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I have a 2020 Ford Ecosport SE AWD. At 12000 miles I started hearing a whining noise coming from the wheel. I took it to a local Ford Dealer to get looked at. I told them, it sounded like a wheel bearing to me. They did an alignment and told me "it is just road tire noise" and not to worry about it. Over the next 17000 miles, the noise got progressively worse and around 29000 miles, the car developed a strange vibration at exactly 57-59 mph. I thought it was a tire out of balance, so I took it to a local tire shop. They looked at it, and quickly diagnosed it as the wheel bearing all along.

I tried to take it back to the Ford Dealer, but was told it was at least 3 weeks for warranty work to get done, and I couldn't be without the car that long. So I took it back to the tire shop and had them replace the wheel bearing.

Imagine my surprise at after one week of having the car back, the frickin tie rod end come loose while I was driving. I was very lucky that this happened near my driveway. I managed to find the nut that holds this on in the roadway.

I can only surmise that the local tire shop did not properly tighten the nut on the tie rod end when they fixed the wheel bearing.

I managed to jack the car up and re-connect the tie rod end. It seems to be connected soundly now.

My questions:

1. Is there a risk of this coming apart again? I don't want this to happen at highway speed. I used a torque wrench and tightened it to 110 foot pounds.
2. When the tie rod came loose, the tire turned far to the right and it scrapped off the plastic of some sort of flywheel piece that sits in front of the wheel well area. I have attached the picture.

Does anyone know what this is? It looks like some sort of sensor? I assume that it shouldn't be open to the elements like this, and I want tire shop to fix it since they made the mess in the first place.

Automotive tire Bumper Motor vehicle Gas Automotive wheel system
 
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