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Discussion Starter #1
Linked is an audio clip from my 2003 Caravan with 154,000 km on the odometer. Front end noise has gotten louder over the last few weeks. Starts at speeds over 30 km/hr. Tires, calipers, pads, rotors and stabilizer bushings are good. Rotating tires makes no difference. It could be a bearing acting up under load, or, one of my axles. I hope someone out there with a little more front end experience than me might be able to narrow the possibilities down.
...... Thanks
 

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Bad tires. I had an Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera that sounded exactly like that. I had a mechanic friend ride and listen and we agreed that it sounded like the front wheel bearings were bad. So I took it to a repair shop and told them to replace the front wheel bearings. The guy called me at work and said he thought the wheel bearings were OK and that he thought it was bad tires (separated belts on the radial tires). I thought he might be scamming me because he was also a tire dealer. So I said if the new tires didn't fix the problem then I wouldn't pay for the tires. Went to pick up the car, test drove it, and the noise was gone. Yep. It WAS the tires. I've since had this same noise on my wife's Buick Century and new tires cured that problem also.
DennisV
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response. I've ruled out the tires, I'm running on fairly new Michelin Harmonys. Inspected them visually and they all seem to be running true, even rotated them and tried out my full size spare on the driver's front side ( source of the whump). There is no play or roughness in the front wheel bearings. On inspecting the axles, boots and everything are fine with the exception of a slight weeping oil leak at the inboard (transmission) end of the driver side axle. There also seems to be a bit more play at the inboard hub where it enters the transmission. In and out play seems normal, up and down might be a little loose. The inboard end of the axle has alot more support on the passenger side. Driver side is not as well supported which may be a contributing factor to the problem. If I pull the axle, how difficult is it to access (replace) the race, bearing and seal on the transmission end?
 
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