Droning noise - not from bearings, possibly from gearbox?

My car started making a droning noise at speeds of 40mph+. There is no noise when turning left - it begins with the wheels straight and increases with right turns. There is a very slight vibration through the steering column with the noise.

My garage diagnosed a nearside front wheel bearing and replaced with new, but couldn't stop the noise. They tried three new bearings (to eliminate the chance of a faulty supply) and so have eliminated a bearing as causing the noise.

The garage believe the noise to be coming from the gearbox, and are fetching quotes for a second-hand box. I've had great service and they have my trust, but I can't see how the noise would vary with the wheel direction if the gearbox is to blame.

The car is a 54-plate Renault Clio 1.5 dCi (100) with 92k miles.

Many thanks!

Asked on 9 January 2013 by Adam Hopkinson

Answered by Honest John
Try swapping the tyres front to back.
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