Gymfocused

Droning noise

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Hi guys, i've noticed a new noise recently while driving along. It sounds like a droning noise. The exhaust doesn't seem overly loud at idle so i don't think its a blowing exhaust. Any help is much appreciated.

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Can you be any more specific about the area of the noise?  Front or back?  One specific corner?  Does it change with road speed or engine speed?

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7 hours ago, TomsFocus said:

Can you be any more specific about the area of the noise?  Front or back?  One specific corner?  Does it change with road speed or engine speed?

It sounds like near the front of the car. It does get a bit noisier at higher speeds, say 60mph but it doesn't get any louder than that again, not that i go above 75-80mph. 

Bearings maybe?

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1 hour ago, Gymfocused said:

It sounds like near the front of the car. It does get a bit noisier at higher speeds, say 60mph but it doesn't get any louder than that again, not that i go above 75-80mph. 

Bearings maybe?

I'd guess it's the wheel bearings

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Sounds like wheel bearings to me. I had the same thing many years ago on a Renault 18. The faster you go the louder it is.

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Check the front tyres for uneven wear & feathering.  Maybe even swap them front to rear to see if the noise moves.  If the noise stays in the same place, wheel bearings are the next most likely culprit.

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Mines developed a droning noise now, no play in the bearings as I can see, no vibration felt when spinning wheel and holding spring. Seems to be getting worse. Could it still be bearings maybe drying out through lack of grease or something. Tyres seem ok, annoying. 

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44 minutes ago, mozz said:

Mines developed a droning noise now, no play in the bearings as I can see, no vibration felt when spinning wheel and holding spring.

This type of bearing tends to make this noise with no other symptoms like play or free movement at all. On my car it was totally inaudible with the wheel off the ground. By testing the removed bearing on a lathe, I could just detect slight vibration when it was tilted as hard as I could by hand, in a certain direction while spinning. Almost certainly there was slight pitting just to one side of one of the raceways. Maybe corrosion, maybe fatigue, probably a bit of both. It had done, I suspect, over 160k miles. The second front bearing went a year later.

You need to eliminate other causes, like odd tyre wear patterns, driveshafts, gearbox / diff, as much as possible. Then keep using the car until you can detect it getting louder on either left or right bends. An experienced mechanic may test it by "weaving", driving a snakey line within your lane at a constant speed about 50mph, but it needs to be done with caution!

Usually, but not 100% always, the failure is on the side which is on the outside of the bend when louder. IE more heavily loaded.

The noise is annoying but not dangerous in itself. It is a warning that the bearing is on the way out, but until there is some vibration or movement, it is extremely unlikely to suddenly fail. It took 4 months or more (say 2000 miles) from me first noticing the drone to being able to detect which wheel it was, and get it changed. About £220 per wheel, it cost me. Ouch!

 

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Often if you jack up the car and rest one hand on the coil spring whilst spinning the wheel with the other hand you can feel a slight vibration in the spring. 

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20 hours ago, Tdci-Peter said:

This type of bearing tends to make this noise with no other symptoms like play or free movement at all. On my car it was totally inaudible with the wheel off the ground. By testing the removed bearing on a lathe, I could just detect slight vibration when it was tilted as hard as I could by hand, in a certain direction while spinning. Almost certainly there was slight pitting just to one side of one of the raceways. Maybe corrosion, maybe fatigue, probably a bit of both. It had done, I suspect, over 160k miles. The second front bearing went a year later.

You need to eliminate other causes, like odd tyre wear patterns, driveshafts, gearbox / diff, as much as possible. Then keep using the car until you can detect it getting louder on either left or right bends. An experienced mechanic may test it by "weaving", driving a snakey line within your lane at a constant speed about 50mph, but it needs to be done with caution!

Usually, but not 100% always, the failure is on the side which is on the outside of the bend when louder. IE more heavily loaded.

