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Old 11-23-2008, 09:32 PM   #1
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Default Loud noise from Rear side of the car

I recently bought a 1997 Honda Civic EX with manual transmission at 105k miles. Ran through some repairs not done by previous owner near the 100k mark. The repairs include timing belt change, water pump change , front CV joint replacement, brake pads replacement.

The tires are yet to be replaced. They currently seem to have some tread on them.

The car runs great, except for one issue.

As the speeds increase on the highway, roughly at about 45 mph, there is a heavy noise from the rear side of the vehicle. To find the source of noise (making sure it is not the engine noise), i switched off my engine at 60mph while coasting in neutral gear. The noise seem to be coming from the rear side, maybe the rear axle or the tires. The noise increases linearly with speed. I have never pushed my car above 75 mph. So i have no idea if the noise reaches a saturation level.

From my experience, the noise resembles that of a water turbine. This could be a bearing noise or the differentials. The wheels were also checked for mis-alignment.
Also, could a crack in the cabin, let in the road noise? I tried to check for any cabin cracks, but i could not find any.

Can someone please give me some insight in this issue? I can provide more information in this issue upon request. Also, i would be glad to provide an audio file of the noise from the car at higher speeds.

Thanks in advance

grad student
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Old 11-23-2008, 09:36 PM   #2
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There is no "rear axle".
Is the noise really loud? Maybe it's the road noise from the tires.
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Old 11-23-2008, 09:37 PM   #3
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do you mean right axle? the passenger side?
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Old 11-23-2008, 09:39 PM   #4
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Ooops .. Oh yeah ..

I used the worng term. yes, Axle is part of the power train. In my case it is jus a free rolling shaft. Thanks for the correction.
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Old 11-23-2008, 09:40 PM   #5
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do you mean right axle? the passenger side?

The passenger side of the car, trunk side.
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Old 11-23-2008, 09:40 PM   #6
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rear wheel bearing
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Old 11-23-2008, 09:43 PM   #7
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rear wheel bearing
Would replacing the bearing solve the issue?

Is it something i can fix myself using Haynes manual?

I am currently a bit broke to spend on a repair above $200.

Saving some for new tires.
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Old 11-23-2008, 09:52 PM   #8
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You can deff do it your self, i think its a seal bearing assembly though (as in it doesnt press out) but you can call your local auto parts store and see if they carry it. If it isnt though, youll need someone that has a arbor press
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Old 11-23-2008, 09:55 PM   #9
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Thanks for the advice. I shall post my feedback once i am done with this issue, so that it helps others.
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Old 11-23-2008, 09:57 PM   #10
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:00 AM   #11
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ide say it could be an unbalanced wheel they tend to do that and at highway speeds u hear the winding of the wheel and its pretty loud. but other than that ide say wheel bearing also very similiar sounds. u can test if its a wheel bearing jack up the side where u think it is and try to move the wheel back and forth from side to side and if theres play in it the bearing is bad.
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:11 AM   #12
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Could be tire noise or like others said, a wheel bearing.

Feel the inside edges of the rear tire tread and see if it feels choppy, or cupped. When the tires get cupped they literally sopund like offroad truck tires.

If the tires feel smotth it's likely the wheel bearing/hub assembly. On the rear it's great because you can just unbolt the hub assembly and replace it without the need of a press.
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:14 AM   #13
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i agree with everyone here, since there is no "rear" axle i am willing to bet its a wheel bearing. an unbalanced wheel will cause your car to shake and pull a little bit, but a bad wheel bearing will cause all sorts unpleasant noise.
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:19 PM   #14
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Update:

Thanks for the all the replies to my query. Here is some more information based on my latest observations.

I replaced my tires with Goodyear Viva2 on the 4 hubs. After the tire installation, a wheel balancing was performed, as a part of the routine.

The noise from the rear side has decreased drastically. I am yet to get on speeds above 55mph. But, it surely sounds much less now. So, it could be the unbalanced rear wheels.

Another interesting observation is this. My old tires were 195/65R14 and i chose to stick with the factory recommended 185/65R14. My gas mileage on a 45 mile test trip at 50 mph comes up at 40 mpg with new tires and oil & air filter change (both done 2 days ago). I usually got 33 mpg at similar speeds. In town (stop and go) driving, used to give me a dismal 22 mpg. I was worried on this. Now i get around 30 mpg during in town driving. Really surprised at this drastic change since the tire change.
I am going on a raod trip in a couple of days, should be able to confirm on these observations when i am back from it.

Once again, thanks to all for replying to my post.
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:28 PM   #15
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Have you also checked the shocks?
A bad shock will cause a bounce in the wheels.. that can also cause a whirring tire sound.
My de la sol has a similar issue.. new tires..shocks. also checked into the compound i am using.. its pretty hard, and would make that noise.
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