I think its a Wheel Bearing, how do I know? - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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#1 (permalink) Old 03-18-2012, 12:19 PM
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I think its a Wheel Bearing, how do I know?

I started noticing a rotational sound a month or so ago (whah whah whah whah). It sounds like its coming from the front driver wheel. It isnt always there, but its always there when I am turning right or going around a curve to the right, and the sound increases and decreases with speed. Its not super loud as I dont really notice it if the stereo is on or if I am talking to passengers. Sometimes I'll notice it when changing lanes to the right, so I will change back to the left lane and the sound will go away, only to return when I go back to the right. This makes me think its a driver side wheel bearing issue. Now, I am starting to notice it more and more while driving straight, which makes me think its getting worse.

Last summer I did my brakes and then got 4 new Michelin Tires (about 6,000 miles ago), so I dont think it has anything to do with brakes or tires. I recently rotated the tires and the noise is still coming from the same place. The noise doesnt change when braking.

My car is a 2006 RAV4 AWD V6 with 92,500 miles. Very little problems to date. I have owned 4 other Toyota/Lexus cars and my parents/siblings drive mostly Toyota and I have never seen a wheel bearing go out on a toyota so I want to make sure its a wheel bearing before I spend the $$$ to replace it. My dads 2003 Highlander is over 250,000 miles with the original wheels bearings, I had a 97 Lexus with almost 200k with original wheel bearings.

How can I be sure its a wheel bearing issue?
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#2 (permalink) Old 03-18-2012, 12:25 PM
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Btw...

I have done my resarch and I know that the bearing in this car is part of a whole wheel hub assembly and is rather simple to place. I plan to do it my self if it ends up needing it.

Toyota parts dept quoted me $311 for one wheel hub asmbly.

Auto Zone wants $235 for the Timken, and only $135 for the Duralast.

I would probably get the Timken, since I have heard bad things about cheap bearings not lasting very long.

Should I replace both fronts or just the one I think is going bad?
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#3 (permalink) Old 03-18-2012, 02:38 PM
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I would just replace the front left. It is normal for a front left wheel bearing to make less noise when turning left and more when turning right.

Check Rock Auto. More Information for TIMKEN HA590201 $155.79

2009 V6 4wd Base
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#4 (permalink) Old 03-18-2012, 03:13 PM
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Jack the front end off the ground. Both wheels in the air. Start with the driver side, grasp the left front wheel at 3 and 9 o'clock, and push/pull, do the same at 6 and 12, feeling for looseness, should be solid, now try to raise the wheel assembly up with a 5' pry bar, hang on to the top of the strut feeling for noise. Should be solid and quiet. Now slowly rotate both directions the wheel and feel and listen for a low pitch grumble, there should be zero noise emitted.

If on car inspection can not clear the air about a bearing suspect, disassemble, remove bearing and examine in hand after cleaning all grease, NO NOT SPIN A DRY BEARING, if it's gone you will notice looseness, noises or hang up positions as you slowly turn it. There are 2 bearings check each.

Now the other side, repeat.
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#5 (permalink) Old 03-18-2012, 03:54 PM
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Sounds like a wheel bearing. I would do the through check that ARK mentioned. I had to replace the left front bearing on my RAV. You don't have to replace any more bearings then need it. And it sounds like you will have an easier time replacing yours, if indeed the though check proves that the bearing is the problem.

Get it done soon! I procrastinated on doing mine, and it got really bad, and loud! Ended up having to get an extra part replaced because of waiting so long. Plus, it can seize up. Then you could have a REALLY BIG problem on your hands.

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#6 (permalink) Old 03-18-2012, 06:50 PM
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Sounds like wheel bearing. Our 2006 RAV 4' rear wheel bearing went bad with less than 36K miles.

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#7 (permalink) Old 03-18-2012, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erwin View Post
Sounds like wheel bearing. Our 2006 RAV 4' rear wheel bearing went bad with less than 36K miles.
Thanks for the responses. How many miles do you have on the new bearing? And what brand bearing was put in, do you remember?
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#8 (permalink) Old 03-18-2012, 11:29 PM
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This guy has a good write up on how to place a wheel bearing hub assembly:

Notes on front hub assembly replacement 4WD V6
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#9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erwin View Post
Sounds like wheel bearing. Our 2006 RAV 4' rear wheel bearing went bad with less than 36K miles.
Oh no
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#10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 01:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blu View Post
Thanks for the responses. How many miles do you have on the new bearing? And what brand bearing was put in, do you remember?
It was replaced under warranty with OEM parts. I was just surprised the bearings went bad so early. The RAV has around 68K miles now.

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