Model Year 2012 to 2017 What else could sound like a tire that has a flat spot?

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  1. #1
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    What else could sound like a tire that has a flat spot?

    I'm not sure exactly what forum this belongs in because I can't figure out what the noise is coming from.

    A while back, my 2014 with started making a noise from the front left wheel area that sounded like the tire had developed a flat spot. It sounded sort of like a "wom wom wom" noise that increased in frequency as speed increased. I didn't sweat it too much because my OEM tires were about toast with 35k miles of mostly city driving. Last week I got a set of Continental Terrain Contact A/T's and the noise is maybe a bit quieter, but still there. Any ideas what else could be the culprit? There's no discernible pull and the car tracks straight. No pulsing in the wheel or brakes that I can tell. I've never had to have any work done to the car other than oil changes and tire rotations which I usually do myself.

    Thanks in advance!

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Doca's Avatar
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    Hi. I'm no expert (as confirmed by many of my posts here) but my first thought is bearing.
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  4. #3
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    Does it go away when you press the brakes. If so it may be that the lug nuts are loose allowing the wheel to wobble. This happened to me after a tire rotation and someone forgot to tighten the lug nuts on one wheel.

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  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doca View Post
    Hi. I'm no expert (as confirmed by many of my posts here) but my first thought is bearing.
    Should also get louder/ go away when turning the wheel either left or right if it's a wheel bearing.

    Quote Originally Posted by #Gridley380 View Post
    Does it go away when you press the brakes. If so it may be that the lug nuts are loose allowing the wheel to wobble. This happened to me after a tire rotation and someone forgot to tighten the lug nuts on one wheel.
    Happened before and after new tires according to OP, so we can (hopefully) rule that out.

  7. #5
    Senior Member Doca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by orndog View Post
    Should also get louder/ go away when turning the wheel either left or right if it's a wheel bearing.
    Good point.

    Thinking back, about a year ago someone else had a similar problem with their right front. He called it a helicopter sound but maybe "wom wom wom" is similar enough.

    It was the anti rattle clip rubbing against the outer edge of the rotor on the front passenger side. Took me a few minutes but here it is, there's a video of the noise in the OP:

    https://www.subaruxvforum.com/forum/...nger-side.html
    Last edited by Doca; 04-15-2019 at 04:59 PM.
    Audio mod manual: https://www.impreza5.com/forum/26-el...er-thread.html
    Crutchfield directions: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JV4...ub2Ssid9c/view

    ----

    ----
    18' Subaru Crosstrek "Stamford" - 29 Aug 17 -
    07' VW Rabbit "Bunny"- 4 Jan 07' - 30 Jun 17'
    94' Chev Beretta "Dirty B" - 24 Jun 96' - 4 Jan 07'
    85' Hyundai Stellar "Beast" - Mar 94' - Dec 95'

  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by orndog View Post
    Should also get louder/ go away when turning the wheel either left or right if it's a wheel bearing.



    Happened before and after new tires according to OP, so we can (hopefully) rule that out.
    I don't recall there being any change in the tone of the noise regardless of whether I was traveling in a straight line. It's definitely not loose lug nuts and does not have a high pitch like the metal on metal rubbing in the video. This is really only something I'm hearing at highway speeds over maybe 35-40 miles an hour. It's not loud, but noticeable.

    As you guys can see, I don't put a lot of miles on the car, but the noise has been present for probably a year or so and hasn't gotten worse. I wasn't too worried when I thought it was the old tire, because it looked fine visually and I knew they were all going to need to be replaced soon. Shouldn't a wheel bearing last vastly more than 30k miles?

  9. #7
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    On my way home yesterday, I took a video so you guys could hopefully hear what I'm hearing. Hopefully this is clear enough to be able to make out the noise. The shaky hands free mount is just wobbly from the road, not tire imbalance or anything like that.


  10. #8
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    it resonates through the cabin? to me it sounds like a wheel bearing. i'm assuming you meant the whirring type noise, and that the thump sounds are just the phone mount when you hit bumps?

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by irv_usc View Post
    it resonates through the cabin? to me it sounds like a wheel bearing. i'm assuming you meant the whirring type noise, and that the thump sounds are just the phone mount when you hit bumps?
    Yes, I'm referring to the whirring sound. The thumps are the expansion joints in the bridge I was driving across. I guess I'll jack the car up and see if the wheel is tight on the hub or if I can feel any play there.

  12. #10
    Senior Member kheran's Avatar
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    Something you may think of looking at is the condition of the struts. I had a similar noise on my work truck (2007 Ford ranger) . I thought the noise was a wheel bearing which these trucks are noted for. The tire on the one side was cupping badly in the inside edge so we sent it off to Ford and they later said the shocks were gone. They were replace and new tires and all was good again.

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