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Discussion Starter #1
2011 Base, FWD, V6, 200k miles, Blue

I think I have a front hub bearing failing, but I am not sure what it sounds like. Before I order new hubs (rather expensive little buggers) I wanted to get some help. I am hearing a droning sound from the front left. It's most noticeable between 60 and 20 mph as I am decelerating.

I am going to get tires rotated tomorrow to make sure the noise does not move, but I don't think it will. These tires have been on the car and stayed quiet for several months now. The previous set never made a sound.

Has anyone ordered from 1A Auto parts? (1AAUTO.COM). They are listing a pair of Timken replacements for $381. They also have a pretty good video of how to replace the hubs.

Thanks!
Jeff
 

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A bad hub seems to sound like a roar or in my cause a little like exhaust sound. It also can get better as you turn the steering wheel. I have ordered bearings from a few different places like Amazon and RockAuto. I think I even got one from Ebay. I have installed two Timken ones and quality seems fine. Have you looked for OEMs online?
If you are going to do the work yourself you could jack the front end up and push back the brake pads or remove them and rotate the wheel and listen for a roughness sound.

RockAUto link 2011 TOYOTA RAV4 2.5L L4 Wheel Bearing & Hub Assembly | RockAuto
 

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The front wheels can only be checked with the car on a lift with the engine running and the wheel spinning. This way you can carefully listen on each side where the noise is coming from. You should really get a garage to check it and you don't need to buy 2 wheel hubs. This video tells you how a bad wheel bearing sound like.

Another possible cause since you have a V6 is that you may have the transmission whine. There is a whine that is heard up to around 40 mph and after that the car is too noisy to be heard. One way to tell if you have the transmission whine is that as soon as you release the gas pedal the whine stops. The transmission whine will not cause failure.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
The front wheels can only be checked with the car on a lift with the engine running and the wheel spinning. This way you can carefully listen on each side where the noise is coming from. You should really get a garage to check it and you don't need to buy 2 wheel hubs. This video tells you how a bad wheel bearing sound like.

Another possible cause since you have a V6 is that you may have the transmission whine. There is a whine that is heard up to around 40 mph and after that the car is too noisy to be heard. One way to tell if you have the transmission whine is that as soon as you release the gas pedal the whine stops. The transmission whine will not cause failure.
If transmission whine goes away when I let off of the accelerator, then that is not my problem. I first noticed the problem when I had let off of the gas and was decelerating. Now that I have noticed it, I can hear the whine at steady speed as well.

I watched the video you linked, and that is pretty much the sound I am getting, including the change when turning. The sound tends to disappear at high speed, but it may just be covered up by wind noise, etc.

Jeff
 

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If transmission whine goes away when I let off of the accelerator, then that is not my problem. I first noticed the problem when I had let off of the gas and was decelerating. Now that I have noticed it, I can hear the whine at steady speed as well. I have not noticed the noise getting any more pronounced as I turn, though.

Jeff
A wheel bearing noise does not go away at any speed so it sounds like you may have the problem. Then there is the problem of which wheel is the problem. You don't need to replace both wheels since only one will fail at a time.

Timken use to be a good brand but one member did not have luck with it recently. You see Timken before used Koyo bearings but they appear to be switching to a cheaper bearing. Some old pictures maybe still showing the Koyo on the bearing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone for the advice on the front hubs. I got the front hubs changed out last week, and all is now quiet on the front end.

I found a great video here showing how it is done. I'm not going to post any pictures of my own as the video does a really good job of showing just how to do this. Video Linky

A couple things I did differently from the video. Since I do not have air tools, I used a 24 inch breaker bar on the axle nut and an 18" breaker bar on the hub nuts. The 18" breaker bar was long enough to keep the hub from turning while removing the axle nut.

I just don't like hammering on the car so I chose to use a hub puller to get the hub off of the spline. The passenger side hub took quite bit of torque on the puller to move the spline, but drivers side slid off very easily with hand pressure. It appears the hub seals had failed on the drivers side, and the grease lubed the splines for me.

I did use the hammer to remove the hub from the carrier. Didn't really see any other way.

Tools needed
Jack, Jack Stands, Lug Wrench
Penetrating oil spray
- give the hub assembly a few nice squirts in all the right places
14 mm socket - Brake Caliper
17 mm socket - Brake Caliper Bracket and hub bolts
Wire Coat hanger, bent, spindled, folded, and mutilated - hang caliper from strut spring
10 mm socket and extension - ABS sensor
2 ft, socket handle, 1/2 inch drive
1-1/2 ft socket handle, 1/2 in drive
12” ratchet, 1/2 drive
30mm 12 pt axle socket
- kind of necessary to remove the axle nut
Hub puller - Like I said, I prefer not to hammer on my car. It worked very well for me.
5/8 socket - my hub puller required this to turn the center bolt.
Torque Wrench - proper re-assembly requires proper torque on the botls!
Grease - I put a little Mobile 1 synthetic grease on the splines before mounting the new hubs. I really don’t think I will be replacing these unites again, I just didn’t like assembling them dry.
Blue Loctite - You know, the stuff in the red tube...
Center punch - used to unstake the axle nut from the axle.
Hammer - needed to drive the center punch, and (alas) remove the hub assembly from its recess.

Regards,
Jeff
 

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2011 Base, FWD, V6, 200k miles, Blue

I think I have a front hub bearing failing, but I am not sure what it sounds like. Before I order new hubs (rather expensive little buggers) I wanted to get some help. I am hearing a droning sound from the front left. It's most noticeable between 60 and 20 mph as I am decelerating.

I am going to get tires rotated tomorrow to make sure the noise does not move, but I don't think it will. These tires have been on the car and stayed quiet for several months now. The previous set never made a sound.

Has anyone ordered from 1A Auto parts? (1AAUTO.COM). They are listing a pair of Timken replacements for $381. They also have a pretty good video of how to replace the hubs.

Thanks!
Jeff
That is exactly what mine sounded like when I replaced them. If you are doing the work yourself, there is a special hub nut socket (12point). Amazon for $18 or borrow one. Was not too bad to do. About 2 hours for both. My hubs were $135 each from a local auto parts store. I am sure you can get them cheaper from places like Rock Auto. Make sure you get the ones with sensors if you have ABS.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The first hub was a bit of a learning curve, but lessons learned made the second hub a breeze. Got the parts from Rock Auto. The way the parts are organized on the site makes it very easy fo find what you are looking for and compare them.
 

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I don't replace wheel bearings until I can feel play. Jack the car up wheel off the ground. Grab at 12 and 6. Rock. feel for knocks.

Bad wheel bearings sound like poorly worn tires. Rotating tires doesn't get rid of the sound.
 
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