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Front right wheel whirring / grinding noise while driving

802 Views 20 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  nlortiz
Hi folks, I have 2018 Macan S ~54K miles. About a year ago, I notices very light humming noise coming out from the right front wheel while driving. It started to occur randomly usually in the mornings while car is cold. Then after few miles noise goes away. The noise happens randomly thus it鈥檚 difficult to reproduce on demand. I did take car to a local Porsche dealer, they did visual inspection of front wheel, they did not find any immediate issues. Dealer said they were not able to reproduce grinding noise during the test drive.

It鈥檚 been a year since I initially reported the problem, and I been driving car daily. Now the grinding noise is still occurring after a year, its significantly louder and happened sporadically daily. Last week I took Macan to the dealer for planned maintenance, and pointed out a grinding noise issue. Again dealer did visual inspection, no issue found. I did test drive with mechanic, and we were not able to reproduce the grinding noise on demand. But sure enough, as I picked up the car from the dealer, next morning grinding noise came back next day. 馃がBy the time I drove to the dealer, noise goes away. No vibration noticed, car has new tires and new brakes (discs and pads) which were replaced a year ago.

I don't feel comfortable taking car to the dealer again, because if they can鈥檛 reproduce the problem during one test drive while car is at the shop, then to them problem does not exist. Obviously no mechanic will be test driving the car few times a day to reproduce issue which happens randomly but regularly. My online research shows it could be multiple causes for this problem including wheel barring, cv joints, wheel hub assembly....??? I don鈥檛 want to start replacing components randomly without knowing exactly what causes the issue.

Did anyone observe similar issue with their cars? Any suggestions how to deal with it?
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See this post item 2.
See this post item 2.
This is very interesting... I will defenitely have to inspect the brakes and anti-rattle clips for signs of wear. The brake discs and pads were replaced a year ago. I do recall brakes were squicking on the right side front wheel for a while, then noise went away. I did assume brakes were braking in, thus squicking.
Almost sounds like a wheel bearing going bad, they are a fairly subtle noise, and can come and go, and if on the front turning the wheel slightly right to left ( gentle weave) can make it get louder and softer.
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Almost sounds like a wheel bearing going bad, they are a fairly subtle noise, and can come and go, and if on the front turning the wheel slightly right to left ( gentle weave) can make it get louder and softer.
This would be my guess as I have had this problem on a different vehicle years.
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Almost sounds like a wheel bearing going bad, they are a fairly subtle noise, and can come and go, and if on the front turning the wheel slightly right to left ( gentle weave) can make it get louder and softer.
Its quite possible. Is it safe to drive with a suspicion of wheel bearing going bad (event at its early stage)? My understanding if wheel bearing completely fails then wheel should completely stop while driving causing much more significant damage to the vehicle. I will give it a try to drive with turning wheel left-right with attempt to reproduce the noise.
This would be my guess as I have had this problem on a different vehicle years.
phaser, would you recommend to keep driving and wait till issue becomes more regular or go ahead to replace the wheel bearing proactively?
Wheel bearings are "permanently" sealed and lubricated. They typically last 150k or more miles. The dealership knows this and did an inspection at only 54k miles.

If a bearing is failing the noise won't be intermittent. It will also heat up when driving at speed. I suggest that you purchase an infrared thermometer and bring it with you when you drive. If you hear noise, pull over and measure the temperature of the offending wheel hub, and compare it to the other side. If it's not hotter than the other, then the noise is not the bearing.
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Wheel bearings are "permanently" sealed and lubricated. They typically last 150k or more miles. The dealership knows this and did an inspection at only 54k miles.

If a bearing is failing the noise won't be intermittent. It will also heat up when driving at speed. I suggest that you purchase an infrared thermometer and bring it with you when you drive. If you hear noise, pull over and measure the temperature of the offending wheel hub, and compare it to the other side. If it's not hotter than the other, then the noise is not the bearing.
Yadkin - Thank you for the suggestion, will give it a try.
...also, front wheel bearing failure typically is heard when steering in a particular direction, as the load
on the bearing changes then. (that's been my experience!)

Have you tried raising that corner and spinning the wheel to see if you can detect the noise?


Good luck!
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ront wheel bearing failure
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Generally the grinding noise observed and best clearly heard driving vehicle in the straight line at low speed 25-35 mph. Faster I drive, more wind noise which blocks the noise a bit. I did try to raise vehicle, spinned wheel but could not immediately reproduce the grinding sound. The difficulty is that grinding does not happen consistenly, and i can't seem to reproduce it on demand at will.
Have you tried raising that corner and spinning the wheel to see if you can detect the noise?
Good advice. You can also try pushing and pulling on the bottom of the tyre to see if there is more play on one side vs the other and feel for roughness when spinning the wheels.
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Leave it at the dealer and ask for the tech to drive it home overnight and then back so he can try to duplicate the noise under driving pattern similar to yours. Thouroughly describe how you are driving when you hear the noise happens. I would bet it is related to brakes pads, especially if you used non-factory parts. Wheel bearing over a year will become notably louder, noise increases with speed and cornering away from the side that is effected. Also does not change on type of pavements. One car I was involved with years ago was a phantom stall and about to be a buyback from the owner. Never could duplicate when we techs drove it. Finally the GM factory Engineer met the owner at his house and rode with him on his daily routine. Did not take long, they passed a power sub-station close to the road and the vehicle stalled. Rep keyed into EMI and we replaced the engine wiring harness. Fixed.
After I hit a curb two years ago, my wife heard 鈥榓 noise鈥 coming from the front. Took a while for me to hear it. It then took three (3) trips and three (3) different mechanics to test drive it. On the last test drive the mechanic said he knew exactly what it was: a wheel bearing.

