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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2015 Corolla LE with a rubbing noise that sounds like it's coming from the one of the front wheels, which is only prevalent when travelling slow (first / last 1-2 seconds of acceleration / braking or coasting in a parking lot, ~10km/h or less). The noise is worse when turning either left or right (but I still never hear it at speeds above 20 km/h or so). I will note that the noise does not change at all whether I am accelerating, decelerating, or coasting so I don't think it is axle related.

Started hearing the noise a month or so ago, so I took the front wheels off, inspected brakes, re-lubed everything, replaced anti-squeal shims and reinstalled. This made no difference on the noise, so I am assuming it is not brake related.

While I had the car up to do brakes I did try and check for play in the wheel and didn't notice anything at that point.I also checked the clearance around the tire at both ends of the steering travel and had no interference. The fact that I don't hear it while at speed, and it is greatly reduced while going straight puts doubt in my head that is a bearing even though it seems most likely to me (I've heard bad bearings on 05-07 corollas and I do not have the "whirling" or "wooing" noise that those ones did). My noise sounds more like a lower frequency white noise, like something is dragging on the ground. It doesn't modulate or anything either, just a constant sound.

Anyone else have any other thoughts? I'll try and diagnose some more this weekend.
 

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The only thing I can think of is the under engine covers rubbing on the tires. Might be missing some clips and is moving freely.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The only thing I can think of is the under engine covers rubbing on the tires. Might be missing some clips and is moving freely.
I've checked the clearance around both wheels turning both directions and don't have any rubbing.
 

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1. tires are to spec?
2. no signs of rubbing anywhere on tire well covers/
3. what brake pads do you have? OEM or aftermarket? I had Lexus that did exactly that - rub-rub-rub when coming to halt. Turned out to be ceramic aftermarket pads that OEM rotors decided not to like. I switched back to OEM pads and it was gone. Pads touch rotors ever so slightly when rolling.....
4. when you inspected brakes, was one side of the pads worn more or at the angle? That will be sign of sticking caliper, causing #3.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
1. tires are to spec?
2. no signs of rubbing anywhere on tire well covers/
3. what brake pads do you have? OEM or aftermarket? I had Lexus that did exactly that - rub-rub-rub when coming to halt. Turned out to be ceramic aftermarket pads that OEM rotors decided not to like. I switched back to OEM pads and it was gone. Pads touch rotors ever so slightly when rolling.....
4. when you inspected brakes, was one side of the pads worn more or at the angle? That will be sign of sticking caliper, causing #3.
1. Bought the car in July 2018 used from the dealer. These are the tires that were sold on the car.
2. Didn't see any when I inspected. Will look closer this weekend.
3. As 1. pads are what were on the car when buying it used from the dealer. Had lots of life on them so assuming they were replaced when the car was traded in prior to me purchasing.
4. Pads were worn the same amount. I wasn't checking specifically for it, but I actually had to double check that everything was the right orientation when I put the brakes back together because they were worn evenly and looked like they could go in either way.
 

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Well, let's presume that all those points are satisfactory.
Honda CR-V used to have weird problem with rubbing in tight left turns. Power train moved some and one of the front pulleys was hitting frame. Maybe inspect frame across the pulleys? WHo knows, maybe loose mount is causing this.
For rubbing, something has to move on something.
 

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It would really help if you can post a video clip of the condition.

Does the rubbing occur in both directions? Does it only exist <5 mph?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Will try and record a video tomorrow.

Yes, rubbing occurs in both directions, and I'm not sure on the exact cutoff speed, but I can only hear pulling out of spaces in the parking lot, or just before stopping at red lights. Only at very slow speeds. I do hear it when going straight at very slow speeds if I'm really listening, but it is much louder when turning.
 

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Inspect the location of the tire relative to the strut. How close is the tire when fully turned left or right.

Have you had the alignment inspected?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Checking all front end clearances is on my list for tomorrow.

I haven't had alignment checked yet. Going to do all my inspections tomorrow and if I can't find anything going to take it to my local mechanic and see what they report.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
As promised, here's my update. Put the front of the car on jack stands today, got underneath and turned the wheels all the way both ways - no interference.

I put the car in drive (while on the stands) and let the wheels spin - no noise. While I had it up, I rotated the tires, and double-checked inflation. Nothing I looked at while the car was up on jack stands led me any closer to the source of the noise. I put the car down, torqued everything down and took it around the driveway to test for the noise. I still heard it while sharply turning (I tried to get a video but my cell phone microphone didn't pick it up).

I DID notice however, that there is NO NOISE when I am reversing. I can turn my wheels all the way to one side, put it in drive, roll forward and hear the rubbing. Then without adjusting the steering wheel at all, put it in reverse and no noise. This led me to think it may be a lower control arm allowing the wheel to move backwards in the wheel well while going forward, but they looked good. I even took a video of the wheel while driving both forward and backwards and didn't see any noticeable movement of the tire in the wheel well.

At this point I cut my losses, and drove to pick up the wife from work. When pulling into her parking lot, and in my parking space at my apartment, I did NOT hear any noises where I normally would. It seems like something must have worked during the rotation / inflation + ~20km round trip that fixed it.

I'll check it again when I do a cold start for work in the morning. Hopefully the noise stays gone, but I'm not holding my breath. Will report back.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
One more update. I can slightly hear the noise now, but it is not as loud as it was, and I think I can only hear it (or maybe think I hear it) because I've been hearing it for so long. If I don't pay attention it is not noticeable.

Not sure exactly what about the tire rotation that seemed to fix it, but I'll have to see if it will come back when I switch to winters in a month or two.
 
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