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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello,

I have Toyota camry hybrid 2010 driven 65k mile and for sometime i have been noticing helicopter like sound when accelerated am not able to figure out what could be the issue.The sound increases with acceleration. When idle there is no sound it is silent. I did the wheel alignment too but did not help. i can hear the noise more when it hits around 40mph

Any idea what could be the issue ?

Thanks
Sagar
 

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Could be a tire. If you can find an empty parking garage or an abandoned mall. Get close to the wall and drive with the windows down and see if you can pinpoint where the noise is coming from. Having a passenger helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
i just did 4 wheel alignment so if the tire would have been issue it should be pointed out right by the person who does wheel alignment ? was just googling and someone pointed toward wheel bearing might be bad ? visually tire looks ok to me
 

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i just did 4 wheel alignment so if the tire would have been issue it should be pointed out right by the person who does wheel alignment ? was just googling and someone pointed toward wheel bearing might be bad ? visually tire looks ok to me
A 4 wheel alignment won't tell you squat about a bad tire! Now, if you had the wheels and tires "balanced", that is a different story. But, you did not mention that in your original post. Balancing will point out some issues with tires, not all of them. Some issues only show up with a load on the tire while it is rotating. The reason I brought it up is I have been through 4 sets of tires on this car over 250,000 miles and have 2 tire related problems. One of them was a bad bead on one of the tires that made an oscillating helicopter sound like you describe. I could only hear it while drive by a curb, a wall or in a parking garage. The other was a partial failure of a tire sidewall. It too was an oscillating noise, but not as loud. Both issues were covered by the tire manufacturer and my local tire shop.

I have also been through the wheel bearing (hub bearing) issue as well. A bad wheel bearing will be more pronounced in turns and at certain speeds and it more like a growling noise that is there all the time when the vehicle is moving. In a long sweeping curve in one direction the noise will be more pronounced and in the other direction, the noise should almost go away.

When my left front hub bearing went bad, I actually thought I had a bad tire. After having a new set of tires put on the car the noise was still there. Replaced the left front hub bearing (huge job) and all was quiet again.
 

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Did you check your tires for rocks stuck in the treads by any chance, they can be the worst culprits, although you don't tend to hear them at high speed.
 
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Can you please record the sound and post it here?


FRRRRRRRRRRRR similar to heli sound is exhaust leak sound. I repaired several of those. Does it do it MOVING or at stand still too? If it does it not moving, definitely not tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
there is not sound if the vehicle is not moving . i went to do wheel balance yesterday and asked the guy to check if the wheel bearings are bad and he checked front wheels by shaking it side by and side and by holding top and bottom of the wheel and seems both the front wheel bearing are bad as they was sound while shaking.

So now i have to check with dealer if this are covered under extended warranty or not. i had got extended warranty till 100k . currently i have 68k

Any idea if there are covered under power terrain warranty?

Thanks
Sagar
 

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No. tires won't becovered.
My safe bet is then it's tire tread lugs making noise.
Usually, when you rotate tires criss cross, lugs change direwction and fo some time ther eis that sound - frrrr- while they re-rub themselves into new positions.
Best is to take a close look at tires. At lugs. Only scalloped and feathered lugs will do that noise. Because you end with sharp edge lugs.
 

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there is not sound if the vehicle is not moving . i went to do wheel balance yesterday and asked the guy to check if the wheel bearings are bad and he checked front wheels by shaking it side by and side and by holding top and bottom of the wheel and seems both the front wheel bearing are bad as they was sound while shaking.

So now i have to check with dealer if this are covered under extended warranty or not. i had got extended warranty till 100k . currently i have 68k

Any idea if there are covered under power terrain warranty?

Thanks
Sagar
The tolerances in these wheel bearings is too tight to measure simply by shaking a tire. The shop should have known this. Even when the bearing is bad, it is still so tight that there is no noticeable physical play in the bearing. With a micrometer or dial indicator, the run-out would be measurable. But, this would be done with the tire removed. This is a "hub bearing". The bearing is "pressed into the steering knuckle" and then the hub is pressed into the bearing.

Any play that "they" found would have been in either the strut mounts, tie rod ends or lower ball joint. And again, they should have known this...

Also, highly improbable that both bearings are bad if that is indeed your problem at all.

You need to have someone go with you, find a desolate road with long sweeping curves, get the car up to speed so you can hear the noise and then listen for the noise as you drive through the curve (in both directions). If the noise subsides or changes pitch while going through the curve, you have a bad wheel bearing somewhere. The direction you are going determines which side. If the noise does not go away and remains constant it is not a wheel bearing and something else entirely.

More than likely as already mentioned. You could just be experiencing tire related noise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Hi,

I went to dealer to check it out and they said it is the tires they said all the 4 tires are cupped and thats why they are making heli sound and asked to replace all 4 tires and it should be good

My local costco had only 3 tires Michelin brand so will be changing the tires next week and update if the heli noise is gone or not

just wondering why would the tires get cubbed. a year back i had a flat tires which could not be fixed so changed just one tire would that would have caused cubbed tire.

Just thinking if after changing the new tires if they would not get cubbed after a year or so if the problem lies somewhere else

Thanks
Sagar
 

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Aha....

Front tire cupping is a pattern of tire wear that features a series of shallow, scoop-shaped depressions on one side of a tire. Cupping is sometimes difficult to distinguish from the wear pattern caused by unbalanced wheels. In most cases, cupped tires do not develop bald spots between the center and either edge of the tread. Tires that manifest both scalloped cupping depressions and bald sections may indicate that the vehicle has worn suspension parts and balancing problems.

