I have a noise that appears when i reach 40mph that sounds a lot like driving offroad tires on the freeway. Once the tires are warm i can hear at other speeds as well...and you can feel the vibration from the noise in the steering wheel. It is winter here and there is no snow or ice build up in the wheel well or tire. also the tires dont seem to be wearing uneven but this was just a visual check.
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Re: 2000 Cav wheel noise/vibration
Sounds like one of the bands inside the tire could be busted. Solution - new tire. Get the tracking checked as well. It also could be a ball joint. But that can be checked when you get the tracking sorted.
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I would have the front wheel bearing adjustment checked first as if they are loose the rotor will be rubbing on the pads and the vibration will be wheel wobbling on the loose bearings Unless you replaced the bearings with new ones then they will fail especially if the adjustment was too tight and too much grease was used.
Check your universal joints in the drive shaft. When you remove your foot fromt the accelerator you are no longer applying power to the rear wheels and in turn there is no load on the drive shaft. When you accelerate below 40mph, there isn't enough centrifugal force to cause the driveshaft to wobble, but once you go above 40mph, it begins to show slop.
Jack up the front end and put stands under it and block rear wheels. Look at axle boots and see if they are cracked. Try turning wheel back and forth sharply and see if you can hear any clicking. Problem could be outer axle joints. If the boots are cracked or you hear a clicking noise you will have to replace the axle. The axle and boot come as a complete unit. Please let me know what you find out.
Interesting problem, it always worries me to see new axles and nuts as few mechanics realize how critical bearing preload torque is, and just gun the axle nuts on until they hit the nearest hole on the castle nut. You would not see or hear a single thing with the wheel off the ground either, the bearing needs to be loaded and at speed. Typically though, a bearing noise will be apparent all the time and grow with speed and swerving should have an effect. From what you say, it does sound like drive line, a bad u-joint to be specific. I'm not that familiar with the Soob's layout, but it must have a driveshaft running from the transaxle to the rear axle. I think if it were me, I would be pulling that shaft out and carefully inspecting it for binding or looseness at any of the joints. 175,000 mi. is a lot and since the other half shafts have likely been replaced, it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect some wear here as well. In fact I think I would probably look around to see if I could just get another center driveshaft with less miles and just put it in to try it. From what you say, this is very likely the cause. The harmonic balancer is not an issue as you say the noise is independent of engine speed.
BTW. Very good thorough description! I could solve a lot more problems if people were as descriptive as you.
Sounds like possibly Tie rod ends. Cheep parts. Reasonable labor charge. The Tie rod ends can and will break from the wheel and your Car will literally have a mind of its own. If they do break It will most likely be to a NASTY pot hole on a freeway. If this Is the case get It done ASAP. If your tight for $$ Drive slow and watch for pot holes and bumps.
does the van shake or vibrate? does the van have tires on it ?start by switching the left rear with the right rear test drive and listen for soun if no sound then the tire has a bad steel belt replace tire if the sound is still present. jack up van and spin tire if no sound is heard replace wheel bearing and if there is still a sound look into brake drum for possible springs or clips that may have fallen into drum causing noise but i would say its more than likely the rear wheel bearing to change that u must buy a new bearing and follow instructions on replacing good