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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2013 Kia Optima that has a noise coming from the drivers side of front end. One would think it’s the wheel bearing,but in checking, it shows no issues. The noise only happens when driving the car and turning to the left and continues until you straighten back up or a little past to the right. The noise sounds like a bad bearing except that it is not continuous, I mean that there is a slight gap in the sound as it goes down the road and it increases as speed increases.”whump, whump,whump“
I have taken to several local shops and they all suggest the wheel bearing as the only possibility, though the sound is not continuous in the roaring. It also doesn’t make the sound when putting car on lift and rotating wheel or with car on in gear spinning tires or turning steering wheel. I have had 2 shops replace the wheel bearing already, it did not go away. In between these 2 repairs, I took to a dealership and 2 mechanics rode in it and claimed it was wheel bearing. “Note-I have questionable faith in this dealership from previous misdiagnosed issues as well as there repair charges”
I am at a loss as to where to go from here! The only other thought are cv axle or transmission. The cv axle seems to only be available from a dealer, the part store ones don’t match and don’t offer the kia part number.
Any ideas?
 

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As the wheel bearings have been replaced, I would rule them out, so the first question, has the tire(s) been eliminated? Same sound after tires rotated? Checking the tires, tread flat and no unusual wear?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
As the wheel bearings have been replaced, I would rule them out, so the first question, has the tire(s) been eliminated? Same sound after tires rotated? Checking the tires, tread flat and no unusual wear?
I nor anyone else has questioned that! I put new tires on front and brakes in June. I’ve not noticed any wear or other issues when taking tire off for the bearing replacement. I will certainly give this a look though!
 

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Run your flat hand over the tread, or visually inspect the tire(s), or even rotate one front to back and if same noise rotate the other front to back.
Just had a new tire on the left front, pull left, then switched front tires and the car pulled right. Took that tire off, put it on the rear no pull. Got another tire from the shop.

Going to swallow hard. We have a RX7 Turbo we purchased new and maybe 10 years ago I had a wheel bearing noise start in the rear. If you went over a dip, the noise got louder, and in turns it changed, no problem I replaced the rear wheel bearings, both sides, a real pain on that car. Got finished, took it out for a ride and had the same noise, it was the Falken tires. Now that was a big misdiagnosis, something I don't usually do, but that one got me.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Run your flat hand over the tread, or visually inspect the tire(s), or even rotate one front to back and if same noise rotate the other front to back.
Just had a new tire on the left front, pull left, then switched front tires and the car pulled right. Took that tire off, put it on the rear no pull. Got another tire from the shop.

Going to swallow hard. We have a RX7 Turbo we purchased new and maybe 10 years ago I had a wheel bearing noise start in the rear. If you went over a dip, the noise got louder, and in turns it changed, no problem I replaced the rear wheel bearings, both sides, a real pain on that car. Got finished, took it out for a ride and had the same noise, it was the Falken tires. Now that was a big misdiagnosis, something I don't usually do, but that one got me.
Speaking of coincidences! I’m running Falkens on the front now. I like their tires but have had issues with them at different times and different vehicles. Just had two with broken belts on 10 plys!?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I’ve also had a problem with tires on the front of this car. This is the fourth set on the front. They keep wearing out fairly evenly, the backs remain like new. Only 110,000 on car for 4 sets?
 

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10 ply...some heavy tires. Try rotating the tires every 8-10000 miles to try and even out the wear.
 

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I’ve also had a problem with tires on the front of this car. This is the fourth set on the front. They keep wearing out fairly evenly, the backs remain like new. Only 110,000 on car for 4 sets?
Ok maybe I'm either missing or misunderstanding something--how is it that the back (tires) can remain like new? Do you not (regularly) rotate your tires? Optima manual says every 7500 miles. Since you mentioned that the noise is coming from the front driver's (left) side, like Turbonut suggested swap (both) front and rear tires (or front left and right) to see if the noise travels with the suspected tire; you should do this anyway since based on your comment (above) it seems that you hardly--if not ever--rotate your tires.
 

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Check your toe-in. If your fronts are wearing evenly, but wearing out super-fast, then maybe your toe-in is even but too much on both sides.

