Noise from rear my car

Hi,
Just recently I've noticed a droning noise that sounds like it's coming from the rear of my car. The frequency of the noise picks up with speed and is unrelated to engine speed. It's not a grinding and
I can hear it pretty much all the time while I'm moving.
I've checked the tyre pressures and they seem to be OK.
Thinking it could be a wheel bearing, I have also jacked up both rear wheels and rocked the wheels top/bottom and side/side but could not feel any play there at all.
The noise does seem to reduce when I turn the car to the left when driving along, but noise seems to stay the same when I turn to the right.
Has anyone any thoughts on what else I could check or what the noise may be coming from? Could it still be the wheel bearing although there's no free play? My car is a BMW 330D SE Touring (MY2000) with 160,000 miles.
All feedback greatly appreciated, thanks!
Marc
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snipped-for-privacy@googlemail.com wrote:

a wheel bearing also, but the noise didn't go away until I changed the tires.
Try swapping the front and rear tires and see if the noise moves with the tires.
Tom
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I have experienced a similar noise (like snow tires on a pickup truck) from a failing front wheel bearing. I have also had a rear wheel bearing fail but without this noise. The bearing has to be pretty far gone to produce noticeable free play.
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This sounds like the left rear wheel bearing has gone.
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Sounds like wheel bearings to me.
I suggest that any wheel bearing be replaced in an "axle set." I would never replace one wheel bearing unless I was selling the car and did not care about the welfare of any potential buyer. (Since I care about the welfare of others, I would never replace just one wheel bearing.)

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Hi Marc, I just went through similar thing. turned out the bushings were worn out (front and rear). On bmw's the bushings need to get changed more often than other cars (i've had american and japanese). How is your tire wear? Look for the inside of the tires wearing out first. The noise comes from tires (poor alignment). hope this helps,
Oskar
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I've swapped the rear tyres now, so they're new at the back with correct pressures. Unfortunately the noise persists!
Marc
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Jack up the back end and start wiggling and turning. Odds are you will find it's just a bad bearing. --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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It's time to replace the rear left wheel bearings...........
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If you have two cars do you replace the bearings on the other car too?
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Apologies getting back to this, but the noise was easily sorted.
As suspected, it was the near side wheel bearing. It was been replaced easily by a local specialist for about 138.
The noise has completely gone away and the car back to full health again!
Cheers Chaps!
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