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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys so I have a 2017 Jeep Compass High Altitude Edition 1st Gen with around 45K miles on it. Now I'm here to ask you guys about something on my compass and I want to know if your cars do the same thing as mine. Now, somewhere along this discussion are 2 YouTube videos on what my car is doing. While driving my car I hear a loud, pulsing noise that fazes in and out. The closest thing it reminds me of is a propeller on a plane, where the noise waves in and out. Now this happens when the car speeds up and slows down and is constant, meaning it doesn't just cut in and out at random times. I would also like to note that cold or hot weather doesn't seem to affect it.

At first I thought the noise was from the roads I was driving on but I drove to NY from NJ and back not too long ago and the sound didn't seem to be different depending on the road I was driving on. Now another thinking of mine is that its just the engine being loud because its a 4 CYL engine with a lot of weight to haul, but I don't know. I cant think of anything else it might be but hopefully the video can explain the situation better then I can.

(P.S. It might help to put headphones on when watching both videos.)

 

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I couldn't open your videos, but I'll take a guess anyway. Your description sounds like a wheel bearing, but at those miles I doubt you have a mechanical problem, so more likely a tire that is wearing strangely.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I couldn't open your videos, but I'll take a guess anyway. Your description sounds like a wheel bearing, but at those miles I doubt you have a mechanical problem, so more likely a tire that is wearing strangely.
Ok I’ll try to fix the videos, also my rear right tire is slated .3 degrees. I’d be surprised if something that small would make a noise like that.
 

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Oh, yeah, I remember you from another thread. As I recall we suspected your Patriot had suffered some damage before you owned it. Maybe it's related to whatever happened then?
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
It wasn't my Patriot that we suspected but it was the Compass here, if you recall I brought the Compass to the dealership to get the slanted tire fixed but long story short they couldn't fix it 100%. So it was left with the tire still slanted .3 degrees and they suggested I take it to a body shop. I didn't bring it anywhere else once I got it back from the dealership though and I'm not sure if I want to go through the hassle of taking it back to the dealership to tell them that since it was semi repaired, now its making a weird noise. Also I tried fixing the 2 videos and there are new links in this discussion, so see if these new links work.


 

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Thanks for fixing the videos, and I'm sorry for the vehicle confusion. I just had the wheel bearing replaced on my Patriot.

However, it sounded just like the noise in your Compass video so I'm sticking with my guess. For a wheel bearing to go south when it's so young further inclines me to believe that something happened in your vehicle's past. My Patriot wheel bearings made it to 140,000 miles -- you're at 1/3 those miles -- definitely premature. Of the 20+ vehicles I've owned I've never had a wheel bearing fail before 100,000 miles.

Maybe your Compass was in an accident and got a shoddy repair job. Maybe it got overloaded and it stressed the suspension. Maybe it got damaged while off-roading. Who knows? I imagine the previous owner fixed it cheap and sold it quick before any problems showed up.
 

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Wheel bearing seems pretty likely, you can do a 90% confident diagnoses of that at home if you have a jack. Google should give you lots of results on how to investigate a potential wheel bearing issue in your own home driveway.

Some less likely possibilities would be maybe the rear differential being low on fluid (most diffs are easy to check but you would need to google that to know how on your specific car and what fluid type it takes)

A carrier bearing or U-Joint on the rear driveshaft could be close to the end of its life too. If you can wiggle the driveshaft any significant amount at the carrier or pinion then that could be the source. I'd give fair odds to this possibility if the sound more or less permeates the entire vehicle completely. What I mean is that if it was a wheel bearing you would probably have some sense of which corner of the car the sound is coming from, whereas a carrier or U-Joint in the middle of the car could sound like its coming from everywhere.

And if you have a CVT, vaguely possible that there is some issue with that but it will probably be beyond anything that can be checked at home. Consult your owners manual to see if there is a transmission dipstick you can check on that model, but most likely won't have one.

If the sound only winds up and down with speed and not with engine RPM then its definitely drivetrain related (correct us immediately if sound goes up and down with RPM regardless of car speed). Jack up each corner and check for bearing play, inspect and try to wiggle all CV axles and look for cracked/ripped CV boots, try to wiggle the driveshaft at the pinion and near the carrier bearing (if applicable), check rear diff fluid level, check transmission fluid level if possible.

Google for safe and proper procedure on checking any/all of the above if not comfortable and familiar and ALWAYS be super super careful when crawling under any vehicle. Don't do it if you can't do it safely. One of my third cousins was crushed by a car that fell on him working under it without proper jack and jackstands. The scissor jack that comes with the car is not safe for supporting a car for crawling under it, only for changing a tire or doing something next to (but not under) the car.
 

