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Bad Noise from Tire

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:27 pm
by Marcal
Last month I took my wif'es 2004 Focus ZX5 to the shop for a wheel noise; I thought a bearing was going bad. Turns out the bearings are all fine, but the noise is still there. It's coming from the left rear wheel, and I have noticed it only since I put new tires on it back in January.

I took the car to the tire shop before going to the mechanic and they told me there was nothing wrong with the tires.

Someone's wrong, and I don't think it's my mechanic. We take the Focus to him for everything and he is always honest with us.

What should I do here? There's a distracting noise coming from the tire, which is not going away.

Oh, my mechanic also told me the left rear wheel is bent, but if it is, I can barely tell. Does anyone here recommend a salvage yard in the Seattle area? I'd like to pick up a new wheel.

Re: Bad Noise from Tire

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:20 pm
by ptschett
A silly question: if the wheel is put on a different corner of the car, does the noise move to that corner?

Re: Bad Noise from Tire

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:08 pm
by Marcal
Not a silly question - haven't even tried that. I will do that tomorow.

Re: Bad Noise from Tire

PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:23 am
by failboat
My wifes previous 2003 ZX5 had some horrible noise/vibration coming from the rear too, she was not good about tire rotations so the tires were cupping real badly. Her dealerships solution right before the warranty ended on the car? "This is your problem right here, you need new tires!"

Needless to say, it didnt fix the problem. Rode smooth for a while until they started cupping badly again. This was both rear tires btw..

I should point out this was apparently going on before I met her, I had little time in the car myself and only casually looked it over from time to time. I did a little googling, did find that there may have been a TSB regarding alignment settings that caused the tires to wear so badly. I dont remember the details but it may have required revised rear control arms.

We had her ASE certified brother go over the car, he played with the alignment settings but could not make it go away, At this point the "new" tires were already cupped, her brother suggested maybe it needs new rear shocks and a pair of tires. This was at around 130k miles and the suspension was original.

I did get around to ordering some KYB GR2 rear shocks from Rockauto, but before I ever got to install them, we ended up trading the focus and my grand marquis on a 2012 Focus.

But I still have those shocks new in the box if you think you need them......

Re: Bad Noise from Tire

PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:43 am
by Marcal
Thanks for the information. I appreciate it.

I can't see any unusual wear on any of the tires right now. They've been on the car well over two months at this point, and it gets driven at least 50 miles every day. I'm positive it's tire related, but there's nothing obvious when you look at it. I'm still not sure abou the wheel being bent, either, but I'm looking for a wheel if anyone knows where I can find one.

It's been a good car for us, and it's had very few mechanical issues (blew a water pump last week, but that was my fault for ignoring the seeping around it). If I end up needing those shocks I'll let you know for sure.

Re: Bad Noise from Tire

PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:39 pm
by TurboBrick
Swap the tire with the spare tire and take a test drive, see if the noise is still there. That'll tell you if it's the tire / wheel or something else. Now this is a stupid suggestion I'm sure, but just double check the treads on that tire while you have it off to make sure you don't have something like a piece of gravel lodged in there that's clicking against the road surface.

Re: Bad Noise from Tire

PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:50 pm
by Alcology
I just did a little bit of spring inspection/fluid changes on my legacy and noticed the shaft of a nail stuck into my tire. I had a weird noise for awhile too that settled. Mystery solved for me! Hopefully it's something easy for you

Re: Bad Noise from Tire

PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:28 am
by Marcal
Sorry for the delayed update.

My wife has had the car all weekend. Planning to throw the spare on tonight for a quick drive and see if the noise goes away.

Re: Bad Noise from Tire

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:32 pm
by Marcal
It's definitely the tire.

An odd thing I noticed, though; the rumbling noise gets quieter when making left turns at speed.

The only thing I can do now is get a new wheel and see if that cures it.

Re: Bad Noise from Tire

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:12 am
by TurboBrick
Junkyard time... Picknpull has an online tracker, though they're showing that the closest yard that has any Focus' to you is in Vancouver, WA. You might as well try the closer yards as mine puts the wheels in a separate section anyways.

Re: Bad Noise from Tire

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:03 am
by Marcal
Thanks for your help. There's a Pick n Pull about 10 miles from our house I'm going to check.

Re: Bad Noise from Tire

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 3:51 pm
by Marcal
I'm ashamed to say, I was way off on this. It was the wheel bearing, and it was close to failure when I finally got it to the mechanic.

Fun story: took it to Discount Tire one last time, where they tried to tell me it was a transmission problem. They also told me the noise was coming from the front wheels. Great with tires, not so great with mechanical, these guys.