Humming noise driving me crazy | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Humming noise driving me crazy


Active Member
August 16, 2010
Reaction score
City, State
East Waterboro, Maine
Year, Model & Trim Level
2004 Sport Trac 4x4 Auto.
This is my the way this is my 2004 Ford Sport Trac 4x4 with 62000 miles on it....I had a humming noise a few weeks back. Of course the first thing I thought was my tires....The tires are General Grabbers.....with only 10000 miles on it...I noticed a really really slight cupping type wear on one side......So I jacked up the front end, come to find out my front bearing had a slight play.....So I removed and replace with a Timken bearing.....Then I rotated the tires....Thinking the noise would be solved...but not..still a humming other wheel is fine no play and no grinding noise either....but you can tell the difference between the two when you turn the is smoother than the other....So I say to myself could it be that this bearing be gone to....but there is no play at all.. solid!!
I checked everything axle u-joints. tie rod ,ball joints everything seems fine....
I did notice when I turn right or left more left I hear a pulsing that should tell me it's the tire....
This is a great forum and my first post.....with an issue I can't seem to solve....Thanks Allot

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If you are driving and turn your wheels and the noise gets louder then I would bet that the wheel bearings are shot. What you create when you turn in motion is a load on the bearing that you cannot simulate when on a jack. I normally rock my car left and right then make more sweeping turns.

If the other bearing is starting to go wouldn't there be play when you grab the top and bottom of the wheel....I replaced the other last week because of the play....what is the chance of the other one making all the noise and no play.

There does not have to be play for the bearing to fail. That is why you must "load" the bearing by driving and then turning the wheels slightly to get the weight of the truck on the outer bearings. If one bearing goes out, I normally replace all 4.

It's not separate bearings it's a sealed hub assembly unit.....will that make a difference?

Others have mentioned on this forum the bearing assembly going bad without any play. My tires make hum when I drive around20-40MPH and they hum a little more when cornering. It isnt the bearing though as mine are both new in the front. I also have all terrain tires, they are more noisy now then when I first put them on. I also have about 10k miles on them. So in my case its just the tires, and I actually like the hum.



I'm going thru the same troubleshooting you are.

Hum sounds like I'm running knobby's on the front. Pedals & steering wheel feels like there connected to a hive of bees. Hum is loudest @ about 40 mph and again @ about 70 mph.

So far I've replace worn tire w/ new- no help. Jacked it up all the way around & ran it in all modes ( rear drive, 4 wheel high & low range) absolutley no noise. Did notice the front calipers seem not to be releasing completely.

No cracks or leakage from the CV boots, no excesive slop on the front axle shafts. Front diff. is full.
Suspect wheel bearing. When I take a sharp sweeping corner the noise lessens.

Don't know if this helps or just adds to the confusion.