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Old 10-27-2013, 02:17 PM   Thread Starter #1
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Default Groaning Maxima

My 2005 Maxima SL (5 speed auto, 65k miles) is making a loud grinding/groaning sound in the front end that begins at 20 mph and gets progressively louder with speed.

Other identifiers:
-the noise continues when I pop it into neutral; independent from engine
-the pitch of the groaning changes when I turn right or left, but doesn't go away
-when decelerating, the groan becomes a speed-dependent pulsing/vibration
-the noise is reduced when I punch the accelerator


What I've checked/more info on my car:
***there is no play in front wheels side-to-side or up-and-down*** unlikely a wheel bearing
-I just replace front, passenger, and tranny motor mounts; all where cracked
-I didn't have time to replace rear, but it looked fine
-the dust shield isn't touching the rotors
-I have new Brembo (solid) rotors w/ Akebono ceramics, every surface was polished and greased (pins, hubs, shims, etc.), not a brake issue.
-tires have less than 3,000 miles
-tranny fluid is topped off and new from 4 flushes when replacing/calibrating solenoids
-CV axle boots are not cracked
-every so often there's a clunk when shifting into gear, but it's secondary to tranny (not a tranny problem)


My thoughts:
-I think it's the carrier/support/differential bearing on the passenger side CV axle, but there is no play in the shaft. The noise started soon after my motor mounts failed, so I think it may have placed extra stress on the bearing.

The only way to diagnose the location is to put the car on stands and putting into gear, but I'm not comfortable with the thought of dying *underneath* my car.

Any guesses?
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Old 10-27-2013, 06:13 PM   Thread Starter #2
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Default Re: Groaning Maxima

So I put the car on stands and the groaning/humming is still there over 25 mph. I wasn't comfortable turning on cruise control and investigating the source with wheels spinning in my direction or in reverse into a busy road.

There's an ever so slight amount of play in driver's side CV axle, but it doesn't feel out of the ordinary. Also, I confirmed the knocking/tap sound happens every time I put it into gear.

Also the grinding/pulsating vibration is coming from driver's side wheel well, but I took apart caliper and everything looks perfect (pin movement, shims, pad/rotor surface, etc).

I'm inclined to think it's a wheel bearing at the very beginning of failure since there is no play, but it's tough to be certain.
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: Groaning Maxima

Sounds like a wheel bearing..
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Old 10-28-2013, 12:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: Groaning Maxima

Bearing.
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