If you have some string and a way to measure (ruler, or caliper is even easier), just run a string along the side of the car (I tie mine to the top of my jack stands) and that lets you check how much toe-in you have. You can check both sides. Adjusting your own toe-in is pretty easy.

There are other reasons your front tires could be wearing prematurely and evenly, so maybe just go get an alignment. Even with regular rotation, you'll be prematurely wearing out all 4 tires, which ends up costing more over time in premature tire purchases compared to just paying for an alignment.
 

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Just want to add, I've never seen tires wear quickly where there wasn't an alignment issue and that would be reflected in feathered tread, toe, worn on inside or outside, camber, center or both edge wear, pressure. Now if one has a summer tire with a UTQG rating of <200, then it will wear fast.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The tires were put on in June of this year along with an alignment and brakes. The tires have been inspected when looking for the problem. There are no obvious signs of any wear. I tried your suggestion and rotated the tires, there was no change in the noise coming from the left side. I’ve had suggestions of transference of noise possible if the right wheel bearing was bad, but it doesn’t seem to be an issue upon inspection.
Again the only logical next step I’ve come up with is replacement of the cv axle. I wouldn’t mind an aftermarket one but for some reason mine seems to be special. It’s only avaliable through Kia 49500-4C300. It’s over $400 wholesale, the dealership I spoke to said $730. There are replacement cv axles through parts stores for less but there numbers do not cross with this one. I’ve ordered them and they do not match what’s in the car.
Any further thoughts?
 

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Never heard of a CV joint making any noise when driving at a given speed as all the "parts" as turning equally.
 

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I was thinking what else could be turning, other than the wheel bearings, when the car is driven in a straight line and only item I could think of was the intermediate/jack shaft that has a bearing. These rarely go bad though.
When the noise is heard, ever place the trans in neutral to see if any change in sound?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I was thinking what else could be turning, other than the wheel bearings, when the car is driven in a straight line and only item I could think of was the intermediate/jack shaft that has a bearing. These rarely go bad though.
When the noise is heard, ever place the trans in neutral to see if any change in sound?
No, don’t know anything about that.
I did rotate the tires today but that did not affect the issue. I then went back to other mechanics suggestions about transference from the opposite side wheel bearing. I had the right side bearing replaced,though the shop didn’t think so and could see no issues. After installation, I drove it and have not heard the roaring noise any further. The shop mechanic seems to still hear something though significantly less than before. I believe he hears the road noise which has always been an issue with this car. I will follow up after I drive more.
 

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I assumed you replaced both wheel bearings, but after reading the OP, I see it was just the left. Hope it's fixed. I had to replace both @ 130,000 miles on ours.
 

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I have a 2013 Kia Optima that has a noise coming from the drivers side of front end. One would think it’s the wheel bearing,but in checking, it shows no issues. The noise only happens when driving the car and turning to the left and continues until you straighten back up or a little past to the right. The noise sounds like a bad bearing except that it is not continuous, I mean that there is a slight gap in the sound as it goes down the road and it increases as speed increases.”whump, whump,whump“
I have taken to several local shops and they all suggest the wheel bearing as the only possibility, though the sound is not continuous in the roaring. It also doesn’t make the sound when putting car on lift and rotating wheel or with car on in gear spinning tires or turning steering wheel. I have had 2 shops replace the wheel bearing already, it did not go away. In between these 2 repairs, I took to a dealership and 2 mechanics rode in it and claimed it was wheel bearing. “Note-I have questionable faith in this dealership from previous misdiagnosed issues as well as there repair charges”
I am at a loss as to where to go from here! The only other thought are cv axle or transmission. The cv axle seems to only be available from a dealer, the part store ones don’t match and don’t offer the kia part number.
Any ideas?
My fiance's car did the same thing. I've worked on vehicles all of my life and knew it was an upper/ lower ball joint. Replace it asap. If it completely breaks, you could suffer serious injury and/ or damage.
 

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My fiance's car did the same thing. I've worked on vehicles all of my life and knew it was an upper/ lower ball joint. Replace it asap. If it completely breaks, you could suffer serious injury and/ or damage.
Hate to say, but a bj won't make a sound like a worn bearing when the car is in motion, and no upper ball joint on the Kia.
 
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