Cupping
Cups or scalloped dips appearing around the edge of the tread on one side or the other, almost always indicate worn (sometimes bent) suspension parts. Adjustment of wheel alignment alone will seldom cure the problem. Any worn component that connects the wheel to the car (ball joint, wheel bearing, shock absorber, springs, bushings, etc.) can cause this condition. Worn components should be replaced with new ones. The worn tire should be balanced and possibly moved to a different location on the car. Occasionally, wheels that are out of balance will wear like this, but wheel imbalance usually shows up as bald spots between the outside edges and center of the tread.

Basically, your tire goes in figure of 8 pattern turning. That results in edge being chewed in wave form, or "cups" are formed.
Once again, I'd check on hub bearings. Followed by control arms and tie rod ends.
Ask for alignment read out to check if camber is in spec.
 

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Hi,

I went to dealer to check it out and they said it is the tires they said all the 4 tires are cupped and thats why they are making heli sound and asked to replace all 4 tires and it should be good

My local costco had only 3 tires Michelin brand so will be changing the tires next week and update if the heli noise is gone or not

just wondering why would the tires get cubbed. a year back i had a flat tires which could not be fixed so changed just one tire would that would have caused cubbed tire.

Just thinking if after changing the new tires if they would not get cubbed after a year or so if the problem lies somewhere else

Thanks
Sagar
you have to make sure that they are all cupped because cupping is caused by bad suspension and/or imbalanced tire. At 67k I don't think the suspension will be worn out that bad, if they do then putting in new tires will result to the same issue again. If they are not rotated and balanced frequently then you'll have that issue.

before replacing tires get a second opinion first from other shops, when my mountaineer has that same issue I went to the dealership to have them check it out and they said it was the tires, bought a new set of tires for $900 (tires are not covered under my 80k warranty) and still has the noise. Turns out to be the wheel bearings, such a waste of money on my end for changing the tires when it's not the problem (it's just that they can't isolate the noise easily)

 

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@snookwhaler: Just curious: How long (how far) did you drive your car before replacing the bad bearing? How fast does the problem get worse? My 2012 TCH has developed a slight but persistent wheel tramp noise that varies with the speed of the car and has been present for a while now. It seems to coincide with the wheel revolutions, but steering the car through a virtual slalom course doesn't change the noise appreciably, so I don't think it is a wheel bearing, as it was in your case. My tires (the infamous Bridgestones) are nearing EOL, but still have a reasonable amount of tread on them. They have gotten loud as well, but in a different way, and I don't think they are responsible for the aforementioned noise. I'd rather diagnose the problem myself, but it comes and goes and doesn't seem to be getting worse in any hurry. I don't want to cause other ancillary damage (as bad bearings on a non-driven wheel can do), but don't want to be stranded somewhere either. So, how to proceed?
 

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@snookwhaler : Just curious: How long (how far) did you drive your car before replacing the bad bearing? How fast does the problem get worse? My 2012 TCH has developed a slight but persistent wheel tramp noise that varies with the speed of the car and has been present for a while now. It seems to coincide with the wheel revolutions, but steering the car through a virtual slalom course doesn't change the noise appreciably, so I don't think it is a wheel bearing, as it was in your case. My tires (the infamous Bridgestones) are nearing EOL, but still have a reasonable amount of tread on them. They have gotten loud as well, but in a different way, and I don't think they are responsible for the aforementioned noise. I'd rather diagnose the problem myself, but it comes and goes and doesn't seem to be getting worse in any hurry. I don't want to cause other ancillary damage (as bad bearings on a non-driven wheel can do), but don't want to be stranded somewhere either. So, how to proceed?
My problem was a "hub bearing" on the drivers front. I had it replaced @ 162,691 miles. However, for a LONG time I just assumed it was the tires as they were worn pretty bad and I was trying to get all I could out of the tires before getting new ones. I'd say, I drove it AT LEAST 20,000 miles before I actually had it replaced and the noise got progressively worse. Especially in turns at speed.

I got new tires put on at 158,703 miles. After getting the car out of the tire shop, I immediately knew I had a bearing problem. I removed the back seat out of the car, removed the glove box and some of the dash trim and had the wife take me for a drive while I listened for the noise in long sweeping turns at speed. Doing this enabled me to nail it down to the drivers front that was making the noise.

The dealer wanted something over $600 to fix. It's a pretty big job, because the steering knuckle has to be removed from the lower control arm and strut, axle shaft has to be removed from steering knuckle and hub and then the old hub/bearing needs to be pressed out and a new one pressed in. I had a local trustworthy shop do it for $274 including parts, labor, etc...

Honestly if the sound "comes and goes", it's more than likely tire related noise. It could be a mechanical issue associated with the PSD. But, those problems are so rare and the PSD is so robust, it's unlikely. I actually pull an 1,100lb boat and a small utility trailer with ours and have yet to have a mechanical problem with the engine or trans.

My bet is on the tires. You'll know when you get new tires. That's how I found out. I would not sweat it...
 
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Thanks for the feedback, Snook. My TCH only has 55k miles on the odometer, so frankly I would not expect it to have developed bearing problems yet. And, like you said, about the only time you ever hear of PSD problems is after an accident. The reason I am reluctant to write it off as a tire problem is that it's consistent almost down to a complete stop. My experience with past bearing failures have only involved front bearings on rear-wheel-drive cars, and I recall (as you note) that they varied in sound when steering and also with speed. Maybe it's time to grease the caliper pins! Or, as you say, perhaps it is indeed the tires, although I recently had them rotated and although it may have affected the intensity somewhat, it didn't really change the noise or where it seems to be occurring from.

I suppose time will tell. I probably shouldn't go through another winter on these tires anyway, so replacing them is probably a good place to start.
 
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