One of the most common concerns we’re asked to address here at CARspec is a growling, humming, or grinding noise that gets worse with speed.  The guest often notes that the noise changes going a particular direction.

The most common cause of this concern is a failing wheel bearing, although a proper diagnosis is required in every case.  Due to the high road salt use in the winter on MN roads, wheel bearings are often exposed to corrosive moisture that leads to wear of the wheel bearing’s internal race.  It looks like this when disassembled:

Wheel bearing wear

Wheel bearing wear

Minor pitting of a bearing’s race is repeatedly hammered out by the loaded ball bearings/tapered rollers (depending on application) that run upon it.  Eventually a tiny low or high spot in the bearing is worn into a large irregular surface like that above.

Neglecting a failing wheel bearing will result in either: A) the wheel bearing separating, allowing the wheel to come free of the vehicle or, B) the bearing seizing, causing the wheel to stop spinning.  Both cause a total loss of control of the vehicle and are extreme hazards.

As Minneapolis, Minnesota’s premier independent Toyota and Lexus specialist, CARspec can replace most failing Toyota and Lexus wheel bearings within a few hours.  If you have a humming, growling or grinding noise you’d like us to look at, give us a ring at (952)426-4798 today!