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A friend with a 98 Outback heard a noise coming from the front that seemed to be wheel related. The sound is low pitched and varies with speed, not rpm. Its noticeable at all speeds and doesn't seem to change pitch. It's not a scraping sound. It doesn't change if the brakes are depressed while driving. Its not noticeable when hanging head out window while driving.

She was headed out of town and left it at her local gas station for repair. When they advised that it was probably an axle, she asked us to take it to her regular mechanic.

The regular mechanic called and suggested that the wheels needed to be alsigned and the tires replace for $600.+ Thought that we might do better for her at tire rack, so we took the car back. Tires look hardly worn and the wear does not appear uneven.

Viewing the thread road noise, someone suggested that uneven wear sounds like a bearing. Wouldn't that wear be noticeable?

Neither of the mechanics have mentioned wheel bearing (after test driving). I assume that would have been one of the first things to check.

Appreciate any help.
 

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Run your hand on the tires to see if they feel lumpy,cupping on the inside or outside of the tire.If the tires are O.K. then go somewhere where you can get it to make the noise and swerve from side to side
and see if the noise changes,it should if its a bearing.I done one on a honda accord that was so bad it sounded like both front bearings were bad,but it was just 1.There tires were cupping real bad on the inside also.The bearing took care of most of there noise,the rest was from the tires.
 

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Wheel bearing noise

I have heard a noise that meets your description from the front passenger side of the car. I described this noise to my friend and mechanic. They both confirmed that it is most likely the wheel bearing. I was quoted $98.26 in material and $254.20 in labor to replace both bearings in front.
 
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ragsey
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