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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 05-26-2016, 08:49 PM
davidmiller davidmiller is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 540i
2000 540i front wheel bearing/hub issues.

Hello BMW owners!

My front drivers side wheel bearing started to hum. Turn to the right it goes away, turn to the left and it comes back. It got louder and louder as the weeks went by.

I found this online parts store and bought a hub/bearing assembly for $47 taxes in with free shipping. To good to be true? It was.
I replaced the bearing, took it for a test drive, and it hummed louder than the old one.

All that hard work for nothing. For those who've done this before, you know what I mean. (Loc-tite on the bolts, mac strut in the way, brake off, etc.) Sweat, sweat. Grunt, grunt.

That online parts store actually warrantied the part and gave my money back. Criteria: I had to go to a local mechanic to verify the problem, get a work order letterhead, and photograph the part.

So then, I go to a local reputable part store and buy a popular brand name made bearing assembly for $185 taxes in.
I put that unit on, took it for a test drive and it hummed away. It wasn't as bad as the previous one, but still bad.

Fortunately, they are going to warranty the part. Then, they recommended another kind of bearing/hub assembly for $235 taxes in. This one was supposed to be reliable.

I just put that new bearing/hub assembly on the car. And just took it for a test drive, and like before, it still hums away. This is the best bearing yet though. Meaning that it isn't as loud as the others...yet! I test drove it by turning the weight off the wheel, turning to the right making the noise temporarily go away.

Here I am, 3 bearings later. Can you believe it? This is so frustrating. There is lots of hard work put into this. The only positive thing is my repair time is getting shorter,...lots of practice.

Does anyone have any ideas about this problem? I sure would appreciate it.
Thanks! Dave.

Last edited by davidmiller; 05-26-2016 at 10:52 PM. Reason: Too long and poorly written.
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  #2  
Old 05-26-2016, 11:07 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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I had a similar problem at around 110k miles...replace the front bearings with new oem bearings (F A G brand)...still hummed. It ended up being the tires....they looked absolutely fine, and only had about 10k miles on them. They were Goodyear F1 All Season...and I later learned, notorious for getting very noisy and humming at speeds over 45 to 50 mph, once you accumulated 7k to 8k miles. I lived with the noise for another 20k miles (damn they wore like iron!) and with a good 40% tread left, I ditched them for some new Continental DW tires and finally silence.

The point of my long winded story is slap the spare tire on that corner and see what happens.
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  #3  
Old 05-27-2016, 08:17 AM
davidmiller davidmiller is offline
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I just put on an F A G bearing. I'll try the tire switch and see what happens. Thanks.
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  #4  
Old 05-28-2016, 12:21 AM
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computiNATEor computiNATEor is offline
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In my experience, a bad wheel bearing made a soft rup-rup-rup noise in right hand turns. It was definitely the bearing, as when I removed it and replaced it, the left front was definitely bad. It was easier to turn than the right front (almost free-spinning, which isn't what one wants), and make a slight tick-tick noise if rotated by hand.
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  #5  
Old 05-28-2016, 03:58 PM
davidmiller davidmiller is offline
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I did the tire switch and it never helped. The rear drivers bearing seems good. The noise persists on the front drivers side. When the car leans to the right, the noise stops. I must have bought another bad bearing I wonder how much an OEM cost? Expensive, no doubt.
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  #6  
Old 05-29-2016, 01:33 AM
davidmiller davidmiller is offline
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i agree it is unlikely that many bearings especially the *** one would fail. It sounds like an aggressive tire tread noise, like knobby tires localized to that one side. If I take a curve that leans the car to the right, it subsides. At that point, the weight of the car is less on the drivers side. Going straight or leaning the car's weight towards the left brings the noise back. I took it to a shop after the first bearing change. The mechanic took it for a drive and said the drivers side bearing needed to be replaced. So I did twice, but get the exact same noise. This is a mystery.
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  #7  
Old 05-29-2016, 04:10 AM
pack horse pack horse is offline
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If its not your tyres,have you checked the front passenger wheel bearing?

A noisy Left turn= right wheel bearing fault.

When you turn left you load the right side bearing making it seem louder and this throws your sense of perception as to where the noise is coming from.
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  #8  
Old 05-29-2016, 05:31 AM
noodlesandsam noodlesandsam is offline
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No. The op had the diagnosis correct. The bearing on the unloaded corner should get louder when turning. Do the other side - you might just be able to spin in the air - now that the left is good.
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  #9  
Old 05-29-2016, 08:06 AM
bobdmac bobdmac is online now
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Have you jacked up the front end and spun the wheels to compare right and left?
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  #10  
Old 05-29-2016, 09:46 AM
davidmiller davidmiller is offline
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I'll check the passenger side today.
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  #11  
Old 05-29-2016, 08:46 PM
davidmiller davidmiller is offline
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I checked the passenger side today. There was no obvious play in the wheel. It spun freely, more freely than the drivers side. I still have that cheap warrantied bearing from the online store. I'm going to put it on the passenger side and see what happens. It is a new bearing and it might give me an indication of whether or not there is a problem on that wheel. Once I put it on, the noise should be gone or at least different. This is a crazy problem.
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  #12  
Old 05-30-2016, 05:24 PM
davidmiller davidmiller is offline
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I put a new bearing on the passenger side and problem solved! It fooled more that one person sounding like the drivers side. A lesson learned to be more diligent in diagnostic work ahead of repairs. Thanks for all your input.
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  #13  
Old 05-30-2016, 05:43 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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Awesome to hear of the resolution. One reason I try to do stuff in pairs....I always figure the other side is not far from failing as well...lol
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  #14  
Old 05-30-2016, 11:56 PM
berkeleydojah berkeleydojah is offline
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Clearly it's not the bearings if you keep on replacing them...
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  #15  
Old 06-01-2016, 08:53 AM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berkeleydojah View Post
Clearly it's not the bearings if you keep on replacing them...
Clearly it IS, you just didn't read the entire thread. Skip to post #12 for the resolution.
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Factory 540 M-Sport (Canadian market), factory Bluetooth, factory M-Audio 10" dual voice coil subs, Homelink, M5 rear stabilizer bar, H&R 15mm spacers, Bilstein B14 PSS coil overs, Stop Tech ss brake lines, Akebono Euro Ceramic brake pads, oem Brembo and Zimmerman rotors, Dinan Stage 1 software, Strong Strut front upper stress bar.
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