When do you know if you're wheel bearings are going bad?
My 02' Overland has a hum at about 30mph up until about 80. Actually, it seems that the hum is starting to come up around 25mph (maybe the problem is getting worse?). I can actually feel a slight vibration in the steering wheel when the humming starts and at 40-50mph certain plastic cosmetic covers/parts in the dash/doors will start to vibrate. Is this a typical wheel bearing(s) problem rearing it's ugly head?
Weird though, I hear the hum constantly while going straight down the road and/or if I'm turning left. But, if I turn right the noise all but goes away?
Lastly, I JUST bought new tires I it seems a helluva coincidence but I think I started noticing the hum very shortly thereafter. I did buy slighly larger sneakers than the 235/65/17s - went with Hankook Ventus RH07 255/60/17s.
Please comment if you can think of anything else that might be going on. Otherwise, the truck is great. It does have 170k, but, it looks and runs pretty much like new. When I got the tires, actually got them at a Jeep dealer because they had the best price for the tires w/mounting if you can believe it, but, they (shockingly) tried to tell me that I was in critical need of tie rod ends. I jacked up the front end and when pulling on the wheels/tires and 9:00 and 3:00 it MAYBE has a 1/2" of play. I got underneath and had did the same thing and didn't see hardly any play in the tie rods or the whole steering setup.
Thanks for any comments etc. Ooooo, lastly, if I do have to do the bearings, how tough a job is that? I'm just a driveway mechanic. I've done a ton of repairs over the years, but, curious if I need any special tools to do the bearings.