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Again, I think my idea and all the ideas arudlang suggested would be premature repairs unless something bad had happened to precipitate it. Since that remains a possibility, all of the above are unfortunately possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok thank you for the great reply’s. When I’m driving the noise seems to be dependent on the cars speed and not the RPM of the engine. I noticed when I come to a stop, or start from a stop, it goes up and down as I increase and decrease in speed, when the gears shift while increasing it doesn’t seem to effect the noise at all. If you listen to the videos you can see and hear my car slow down and you’ll notice the noise get quieter and quieter as I slow to a stop.

Unfortunately I don’t have a jack or jack stands here at my house so I don’t think I can really do any of the things arudlang suggested to me. Would something like this get worse and worse as time goes on? Or is it too early to tell because we don’t know what’s really going on? Should I bring it back to the dealership and say something to them about it and how the car now has this rumbling noise to it?
 

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Ok thank you for the great reply’s. When I’m driving the noise seems to be dependent on the cars speed and not the RPM of the engine. I noticed when I come to a stop, or start from a stop, it goes up and down as I increase and decrease in speed, when the gears shift while increasing it doesn’t seem to effect the noise at all. If you listen to the videos you can see and hear my car slow down and you’ll notice the noise get quieter and quieter as I slow to a stop.

Unfortunately I don’t have a jack or jack stands here at my house so I don’t think I can really do any of the things arudlang suggested to me. Would something like this get worse and worse as time goes on? Or is it too early to tell because we don’t know what’s really going on? Should I bring it back to the dealership and say something to them about it and how the car now has this rumbling noise to it?
Yes, it will get worse. Certainly it will get louder and louder and either seize or even catch fire. Not to panic you, but yes, it needs attention.

No, it isn't the dealership's fault, everything wears out. Yours is just wearing out way before it should, again probably because of a previous injury. Maybe they should have seen it when you said your tire was leaning; as @arudlang said, the wheel would have had some play in it so I'd expect them to notice. Then again, that may not be the wheel bearing that is failing. I'm sure they can fix it. My front wheel bearing was done by an independent shop for $300 (parts & labor) -- he even gave me price comparison of better/cheaper parts and I made the decision to go with better. So if you're on a tight budget you might get it replaced for less. A dealership usually charges more than an independent shop but the dealer will use OEM parts and ostensibly they are better. (I know that statement will generate a flurry of responses!)
 

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Does the sound change if you swerve from one side to the other? A wheel bearing noise will usually change pitch as the weight shifts from side to side.
 

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So my two cents here. Check out the wheel that looks out of sorts. Unless I miss my guess the tire is cupped, probably on the inside of the tread which is the source of the noise. That can either be a wheel bearing as some suggest or a simple alignment issue. Either one will ruin your tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hey guys so I have some updates for you all and its a long one.

After looking at your suggestions and thinking it over I decided to take my car to a buddy of mine. We took the tire off that was slanted to see if we could find anything that might be wrong and to see if the loud rumble was coming from there. He suggested that it might have been a wheel bearing like you guys have stated but we tried moving the tire to see if there was any play and found that it seemed to be good. Plus the noise seemed to be coming from the middle of the car, even if you sat in each seat of the car it all relatively sounded the same and didn't seem like it came from one corner.

Afterwards we suspected the CV rear axles that could have gone bad on each side which we thought was the issue but my buddy told me he wasn't 100% sure because there were no tests he could do without actually replacing it and spending money and checking if the noise was still there. After thinking it over I referred to the forums (you guys) and started reading off what you guys said could be the possibilities. After reading over arudlang's post about the carrier bearings that's when it "clicked" to my buddy. So what had happened was we went under the car and my buddy mounted a GoPro with a magnet on the end of it facing the driveshaft to get footage of it while we would ride down the road. He also mentioned that the carrier bearing seemed a bit low and had more space on top then it did the bottom when looking at it close up.

After watching the footage (that I will be putting at the end of this discussion) he was now 95% sure that the issue was the carrier bearing and that was the cause for the loud rumbling noise. Great! The issue has gone down to $80ish and I don't have to replace both CV rear axles which cost around $116 on one side and $130 on the other. Well not so fast, the issue was we couldn't seem to find the carrier bearing itself anywhere until we started calling autopart stores, once we did they started telling us we would have to get the WHOLE driveshaft in order to get the carrier bearing and it usually wasn't sold individually. The price of the driveshaft was near $500 itself at the parts store and that's not even including labor which might also be another hefty bill.

Either way my buddy told me to get other opinions and see what you guys think about the situation and what you think about video and how the driveshaft is behaving. He mentioned that for a car this young to be having a driveshaft issue isn't good and that selling the car is an option. I also want to note that I still have a powertrain limited warranty on the car but at this point I'm not sure if a driveshaft will be covered under that.

