R60/R61 Stock Problems/Issues Discussions related to warranty related issues and repairs, or other problems with the OEM parts and software for R60 AND R61 MINI Cooper and Cooper S MINIs.

Wheel bearing vs run flat tire noise

  #1  
Old 05-10-2019, 10:13 AM
Dragonzsoul
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Wheel bearing vs run flat tire noise

Hi everyone, I have a manual All4 S with about 62,000 miles on it.

I've been slowly going nuts over road noise in the car, and I'm not sure if it's because of run flat tires or not. I've never used run flats, and the car came with new Pirelli P7 A/S RFTs.

It's hard to describe the noise, but it's kinda like a hum? At low speeds, I can hear hum pause hum pause hum. As I accelerate, the pauses decrease in duration, until it reaches a point where it's just a loud constant "roar".

I've been researching RFT vs wheel bearings noise, and I'm not sure which it is. The noise doesn't change when I turn the steering wheel.

I was wondering if it was a wheel balance issue, but there's no shaking/vibration in the steering wheel either.

I want to ditch the RFTs, regardless if it's causing the noise or not, but they are new... Does anyone have some insight into this? Thanks!
 
  #2  
Old 05-10-2019, 11:10 AM
mikey_t
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I'm going with a wheel bearing.
 
  #3  
Old 05-10-2019, 11:16 AM
Dragonzsoul
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Why a bearing over tire noise?
 
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:03 PM
2012_R60
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To check the bearing jack up the car put it into neutral hold the axle with one hand and rotate the wheel with the other. If the bearing is bad you’ll feel the vibration in the axle.
 
  #5  
Old 05-11-2019, 02:48 AM
kaminjj
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I'm going with wheel bearing too. Sounds a lot like the noise coming from my CMS that was diagnosed at the dealer as a wheel bearing.
 
  #6  
Old 05-15-2019, 11:50 AM
Dragonzsoul
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According to some paperwork I have, one of both of the wheel bearings was replaced at 47,000 miles. I'm just at 60,000 miles now... Surely it can't go bad that fast?

I jacked up the car to test both the front left and right wheels, and didn't have any play in the wheels...
 
  #7  
Old 05-15-2019, 02:20 PM
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I would go with the run flats. A bad wheel bearing makes a heckuva noise (like a roar) plus 15,000 miles is not enough for it to go bad. I replaced my run flats with normal radial tires (like most owners on here do) and will never go back. Just keep an air compressor and flat-fix kit in the back if your Mini doesn't have a spare.
 
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:17 PM
mikey_t
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Wheel bearings dont necessarily make a 'heckuva noise' when they are beginning to fail and they generally fail over a period of time and get progressively noisier. What's not clear from Dragonzsoul's post is his comment "one of both of the wheel bearings was replaced". ?? Did you mean that one side was done or both sides were done at 47k and if so, front or back or ??? If a wheel bearing hasn't been replaced, then doing so at 60k is not unusual. Why not just take a mechanic out for a test drive and let a pro listen to and diagnose the problem?

And as for the run flats, I like my run-flats. My original Pirelli's lasted 7 summers and I've just replaced them with Bridgestone Drive-Guards and i like the Drive-Guards. I do run non-run flats (Nokian Hakkepellitta's) in the winter though.
 

Last edited by mikey_t; 05-15-2019 at 07:24 PM.
  #9  
Old 05-21-2019, 04:01 PM
Dragonzsoul
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Originally Posted by mikey_t View Post
Wheel bearings dont necessarily make a 'heckuva noise' when they are beginning to fail and they generally fail over a period of time and get progressively noisier. What's not clear from Dragonzsoul's post is his comment "one of both of the wheel bearings was replaced". ?? Did you mean that one side was done or both sides were done at 47k and if so, front or back or ??? If a wheel bearing hasn't been replaced, then doing so at 60k is not unusual. Why not just take a mechanic out for a test drive and let a pro listen to and diagnose the problem?

