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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I have a 2018 clarity with 19500 miles. Taking it to the dealer tomorrow to investigate "whinning" noise which seem to be from the left front. On any other vehicle, I would peg it as a failing wheel bearing. this is not tire noise, as the sound is unchanged after switching to the quieter summer tires.

I think I recall from a year or more on this forum another owner having a bearing requiring replacement on a low-mileage clarity.

I am curious if there are others with this issue, or may recall that previous thread.

Thanks! I will post what the dealer discovers.

-Scott
 

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Several Clarity owners have experienced a failed front wheel bearing, often at mileage less than yours. If that's what it turns out to be it should be a fairly routine repair that the mechanic should have no trouble fixing even if it's the first Clarity they have ever seen, because there is nothing special about the Clarity wheel bearings it apparently uses the same wheel bearings as several other Honda vehicles. Which also means you shouldn't have to wait for parts and the repair has a good chance of being done same day. The repair should be covered under the 3yr/36,000 mile warranty which you are still under. And it's not really a huge concern if a bearing were to go out after the warranty has expired, because it's a repair that you can have done at an independent shop for likely much less than a dealer will charge. An independent shop should have no problem getting the part from Honda.
 

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I also have a 2018 Clarity with a similar noise. I posted about "a faint mechanical rubbing noise" earlier in this forum. I mentioned it when it was serviced recently thinking it was something with the brakes. They didn't find a problem with the brakes. After I noticed the noise when I left (and which is getting a bit louder), they suggested I book a diagnostic service slot. I'll do that the next time I'm in Madison, WI where I bought the car. Unfortunately, it is about 150 miles away from where I live. I'll be curious what you dealer says. Does the 3 yr/36,000 mile warranty begin the day we buy the car or the day it was manufactured?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yep, it was a failed bearing

The 'whinning' noise was failing wheel bearing. Local Honda dealer had the part in stock. Car was ready to go by lunch, and it was covered under warranty.

Nice to know that this is a common part with other Hondas - There are several Clarity's in town, but I am always moderately concerned about Hondas full support of this vehicle.
 

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Faint, rubbing sound...

I'm sitting in the waiting area at Dahl Honda in Onalaska, Wisconsin. I rode with a technician who heard the noise and thought it might be a rock in the brake assembly. It wasn't. He says it is rust buildup on the backside of the rotor. Apparently the Clarity's regenerative braking is too efficient and I don't engage the brakes enough. As a result, rust builds up. My guess is there is more on the brakes than should be since my 2018 Clarity PHEV sat on the showroom floor at Wilde East Towne Honda in Madison for a year before I bought it in June 2019. The tech didn't want to grind the rust off for fear of creating uneven spots on the rotor but he is trying to knock some off with a softer tool. He is also going to take it to some hilly areas nearby to engage the brakes vigorously with the goal of knocking more off. Nice guy. I told him and the service manager that, per advice in this forum, I took my car out, got it up to 60 mph, and hit the brakes hard a couple times but that I was worried about losing control of the car. I told them this issue shouldn't be occurring because I'm driving the car normally. The tech says they've seen this on the newer Civics (back brakes) and that it happens more in our region where we have salt applied to the roads in the winter. I told them they should report the issue to Honda USA. They didn't hold out much hope for that making much of a difference. That's disappointing. I'm relieved, however, that it appears not to be a front wheel bearing going out.
 

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I heard a grinding type noise at my front right tire but only when the outside temperature was over 100. The noise went away after a few minutes both times that I heard it. Would outside temperature normally affect wheel bearing noise? Since it is unlikely to get above 100 for many months to duplicate the sound, are their visible signs that a mechanic would pick up on?
 

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Hi. I have a 2018 clarity with 19500 miles. Taking it to the dealer tomorrow to investigate "whinning" noise which seem to be from the left front. On any other vehicle, I would peg it as a failing wheel bearing. this is not tire noise, as the sound is unchanged after switching to the quieter summer tires.

