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gearhead670, Auto Service Technician
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Experience:  ase certification
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2002 Chevy Blazer: sound coming..somewhere..exhaust system..65 mph

Customer Question

I have a 2002 Chevy Blazer and I have this low roaring or humming sound coming from somewhere in the exhaust system. It tends to lessen as I pick up speed beyond 65 mph. I can feel a drag on the vehicle. I recently brough four new tires, struts, had vehicle aligned and brought a new air filter. I also purchase and put in a "fuel injector" cleaning kit. All of this expense made the vehicle sound and ran a lot better. Still, there is that low humming/roaring sound. What is making this sound?
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Tech501 replied 11 years ago.
Go to each catalytic converter and hit it sharply with the palm of your hand and listen for any rattles inside. Make sure it's cooled off first.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Tech501's Post: Tech 501:

I tapped,with the palm of my hand, what is recognized as the catalytic and another device that was nearby and similar, and there was no rattle. They both sounded solid. I did not mentioned it earlier, but I thought the noise was also coming from bad wheel bearings. I had this checked out by the people that sold me the new tire$ and strut$, who insist that this would eliminate the noise. So what next? I would gladly pay the $5.00-just tell me how- for the answer to this enigma, wrapped in a riddle, inside of a mystery.
Expert:  Tech501 replied 11 years ago.
Look down the exhaust system closely and see if it is touching metal anywhere.
Expert:  gearhead670 replied 11 years ago.
i have experienced alot of late model low mileage blazers with bad front hub bearing assemblies which may be your problem. any excessive play or roughness while rotating the wheel assembly indicates a failing bearing.depending on your mileage and your warranty you may want to let the dealer take a look at it.if you do not have any warranty left and they need replaced the parts alone sell for 250-450 each.since they are bolt on hubs labor should run around 75 each.hope if this is your problem warranty covers it.
gearhead670, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 3
Experience: ase certification
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Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Tech501's Post: I just look under the car down the length of the exhaust system and I did'n see that it any part was touching any metal directly. The only metal to metal contact that I saw was the metal strap holding the muffler in place, which I'm assuming is aluminum.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to glenn patton's Post: Glenn,

You probably did not read my reply to MECH501. Part of my reply was that I advised by an auto shop that my problem may have been bad wheel hub bearings. I had this checked out by the outfit put on the new shocks and struts, and new tires. Their main business is wheel and tire repair and sales. I was told that the wheel hub bearings were fine and that my problem may have been cause by the vehicle being out of alignment,and the shocks being bad and not allowing the wheels to properly touch the ground, causing the tires to cup and make this noise.
Expert:  gearhead670 replied 11 years ago.
i feel the tire shop misdiagnosed your noise from the start.they took your money for tires and shocks but it didnt solve your noise problem.i would suggest you get a second opinion from another reputable shop.the tire shop isnt probably going to admit its their misdiagnosis.maybe the tech who checked your car was inexperienced in this area.I still think it sounds like a bearing noise.maybe a complaint/ trip to the tire shop manager should be first.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to gearhead670's Post: Gearhead,

I went in to speak with the Service Manager at this outfit and he sent me on a test drive with one of their "technicians" who insisted all along the test drive that the noise that we both heard was normal for an SUV. He insist that it may have been the clutch fan and then he said that it was the transmission changing gears. We got nowhere. I went back to the shop, still unconvinced, and the manager had the vehicle put up on the lift and had a technician spin the wheels while we listen at the wheel assemby with a stethoscope. I did not hear anything like the noise I heard when the vehicle is on the road. He checked out axle and reported no problem said that I should take it to the dealer and get an estimate on what they find and he would beat their price on repairing it. What do you think?
Expert:  gearhead670 replied 11 years ago.
it is obvious you must have the dealer or repuatable shop give you a diagnosis that will guarantee your noise will be resolved.i dont think i would let the tire shop do the repair as they insisted their repair(tires and shocks) would eliminate your noise.I would insist after the diagnosis is made that you contact the tire shop manager to request a partial refund toward the bill of the actual problem.it seems it should be the least they should do to redeem themselves from THEIR misdagnosis and keep you satisfied as repeat returning customer.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to gearhead670's Post: Glen,

I took my Chevy Blazer to a very reputable shop that repair a variety of problems with vehicles. I explain the history and circumstances of my vehicle noise to the Manager. He and one of his technicians took it out for a test drive. When they got back they put it up on the lift and inspected the components underneath. The Manager informed me that he could not find anything wrong with the wheel bearings, exhaust system and axles. He told me that he and his technician drove the vehicle with the window first up and then down. The sound that he said I probably heard was coming from the tires. He indicated that some brand of tires do emit some sort of whirring sound when in contact with the roadbed. He suggest that I adapt to it or turn on my radio or music to muffle it out. He said when I do need tires, I should buy Michelin, because of their low noise ratio. What do you think?

Marion E.
Expert:  gearhead670 replied 11 years ago.
a tire with a more aggressive tread pattern will cause "road" noise.michelins in a highway tread such as a xclt tire would be a good choice.I personally would not recommend the michelin apt due to seeing alot with premature cupping on numerous occasions.xclt or a cross terrain in michelin would be a good choice.

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