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Over the past few weeks i've noticed that my car makes a strange humming/whiring noise, almost like a 'giant fan' in the background, i can't pin point exactly which corner the noise is comming from. The noise is not linked to the engine revs, and increases with speed with it being most prominent at about 50mph, after which the engine note and road noise take over.

I think that it could be the bearings but im not experianced enough to tell for sure, ive tried to see if it gets louder under cornering in a certain direction but i've not noticed any change in the volume no matter if im in a corner or on the straight aslong as i keep the speed the same.

I should perhaps mention that my car has done 53k miles now and that the front two tires are on the legal limit and will need changing, if this helps?

Any ideas as to what it could be, or any other way to tell?
 

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Almost certainly a noisy worn wheel bearing, diagonosed a friends 2002 MINI One (60k) with a similar noise last week. To narrow down which wheel it is coming from.............. jack each wheel up and spin it by hand feeling for roughness / noise and rock the wheel side to side & top to bottom to check for play.
On my friends MINI there was definite noise and roughness in the rear N/S bearing which was replaced soon after eliminating the droning noise completely. :)
 
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