So I've been hearing some occasional squeals at low speed (driveway) from the left rear wheel the last couple of weeks. I was driving today with the cruise set at about 60 and the same wheel suddenly started howling. If I tapped the brakes even lightly, the sound went away. I pulled over to take a look. The rotor looks good. I put new pads and rotors on last year. The rim was very warm to the touch. The passenger side rim was cool. I turned around to head home and didn't hear a sound the rest of the way - about 30 minutes.
Obviously there is some heat from friction building up somewhere. My first thought would be the brake caliper hung up. That shouldn't happen after only a year though. Next would be a bad wheel bearing. I'm going out in a bit to pull the wheel and take a look.
Toyota wants $450 for a hub assembly! Online I can find them for $66-$450. I don't want to go with a cheap part that is going to go bad in no time. I'm guessing that as long as I stick with a brand I've heard of like Timkin, Beck/Arnley, or Raybestos I should be ok (all under $200 at Rock Auto). Do any techs out there have any thoughts or advice to add?