The noise is annoying but not dangerous in itself. It is a warning that the bearing is on the way out, but until there is some vibration or movement, it is extremely unlikely to suddenly fail. It took 4 months or more (say 2000 miles) from me first noticing the drone to being able to detect which wheel it was, and get it changed. About £220 per wheel, it cost me. Ouch!

 

Christ, I only paid £100 to fix my nsf. 

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7 minutes ago, Gymfocused said:

Christ, I only paid £100 to fix my nsf. 

I hope with it being a gen2 type bearing you fitted it correctly then lol.

first one I done cost nearly £400 by the time I bought the kit lol

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It is a tough decision to make on how much is a sensible price for this job. If it was easy to replace, you can get cheap bearing / hub units off Ebay for under £30. Might be worth the risk of early failure then.

But it is not an easy job. Balljoint nut will be very tight, maybe rusted on, & maybe the balljoint taper rusted in, The driveshaft bolt is very tight and easy to wreck the hex head. Then the driveshafts were both well and truly rusted into the hubs on mine. It took the garage a lot of hard graft to get it all apart. The pressing out & in of the bearing from the knuckle may be quite easy if you have all the right kit. But that is expensive like Stefan says. A good press and the jigs to apply all the press force to the outer sleeve only.

The cost of this labour then means that a known good bearing unit is needed. I had mid price units at about £80 each (plus VAT!) fitted as the garage owner knew they were good. He would not have given any warranty on a cheap one. Hence the end price of £220.

I would have preferred to do it myself, but the kit & potential for seized or damaged parts made it impractical for me. And it was Winter on both occasions, so would not be any fun at all!

 

 

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I’ve yet to come across a problematic ball joint nut on a focus and I’ve done a number of bearings and dozens of wishbones but it’s nothing my trusty cutting torch won’t sort out lol.

i do agree with Peter in the sense that a good bearing and tooling up to do the job as diy is probably out of the equation. 

Anyone who’s fitting this type of bearing without the proper kit is worth walking past. 

I fitted one of these not so long ago for a good friend from the forum for £105 using a top branded part and the correct installation kit. 

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i once had a droning noise in my car too.

it went away when i told her to get out and catch a bus......  boom boom tsk .

 

i'll get my coat 😉

merry xmas

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49 minutes ago, TimST2 said:

A droning noise? It wasn't Gatwick was it? 😄

LOL I was going to add something like that 🤣🤣

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I did a front wheel bearing a while back.

Removal of the bearing assembly and especially pressing back in is tricky. Problem is getting the press load on the OUTER race as Peter says.

My mate, who has a hand operated classic fly press, cut up an old Jaguar brake disc and we both wrestled with the press to get enough load to finish the job.

It worked OK and lasted well when fitted back on.

ScaniaPBman.

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@Tdci-Peter i went on a mini weaving test drive this morning,  (missus thought I was drunk) anyway the noise was definitely more prolific on left hand weaves,  i presume this suggests the offside bearing is shot, i'll get my mechanic to change both sides anyway, as I can't imagine the nearside one has much life left in it. Thanks for your help. 

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On 12/29/2018 at 12:07 PM, mozz said:

the noise was definitely more prolific on left hand weaves,  i presume this suggests the offside bearing is shot, i'll get my mechanic to change both sides anyway,

Like I said, there is no guarantee, if the pitting is the other side of the race, it could drone the other way from the usual. So doing both sides gives a safety margin.

If both bearings are original, from the same batch with the same usage, then the consistency of these mass manufactured parts means that the failures will be quite close together. I have had this with lightbulbs, and with my own front bearings.

The weave test should rule out driveshafts and gearbox etc, as the slight steering changes needed have minimal effect on these.

As everyone above has said, make sure your mechanic knows how to change this particular (gen 2) type of bearing. Also to be aware that if the car has ABS, it is easy to damage the ABS sensors or tone rings if care is not taken.

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Wish i'd checked the service history more thoroughly, turns out the nearside bearing was replaced about 12 months before i bought the car. I instructed my mechanic to replace both sides, anyway he's done a cracking job and the jobs a gud un, cheers all.

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