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I noticed whistling or at times high-pitched squeaky noises for a little over a week while driving. It didn't matter what speeds I was driving at. I paid for a diagnostic at my local Firestone on Sunday, and the problems diagnosed were front wheel bearing and CV boots leaking oil. Firestone quoted me a ridiculous price for the repairs, so I tried going to a local auto shop to confirm whether or not the diagnostic I got from Firestone is accurate. The auto shop I went to the very next day on Monday was able to diagnose the same issues with a test drive only. Today, Tuesday morning, while I was on my way to work, I still heard the whistling noises while driving. However, after work, while driving, I don’t notice the whistling noises anymore. To note, I got all four of my wheels changed just four weeks ago, and this problem occurred less than 2 weeks ago.

Could this really be a wheel bearing issue? Since I am not hearing a whistling noise now, is the wheel bearing no longer an issue? Could it have been new tires adjusting to the road? I am now confused after this sound seems to have gone away since this afternoon after almost 2 weeks.

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A failing wheel bearing can go through a number of stages of symptoms as they wear, squealing is one of them. They can also make a rumbling sound, or no noise at all. You can get a symptom of the ABS triggering unexpectedly. Sometimes they can get very hot. If left, the bearing can completely disintegrate making the wheel become loose or totally seize.

The bearing may have worn more, becoming slightly more loose and is now past the squealing stage.

It could be that new tires caused slightly different forces on the bearings that highlighted the issue.

Lifting one wheel off the ground and rotating it by hand should give you an indication of the smoothness of the bearing, or if there is any looseness in any directions other than expected for rotation.

If the mechanics have both agreed, it is best to get the bearing changed.

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  • And I had noises from what sounded like the lhs, and it was the rhs that was defective...
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 6 at 11:05
  • I hear better with my right ear. All noises on every test drive is on the rhs. After disassembling the rhs a few times only to have the problem on the lhs, I've learned to bring someone with 2 good ears with me on test drives.
    – Jupiter
    Jan 6 at 14:36

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