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Discuss Oscillating Road noise at the Focus ST Suspension within the Ford ST Nation; Hey Guys, I've been noticing ...
  1. #1
    ST Nation First Sergeant KaputtEqu1pment's Avatar
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    Oscillating Road noise

    Hey Guys,

    I've been noticing a weird noise while driving lately. Going above 45mph and in the 60+ area while cruising I'm hearing a faint Oscillating noise like "fha fha fha, or wha wha wha", and it pulsates more or less depending on the speed, and degree of the turn. Do you guys know what it could be? I've done some googling and the results are vast: anything between bushings to driveshafts and tires. It raised more concern and question than it managed to answer.

    To give you some more information, I've installed my Summer tires about 1k miles ago and I've rotated them from their original positioning. I've tightened the lugnuts via hand, I feel fairly well, and I believe they are inflated to ford recommendations. I feel like I've been needing an alignment for a while, to correct me having to rudder a bit to the right b/c the car seems to have an affinity to the left ( I assume this is because during my last alignment everything was set to 0, or as close to straight as possible with the car empty, and my weight causes the car to lean left a bit) but I can't quite declare it to be the sole cause. I'm not certain that I need to re balance the tires, as they have less than 3k miles on them, nor did I remove the tires from the rims, although there is a very slight steering wheel shake/vibration that isn't visible but can be slightly felt when holding the wheel lightly--it's definitely not pronounced like it would be if your fronts wheels were out of whack, and I can't recall if I felt this slight vibration before or not (could just be regular road vibration, but i'm not sure) but now that I've noticed it, I can't seem to unnoticed it--know how that goes?

    With that info given, what do you guys think could be the culprit? Input appreciated.
    Last edited by KaputtEqu1pment; 05-04-2013 at 11:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator dem778's Avatar
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    Is it louder when you turn the wheel to one side? Could be a wheel bearing.
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  3. #3
    ST Nation First Sergeant KaputtEqu1pment's Avatar
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    It seems the oscillation subsides when I make a turn

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    ST Nation Master Sergeant
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    Is this with one window open?

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    Sergeant of ST Nation Cowlynz's Avatar
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    I had a 2002ZTS that developed a sound like that, louder over 45 MPH. 50+ there was vibration in the wheel. turned out to be a rear wheel bushing.
    On the ST I had All Season wheels put on and heard a similar (High Speed) sound, but no vibration. This turned out to be the wheels weren't balanced. The shop did a balancing, and now it's seems ok. The tires themselves have a bit of road noise by themselves, but that `Fluttering wobble` sound didn't sit right.
    Last edited by Cowlynz; 05-05-2013 at 05:15 AM.

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    ST Nation First Sergeant KaputtEqu1pment's Avatar
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    @ Zeekay;

    Yes, the noise is similar to that sound when 1 window is open. But the windows are definitely closed.

    @ Cowlynz,

    That's what I'm afraid of, if it's a bushing or something. Would warranty cover that? And how difficult would it be to diagnose? If it's a tire balance issue, I think I can live with that.

  7. #7
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    if u havent done this already run ur hand over the tires inside tread feel for any feathering, if u dont feel any feathering alignment should be ok. tire should feel smooth. if smooth put wheel and tire on balance machine and check balance. tape waits are tricky and if u had a shop do it they proably just balanced the inside of the wheel, i know because some of my coworkers do it. also check to see if noise moves with the wheel when u rotate it. if noise moves may just have tire issue. check to see if tires are rotational and are going in right direction. proper inflation should be 32 pounds if unsure check drivers door jam. check those if none of those fixes it start looking at alignment and suspension components. personally... sounds like a tire issue

  8. #8
    Sergeant of ST Nation Cowlynz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaputtEqu1pment View Post
    @ Cowlynz,

    That's what I'm afraid of, if it's a bushing or something. Would warranty cover that? And how difficult would it be to diagnose? If it's a tire balance issue, I think I can live with that.
    Warranty would/should cover either issue. The trouble diagnosing on the ZTS was mainly a dealer/ mechanic insisted the problem was the breaks, but in reality, the bushing/bearings had caused the breaks to warp.,
    Last edited by Cowlynz; 05-06-2013 at 01:19 AM.

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    ST Nation First Sergeant KaputtEqu1pment's Avatar
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    Sounds like a plan st5, i'll feel around, but i'm not a pro as to what i'm supposed to feel but i'll give it a shot.

  10. #10
    ST Nation First Sergeant KaputtEqu1pment's Avatar
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    I took a video with my cellphone from the interior hoping you guys could hear the noise. The regular static noise is just wind/road, etc, but listen close and you'll hear a higher pitched wobbly noise.

    Oscillation Noise - YouTube

    Also, make sure to jack it up to it's highest quality, and to turn the volume up. It's a little feint, but you can definitely hear a more pronounced wobbly sounds at around the 1 min mark.
    Last edited by KaputtEqu1pment; 05-07-2013 at 12:05 AM.

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