Go back to the dealership. Try again.
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Thank you ALL for the input! I removed the wheel, performed visual inspection, break assembly area clear, anti-rattle clips don't seem to show signs of wear. Made another inspection appt at the dealer.
Hi folks, I have 2018 Macan S ~54K miles. About a year ago, I notices very light humming noise coming out from the right front wheel while driving. It started to occur randomly usually in the mornings while car is cold. Then after few miles noise goes away. The noise happens randomly thus it鈥檚 difficult to reproduce on demand. I did take car to a local Porsche dealer, they did visual inspection of front wheel, they did not find any immediate issues. Dealer said they were not able to reproduce grinding noise during the test drive.

It鈥檚 been a year since I initially reported the problem, and I been driving car daily. Now the grinding noise is still occurring after a year, its significantly louder and happened sporadically daily. Last week I took Macan to the dealer for planned maintenance, and pointed out a grinding noise issue. Again dealer did visual inspection, no issue found. I did test drive with mechanic, and we were not able to reproduce the grinding noise on demand. But sure enough, as I picked up the car from the dealer, next morning grinding noise came back next day. 馃がBy the time I drove to the dealer, noise goes away. No vibration noticed, car has new tires and new brakes (discs and pads) which were replaced a year ago.

I don't feel comfortable taking car to the dealer again, because if they can鈥檛 reproduce the problem during one test drive while car is at the shop, then to them problem does not exist. Obviously no mechanic will be test driving the car few times a day to reproduce issue which happens randomly but regularly. My online research shows it could be multiple causes for this problem including wheel barring, cv joints, wheel hub assembly....??? I don鈥檛 want to start replacing components randomly without knowing exactly what causes the issue.

Did anyone observe similar issue with their cars? Any suggestions how to deal with it?
I have a 2019 and had the same problem at 52k miles. However, when I brought the noise issue to my dealer they immediately told me it was a wheel bearing. They got it replaced under warrantee despite the fact my car was technically out of the warrantee period. A few days ago I noticed the interior of the car was noisy and wondered it another bearing was going. Took it to the dealer yesterday -car has 57K miles. Guess what - another bearing needs replacement. BTW, I do not push the car or drive like a crazy person. I drive the same as I did for the past 60 years. I've NEVER had a wheel bearing replaced in any of my cars, even cars made in the 50's in England!

I read in another thread that hitting pot holes may be the cause. Everyone hits potholes once in a while. I hit potholes once in a while all my driving life. Never had wheel bearings fail.

Dealer told me the new bearing again would be covered by warrantee - no cost to me. I asked if he could get PNA to replace the other two bearing as it seems the lot was defective. He doubted PNA would do that. But I have to wonder if there was a factory supply issue. Replacing a wheel bearing should be a rare repair. Not on my Macan, and from what I see in this Forum perhaps not so rare on Macans in general.
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FWIW, the only real way to test a wheel bearing is to remove it, rinse all the grease off (I used to use gasoline) and spin it. If it鈥檚 bad, you鈥檒l feel and hear it. Sometimes one cannot determine through a visual inspection.
FWIW, the only real way to test a wheel bearing is to remove it, rinse all the grease off (I used to use gasoline) and spin it. If it鈥檚 bad, you鈥檒l feel and hear it. Sometimes one cannot determine through a visual inspection.
And that applies to both the inner and outer bearings.
FWIW, the only real way to test a wheel bearing is to remove it, rinse all the grease off (I used to use gasoline) and spin it. If it鈥檚 bad, you鈥檒l feel and hear it. Sometimes one cannot determine through a visual inspection.
Quick way to diagnose a bad wheel bearing without having to remove it is to jack up the car so that the wheel and tire is off the ground and then put one hand on the top of the wheel and the other on the bottom and then see if there is any play. If you do, pretty much guaranteed it's a bad wheel bearing.
Quick way to diagnose a bad wheel bearing without having to remove it is to jack up the car so that the wheel and tire is off the ground and then put one hand on the top of the wheel and the other on the bottom and then see if there is any play. If you do, pretty much guaranteed it's a bad wheel bearing.
Won't work. Unless the bearing is in pieces you will not feel it by doing a 12/6 wiggle. I speak from too many years of experience.
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