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Feel, Hear, See, Smell 2c

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

  • Scraping from the rear of the car that is heard when braking:
    A scraping noise is heard when you apply the brakes. The brakes may or may not seem to be working normally and the noise may or may not come and go. The problem usually begins gradually and gets worse over time. As the problem gets worse, the noise gets louder.

    Possible causes:
    1. Brake pads and/or brake shoes are worn out: Replace the brake pads/shoes as required.

    2. Brake drums are out of round or warped: Machine or replace rear brake drums.

    3. Bad rear drum brake wheel cylinder: Replace or rebuild both rear wheel cylinders.


  • The Windshield wipers make a squealing noise:
    You turn on your windshield wipers and they squeal as they move across the windshield. This problem can occur occasionally or happen every time the wipers are turned on. In addition, the problem may suddenly appear or may gradually worsen.

    Possible causes:
    1. Your wiper blades are too hard and need to be replaced: Replace wiper blades.

    2. Your wiper blades are worn and need to be replaced: Replace wiper blades.

    3. The windshield is too dry: Wait until it rains to use the wipers or wet windshield.

    4. Your wiper blade arms need to be replaced: Replace wiper arms.


  • Brakes make a rhythmic scraping noise at low speeds:
    As you step on the brake pedal to stop while moving at low speeds, you notice a rhythmic scraping noise. As the car slows, the frequency of the noise also slows. The noise doesn't seem to be there when braking from high speeds. Sometimes the noise is more noticeable than at other times. The problem usually occurs suddenly.

    Possible causes:
    1. Your brake rotor is badly warped: Machine or replace brake rotors.

    2. Your front wheel bearings are badly out of adjustment: Adjust or replace wheel bearings as required.

    3. Your brake drums are badly out-of-round and need to be replaced: Machine or replace brake drums.


  • There is a scraping noise from the transmission:
    You notice a scraping, grating, or growling noise from the car whenever you start to move forward or in reverse. The noise seems to get worse the longer you drive the car. The noise is not there when you have the car in park or neutral. You don't notice any other problems with the transmission.

    Possible causes:
    1. The transmission's fluid level is low: Fill transmission fluid to proper level.

    2. The fluid in your transmission is contaminated: Flush transmission fluid and replace transmission filter.

    3. You have an internal problem in the transmission: Overhaul transmission.

    4. Your torque converter is bad: Replace torque converter.

    5. The transmission's oil filter is clogged: Flush transmission fluid and replace transmission filter.

    6. Your flex plate (flywheel) is loose or damaged: Tighten or replace flex plate.


  • Alternator makes a squealing noise:
    There is a squealing noise coming from the engine whenever you increase the speed of the engine. Upon inspection, you find the noise is coming from the alternator. The alternator seems to be working properly because the battery stays charged and the charging warning light doesn't come on.

    Possible causes:
    1. Loose or damaged alternator drive belt: Tighten or replace alternator drive belt.

    2. The alternator's internal bearings are worn: Replace alternator or bearings.

    3. The alternator's drive pulley is loose or damaged: Tighten or replace alternator pulley as required.

» 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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