Also note at 1:15 in the video, at that point the car goes from forward to reverse. Also notice the amount of movement when he goes in reverse. Is that amount of movement suppose to happen?

 

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You are probably getting warmer. Hard to say from the newest video, it is a good one but there is just so much road and wind noise its hard to pick out the sound even compared to the in-cab videos. And of course with a gopro there is not really any directional sense to the sound and something is vibrating the whole chassis so just hard to say for sure.

Something in the drivetrain is vibrating, that seems pretty well confirmed.

Something is either out of balance somewhere or worn or damaged.

One thing I didn't think of before, if you go on a decently long enough drive of 20 minutes or better and stop it would be good to immediately hop out and try to fee the temp on the hubs, middle of the rims, and (carefully) the edge of the brake rotors. I don't think your issue is a dragging/stuck brake caliper but should rule it out. If one of your brake's isn't fully releasing it could cause vibration and that hub/rim/rotor would be noticeably hotter than the others. You probably would have already noticed it by now though, it would probably smell when you stop the car and if it goes on long enough that rim will start to get discolored from the extra brake dust. It would stand out pretty well. Still one thing thats in the vague realm of possibility.

In terms of narrowing down the drivetrain noise, thats going to be tricky. There is a simple cheap device called a mechanic's stethoscope that works really well for hunting down things like a noisy idler pulley or a failing power steering pump, etc. The problem is its tricky and dangerous to use on a drivetrain... if you could put the vehicle up on a car lift and safely run the vehicle in drive would be one thing. Not sure what to say there.

A little play in the carrier bearing doesn't always mean its shot, thats another tough thing. Like others said its far too early for anything in the drivetrain to be so worn that its vibrating but the unknown would be that possibility of an accident having tweaked or damaged something. Terrible things happen when a spinning drivetrain assembly comes to a sudden, violent stop.

I had a pickup truck that got stuck in the rear passenger tire while driving. The impact to the rim bent the axle, so that was replaced, but after replacing that I still had a vibration. Pretty sure I tried a new carrier bearing, and still had vibration. Finally I took the entire driveshaft assembly to a local specialty shop where they mounted and spin-tested the whole assembly, and they found that one of the sections of driveshaft was slightly bent. They cut and welded new driveshaft tube on, and spin-balanced the assembly and gave it back to me. I put that back in my truck with the new section of driveshaft and the vibration went away. The assumption was the twisting momentum that was going while I was driving forwards and then the sudden strike of the crash caused it to bind and tweak the driveshaft tube. I will say, when that crash occurred the driveshaft broke loose and was hanging so it was definitely believable.

Your pinion bearing at the rear differential where the driveshaft inputs the power to the rear wheels could be damaged too as another possibility. The setup on a pinion is kinda delicate and a very common source of vibration after a ring and pinion replacement. If some prior accident had caused a tooth to be broken off in there and replaced... I have a Pontiac Firebird out back (rear wheel drive car) and many years ago I had the ring and pinion swapped by a mom-and-pop transmission shop (changed the gear ratio for more acceleration) and they didn't get the pinion set quite perfectly so its had a vibration just like the one from your first video ever since. Pretty sure mine is a fair bit quieter but the same type of noise that wanes in and out rhythmically at speed.

For a vehicle this new with that kinda mileage pretty much for sure is the result of some kind of accident the car experienced before you owned it. Its almost unheard of for any drivetrain parts to go bad at the low of mileage. Not sure what your prospects of getting it covered under your powertrain warranty are. Its definitely a powertrain/drivetrain problem but if it was caused by an accident... I don't know. I think that is what I would try though, is seeing if you can get it looked at under warranty. Free to ask anyways.

Barring that you are going to need someone with a proper car lift so the vehicle can be ran safely with all wheels off the ground and use something like the stethoscope to pinpoint it, which is a dangerous multi-person job even for a proper repair shop. Alternatively if you could hunt down and borrow something like this you could probably narrow it down:

 

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...I also want to note that I still have a powertrain limited warranty on the car but at this point I'm not sure if a driveshaft will be covered under that...
If the 2017 warranty is the same as the 2019 it should be covered.
The is from the 2019 powertrain warranty booklet:
All Wheel Drive (AWD):
Power transfer unit and all internal parts; viscous coupler; axle housing and all internal parts; constant velocity joints and boots; driveshaft and axle shaft assemblies; differential carrier assembly and all internal parts; output ball bearing; output flange; end cover; overrunning clutch; vacuum motor; torque tube; pinion spacer and shim, seals and gaskets for listed components only.
 
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