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Feel, Hear, See, Smell 2b

When you have a problem with your car you detect it with one of your senses. Either you feel something wrong, hear something, see something or smell something wrong. This is one of a series of articles that will help you interpret what you are sensing and come up with some possible cause of the problem.
» Part 1: Thump & Clunk
» Part 2: Brakes Squeal
» Part 3: Windshield Wipers
» Part 4: Pop & Knock
» Part 5: Popping Noise
» Part 6: Whirring & Buzzing
» Part 7: Too Loud
» Part 8: Transmission Noise
» Part 9: Rattling Noise

  • The brakes squeal when they are applied:
    When you are step on the brakes a shrill squealing sound is heard. It could come from the front or rear of the vehicle but most often it comes from the front. Sometimes there is a pull to one side or the other. This noise may or may not have started gradually. Sometimes the noise goes away but the problem still remains.

    Possible causes:
    1. There is dirt on the brake rotors, drums, pads, and/or shoes: Clean and sand brake pads/shoes and rotors/drums. These will probably return in a week or two.

    2. The brake pads and/or shoes are worn: Replace the brake pads/shoes as required.

    3. The brake pads were overheated and are now glazed: Clean and sand brake pads/shoes and rotors/drums.

    4. The disc brake calipers were mounted incorrectly or have come loose: Repair or replace mounting hardware as required.

    5. Audible Wear Indicators are contacting the rotors: Replace the brake pads


  • The transmission grinds while shifting gears:
    The clutch pedal and gearshift move normally but when you shift into a gear and release the clutch pedal, you hear a grinding noise and feel a vibration through the gearshift handle. This problem starts gradually and gets worse over time.

    Possible causes:
    1. The clutch needs to be adjusted: Adjust clutch.

    2. The clutch is worn: Replace clutch assembly.

    3. There is internal damage to the transmission: Overhaul transmission.

    4. The shift linkage needs to be adjusted: adjust shift linkage.


  • Tires squeal:
    The tires squeal whenever you make a normal turn. This problem may or may not get worse over time.

    Possible causes:
    1. Low tire pressures: Adjust tire pressures to specification.

    2. Worn tires: Replace tires.

    3. Wheels out of alignment: Get wheels aligned.


  • Squealing from engine while accelerating:
    A squealing sound is heard when you step on the gas, slow down or turn a corner. The noise may occur more frequently when the air conditioning is turned on. This noise is getting worse over time.

    Possible causes:
    1. The drive belts are slipping: Replace drive belts.

    2. The drive pulleys for some engine accessories are misaligned: Repair or replace pulleys as required.

    3. You have turned the steering wheel to the limits: Back off the steering stops.

    4. The drive belts are loose: Tighten drive belts.


  • Scraping from the rear of the car while moving:
    The noise is heard only while you are moving. There doesn't seem to be anything wrong except for the noise. You notice the noise gets worse, the faster you drive. This problem can occur suddenly or gradually depending on its cause.

    Possible causes:
    1. Your exhaust system is broken and is dragging on the ground: Repair or replace exhaust system as required.

    2. A tree branch or some thing else is caught under your car and is dragging or rubbing against your tires: Remove the offending object from under the car.

    3. Your parking brake is on: Release parking brake.

    4. Your brakes are dragging: Repair or replace brake parts as required.

    5. Your brake drum backing plates are rubbing against the brake drum: Lubricate backing plate or repair as required.

    6. You locked your kids in the trunk again: Open trunk and release kids.

» Part 1       » Part 2       » Part 3       » Part 4
Part 5       » Part 6       » Part 7       » Part 8
Part 9
Additional Information provided courtesy of and Warranty Direct
© 2000-2007 Vincent T. Ciulla

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