Automotive

Humming Sound from the Front.

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  • Sep 9th, 2021 7:36 am
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[OP]
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Apr 30, 2004
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Toronto

Humming Sound from the Front.

I have a '19 Forester with about 63,000km, and a set of all-season tires (have put on about 50,000km on them); just last week I started noticing a faint humming sound when driving at 60km/h and above...This car has been giving all kind of troubles and it's just frustrating; I have done all the regular and preventative maintenance myself but perhaps it's not enough.

From what I have gathered the humming sounds can be caused by the tires, wheel bearing, transmission, or differential if I am not mistaken. No error code displayed at this time in the dashboard.

Any thoughts from you guys about assessing the situation @ home before I make an appointment with a car repair shop? I have seen few videos where the car was jacked up and have one person sitting in the car and pressing on the gas pedal lightly...

I am really hoping this won't be a huge repair...:(

Thanks guys!
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5 replies
Sr. Member
Nov 6, 2014
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Woodbridge, ON
If the humming doesn't get worse when turning its very likely the tires. If the humming gets worse when you turn then its likely the wheel bearings/hub bearing. If you hear the sound only from the front, then rotate the tires to the back and see if the noise follows the tire rotation to the back. That's a cost effective test.
[OP]
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Apr 30, 2004
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fordmaple wrote: If the humming doesn't get worse when turning its very likely the tires. If the humming gets worse when you turn then its likely the wheel bearings/hub bearing. If you hear the sound only from the front, then rotate the tires to the back and see if the noise follows the tire rotation to the back. That's a cost effective test.

That I can do for sure; I was thinking of putting on my winters but they give a lot of road noise. I shall try the tire rotation method.

As of now I don't think I hear any noise when turning... perhaps it's there but not audible to my ears.

I have tried an unscientific method of running my hands on the surface of the tires trying to feel any difference, but it felt smooth.
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Before doing too much work, increase or reduce your tire pressure temporarily to see if the hum goes away.
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Sep 15, 2020
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DJ Trance AZ wrote: I have a '19 Forester with about 63,000km, and a set of all-season tires (have put on about 50,000km on them); just last week I started noticing a faint humming sound when driving at 60km/h and above...This car has been giving all kind of troubles and it's just frustrating; I have done all the regular and preventative maintenance myself but perhaps it's not enough.

From what I have gathered the humming sounds can be caused by the tires, wheel bearing, transmission, or differential if I am not mistaken. No error code displayed at this time in the dashboard.

Any thoughts from you guys about assessing the situation @ home before I make an appointment with a car repair shop? I have seen few videos where the car was jacked up and have one person sitting in the car and pressing on the gas pedal lightly...

I am really hoping this won't be a huge repair...:(

Thanks guys!
I would first determine if the noise does 2 things: increase in pitch with vehicle speed or increase in pitch with engine RPM

1. Increase in pitch with vehicle speed: could be

a) tires:
- rotate tires to see if the noise moves to a different corner or area of car. Some tires generate more distinct tire noise than others, think about the noise you associate with mud tires on Jeeps and big SUVs. I think worn tires generate more sound than brand new ones.

b) wheel bearing(s):
- do this in a safe place, but swerve left and right on a straight road (alternative find a long sweeping corner and go both ways) with some speed so that you can put pressure on one side. If noise turns louder and softer and repeats as you put pressure on each side, the wheel bearing on the side with the louder sound is shot. Best to pay a mechanic to put car on lift and listen with a stethoscope.

c) exterior trim: especially roof bars, sometimes mirrors or side window rain shades, occasional exterior trim parts like bumpers or fog light housings on cars with previous history
I once rode in a car equipped with factory cross bars and they very slightly hum at highway speeds. Basically anything that creates turbulence and buffeting creates vibration and thus noise. Remove/fix and see if noise goes away.

d) center diff/transfer box, front and/or rear diff (unlikely since your car is new, possibly covered under warranty if this is the case)

2. Increase in pitch with engine rpm: could be
a) anything inside the engine: valvetrain, waterpump etc. (unlikely)

b) anything in engine bay outside of the engine: any pulley(s) or belt(s), loose trim pieces (unlikely)

c) transmission: this might be hard to tell since some parts rotate with engine rpm and some rotate with the axles aka vehicle speed (unlikely)

Best see a mechanic if this is the case

Your car is still quite new, can the dealer help?

Hope this helps.
[OP]
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Much appreciate all the input listed above :)
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