I think I recall from a year or more on this forum another owner having a bearing requiring replacement on a low-mileage clarity.

I am curious if there are others with this issue, or may recall that previous thread.

Thanks! I will post what the dealer discovers.

-Scott
I had exactly the same: My 2018 Clarity is only 2.5 years old with 27,000 miles and the bearings have gone on the drives front wheel and it was making a humming noise. The dealer told me the repair was covered but the rotors were worn and that the noise would not completely go away. They told me it was lack of use - he said 27K in 4 years but it is only 2.5 years so around 11K a year. I saw someone posted on a similar thread regarding rotors that the dealer was fishing for unnecessary service. We use regen as much as possible.
 

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I had exactly the same: My 2018 Clarity is only 2.5 years old with 27,000 miles and the bearings have gone on the drives front wheel and it was making a humming noise. The dealer told me the repair was covered but the rotors were worn and that the noise would not completely go away. They told me it was lack of use - he said 27K in 4 years but it is only 2.5 years so around 11K a year. I saw someone posted on a similar thread regarding rotors that the dealer was fishing for unnecessary service. We use regen as much as possible.
I have only driven our 2020 Clarity about 4000 miles in its first year. I am very gentle on the brakes but I believe that the mechanical brakes still engage enough to clear any light rust that begins to form on the rotor. We’ve had a very humid Midwest spring and summer this year and I recently inspected the rotors and they are in great shape. Unless your Clarity sits unused for months at a time, I’d think normal brake usage would keep the rust cleared from the rotors.
 

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2018 Clarity 40k miles, heard a grinding that wasn't there before, took it to the dealer and they diagnosed as bad wheel bearings.They didn't have any on hand so they're being replaced tomorrow. luckily all covered by warranty.
 

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2018 Clarity 40k miles, heard a grinding that wasn't there before, took it to the dealer and they diagnosed as bad wheel bearings.They didn't have any on hand so they're being replaced tomorrow. luckily all covered by warranty.
Yeah, usually if the grinding noise is pretty constant even when brakes are not being used, you would assume wheel bearing problems. Wheel bearing noises also usually get louder when the vehicle is making a turn. And they get progressively louder and louder as time goes by without servicing them.
 

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2018 Clarity 40k miles, heard a grinding that wasn't there before, took it to the dealer and they diagnosed as bad wheel bearings.They didn't have any on hand so they're being replaced tomorrow. luckily all covered by warranty.
I've seen more than a "fair share" of wheel bearing issues posted on these fora. Anybody else noticed a pattern of concern?
 

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I've seen more than a "fair share" of wheel bearing issues posted on these fora. Anybody else noticed a pattern of concern?
Yeah, I’ve noticed that too. Hopefully it’s not too common of a problem. At the rate I’m going it may take 10 years to get 40k on my Clarity!
 

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I have read that there's nothing special about the Clarity wheel bearings as far as replacing them, it apparently uses the same wheel bearings as other Honda models. Dealers typically have them in stock and can do the service same day. After the warranty has expired you can go to an independent shop and have it done likely for less money than having it done at the dealer.

I'm not sure if wheel bearings are covered under HondaCare extended warranty, I suspect they are not.
 

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I have read that there's nothing special about the Clarity wheel bearings as far as replacing them, it apparently uses the same wheel bearings as other Honda models. Dealers typically have them in stock and can do the service same day. After the warranty has expired you can go to an independent shop and have it done likely for less money than having it done at the dealer.

I'm not sure if wheel bearings are covered under HondaCare extended warranty, I suspect they are not.
Good to know, thanks. Perhaps in five or so years, I'll replace them proactively. (We typically only put 5k miles on our vehicles per year.) Letting a wheel bearing go (when it's bad) can cause other, more expensive problems later, if things about wheel bearings haven't changed in 40 years. I remember repacking them with grease in my 1960 Ford Falcon, when I serviced the (drum) brakes. I suspect they're sealed these days.
 
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