After pothole season, when many drivers will have hit a whopper or two, the wheel bearing will soon start singing and growling. For a shop diagnosing the noise, isolating brake, drivetrain and bearing noise on a high mileage vehicle is difficult.
The classic symptom of a bad wheel bearing is typically a cyclic chirping, squealing or growling noise that changes in proportion to vehicle speed. The sound may only appear or disappear at certain speeds. The noise may get worse when turning, or it may disappear momentarily. So, it’s difficult to make a diagnosis based on noise alone.