2003 ford explorer wheel noise

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Old 12-14-15, 06:28 AM
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2003 ford explorer wheel noise

Hi all,

I will be taking this to the shop to have them look at it right after holidays but wanted to see what you think it could be. The front driver side wheel has developed a thumping sound in it while driving. You can feel it on the floor board when your foot is there and if you turn left it is a little bit worse. It is not very loud and it is cyclic in nature. It doesn't seem to change the faster you drive and seems to start around 20 mph and above. I am leaning towards a wheel bearing but there is no grinding or humming, just the thumping. The brakes and rotors are new and were replaced about 3 months ago. Any thoughts. I always thought a bearing caused grinding or humming but not thumping but could be wrong. Thx
 
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Old 12-14-15, 06:43 AM
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1. was FlatFix type fluids ever used on that tire? It creates elastic chunk inside the tire that for starters, unbalances tire infinitely and also can delaminate and make that noise.
2. tire is delaminating inside itself. Something ripped.
The only way to know for sure is to unmount the tire and inspect from the inside. Thump is normally a flat spot - or a hump - somewhere, but hump you'd have felt as up/down wheel bounce changing with speed.
 
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Old 12-14-15, 07:44 AM
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The only way to know for sure is to unmount the tire and inspect from the inside.
Before I went that far - I'd swap tires with the other side and see if the noise/vibration follows.
 
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Old 12-14-15, 06:13 PM
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Sounds like a wheel bearing. Rhythmic thumping... not noticible at low speed, more or less when turning the wheel are all classic symptoms. I would definitely stop driving it until you can get it in to have it fixed.
 
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Old 12-14-15, 06:26 PM
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A wheel bearing wouldn't really cause a thumping.... more of a grinding.
A bad CV joint could cause a thumping.
 
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Old 12-14-15, 06:40 PM
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I have a 2002 ford f150, quite similar to the explorer. I've had 2 front wheel bearings go out in the last couple years, and initially, it sounds like a rhythmic thumping, with a constant hum.. I assume it's one needle bearing that's trashed, and it gets worse... to the point of grinding if you keep driving on it.

2002 Saturn also had a bad wheel bearing. It was a rhythmic thumping, with constant hum.
 
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