And as for the run flats, I like my run-flats. My original Pirelli's lasted 7 summers and I've just replaced them with Bridgestone Drive-Guards and i like the Drive-Guards. I do run non-run flats (Nokian Hakkepellitta's) in the winter though.
pardon my typo! I meant one *or* both of the wheel bearings were replaced. Since the original post, I've confirmed with the previous dealership about the replacement. They said both left and right front wheel bearings were replaced.

It's odd that I'm getting a wheel bearing type noise again so soon... Car's heading to the dealer on Friday for a diagnosis..
 
  #10  
Old 05-21-2019, 11:39 PM
rkw
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Swap the wheels between front and rear. If the noise is caused by the tires, you should hear a change in the noise.
 
  #11  
Old 05-22-2019, 07:28 AM
Dragonzsoul
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Originally Posted by rkw View Post
Swap the wheels between front and rear. If the noise is caused by the tires, you should hear a change in the noise.
I did, on both driver and passenger sides. Noise didn't change? Are all 4 tires messed up? Or are my wheel bearings gone after 15,000 miles? Stay tuned to find out...
 
  #12  
Old 05-28-2019, 02:03 PM
Dragonzsoul
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So, the dealer let me know that both the passenger side front and rear wheel bearings are bad... and I have a bent wheel. Do these cars really eat up wheel bearings that frequently? I ordered some from FCP Euro with lifetime replacements... I might need it!
 
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Old 05-28-2019, 02:26 PM
mikey_t
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Not really, My 2011 Countryman is still on the original wheel bearings. Glad to hear you now know exactly what the problem was without all the guessing.
 

Last edited by mikey_t; 06-05-2019 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 05-28-2019, 06:49 PM
RockC
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Originally Posted by Dragonzsoul View Post
So, the dealer let me know that both the passenger side front and rear wheel bearings are bad... and I have a bent wheel. Do these cars really eat up wheel bearings that frequently? I ordered some from FCP Euro with lifetime replacements... I might need it!
No experience with bad wheel bearings with my 2018 JCW with just 16K miles. Tire (run flats) noise is pretty bad though.

Only real wheel bearing experience I have had I had with my 2002 Boxster (way back in 2004) with worn out tires and the tires (Pirelli) are very noisy when worn out. After I had new tires installed shop owner told me he believed a wheel bearing was bad but couldn't be sure which one. I road tested the car and believed the right rear bearing the culprit. Said to just replace both. Shop owner talked me out of it due to cost and I said then just replace the right rear, which was his choice. That proved to be the bad one.

That was at around 90K miles. At 317K miles all wheel bearings were still just fine.

More recently, I did encounter horrific noise at speed (75mph+) in my Porsche Turbo. Suspected wheel bearings or even a bad front diff (AWD). Turned out to be tire alignment. Some hundreds of miles earlier I had just nudged a low curb when I pulled too far in to a hotel parking lot. Front tires made contact but not very hard at all. But this proved to be enough. Had the car checked at the Oklahoma City Porsche dealer and tech said tires. Showed me the signs of feathering and scrubbing of the tire tread blocks on the front tires. Drove car 2K miles home and after an alignment and a couple of hundred miles to let the tires scrub in with the new correct alignment the noise was gone.
 
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Old 06-05-2019, 12:40 PM
Dragonzsoul
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So, got the passenger side front and rear bearings replaced just now. I tried spinning the old ones by hand, and WOW it was bad compared to the new ones.

For anyone else suspecting issues, there was no play in the wheels when I jacked up the car to shake it.

The car is QUIET now, and I couldn't be happier. After living with this noise for so long, any run flat noise will be tolerable.
 
  #16  
Old 06-05-2019, 02:01 PM
mikey_t
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The play in the wheels only shows up when the bearings are really bad and at the point of complete failure. Glad to hear everything is back to 'normal'.
 
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