2003 ford focus ZTS rear Bearing noise?

I have a 2003 focus zts. 34,000 miles
All of a sudden it has started making what sounds like big tread tire noise from the rear.
The noise increases with speed and changes tone when you are driving it..
Applying the brakes or the parking brake does not seem to change the sound so I am thinking it is the bearings. Also when you slow down it seems to be louder also, with or without the brakes applied.
I tried jacking the car and spinning it but can not get it to make noise that way. Probably not fast enough or no load on it. It sounds like it is the right side to me when driving which does not spin quite as freely as the left when on a jack. That could be brake adjustment difference or bearing wear. Up on a jack they sound fine. No noise when you spin. I tried pulling on the wheel at 12 and 6 and 9 and 3 when on a jack and there is no slack in it the bearing seems OK but what is the noise?
The brakes seem to be functioning but they could be down to the rivets but I would think they would make a different noise.
I changed the tires as they were shot anyways and it did not help the noise. It has to be the bearings or the brake shoes as there is nothing else back there.
This is a 2003. I see the 2000 and 2001 had problems with seals and bearings. But this is a 2003 so I would think they should be fixed.
I still have 9 months on the 36 month warrantee.
Would they be covered in the States for parts and labor?
I also have issues with the rear latch not working correctly. If you push the button it tries to open it 5 times and stops. It will only open if you pull up on it when you press the button. Then it does not close unless you pull on the manual trunk release inside the trunk. Need that fixed too.
Any ideas on the bearing noise? Is it bearings or brakes?
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...> I still have 9 months on the 36 month warrantee. If the bearing is going your warrantee will certainly cover it. It will get progressively noisier and rougher, so there is no great rush unless you are planning a long trip. In theory a bearing failure could cause the wheel to fall off, but in practice you'd never tolerate the noise and vibration that would occur before that happened.
Actually, wheel bearings seldom fail prematurely all by themselves. Usually it is the cover that fails, and the bearing is destroyed by dirt. That's what happened on early Focuses, but can happen on any car.
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FYI- It was the left rear wheel bearing. The dealer replaced it and the faulting rear trunk latch as well under warrantee parts and labor. It took them 3 days since they are slow and had to order the trunk latch from FORD.

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Stacey wrote:

Was that the trunk lid condition where unless you move that little part of the latch mechanism out of the way by hand (or use the trunk escape pull to reset it, if your Focus has one), you can't close the trunk?
I've seen that on more than one Focus, including my '03.
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Yes it had that problem and it also would click about 5 times trying to open. But would not open/unlock unless you lifted the trunk and pressed the button at the same time. Or you could use the manual key to unlock it but even then sometimes had to use the manual trunk escape pull to reset it.
Ford replaced the whole mechanism under warrantee, less than 3 years or 36 K miles.
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On Mon, 09 Jan 2006 15:27:52 -0800, Stacey wrote:

Thanks for the info, Stacey. Unfortunately, I got my '03 at 44k, in November. So far it's only been an annoyance. I'm more concerned about something someone told me about the ignition lock breaking and preventing the key from being turned after insertion. He's had it happen more than once, and knows other Focus owners who have had it happen (and provided me with a URL for how to drill it out when that happens <g>). His is an '03, as well (both/all USan). It becomes a crap shoot either way (replace or not replace?), given his experience with even replacements breaking.
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