axle. Rather than doing it piece mail.
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Old 02-28-2014, 03:39 PM   #10
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Make sure all of the mounting hardware is clean and greased and slides real easy. Both sides! Might even have a look at the front while you're at it.

Hopefully this solves your problem.
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Old 02-28-2014, 03:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfore33 View Post
If it is a bearing it would be best to get a bearing kit for the whole axle. Rather than doing it piece mail.
Ideally. That's what I did. Full on 31 spline upgrade.
But, if on a budget, there's nothing wrong with pulling the axle out and replacing what's broken to get back on the road again.
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