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TIRE Problem???


BGH's Avatar
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01-27-03, 06:40 AM   #1  
TIRE Problem???

I hope I can get some advice from the forum before I need to go to the mechanic!

I have a '97 Dodge Stratus that has been going strong during this tough winter and snow covered streets in Western New York. This weekend I noticed a new sound coming from the front end of the car when I was driving. This sound was continuous, and the faster I went, the louder this noise became. I was worried that this noise was coming from the engine, but after putting the car in neutral and reving the engine, the sound wasn't there. It was only when the car was actually in motion did this noise appear. Also, when I was driving and the noise was present, I continuously monitored the RPMs and never did they exceed the norm, overworking the engine.

The front left tire is actually a little low on air, but a friend who was in my car felt that a tire with low air wouldn't make such a noise. He felt that maybe a belt in the tire was the culprit. The tires are new this past summer (off hand I do not recall the brand).

Any ideas or suggestions on what to check before I go to the mechanic? I would rather pinpoint some probable causes before taking it into the shop and having them diagnose.

I appreciate any and all suggestions

 
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01-27-03, 07:11 AM   #2  
Joe_F
Fill all tires to the proper air pressure (do it with the tires cold--vehicle not driven).

Now rotate the tires front to back. If the noise goes away, the problem is a bad tire or is wheel/rim related.

Barring that, you could have a bad wheel bearing. You don't mention mileage in your post....

 
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01-27-03, 07:48 AM   #3  
You are right, I neglected to include the mileage. I have 105,000 miles.

Thanks

 
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01-27-03, 09:33 AM   #4  
Joe_F
Possible bad wheel bearing. Check alldata.com for any known bulletins on this problem/model.

 
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01-27-03, 04:00 PM   #5  
try this

I am a little confused by your post you said that when you went to netural the sound was gone.Here is what I would do to rule out the engine.
Find a safe open road with no other cars get up to speed and shut off engine.Be carefull do not lock the steering.Just coast in netrual and listen.

 
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01-27-03, 04:27 PM   #6  
Joe_F
I'd agree, but I don't think you'd find the problem that way, besides, trying to stop a stalled out car without power brakes and steering is daunting.

Also, conking the car out in gear like that can have hazardous effects on the catalytic converter (pushes a lot of crap and potentially raw fuel through it). Not a good idea. One reason (among many) why most cars with catalytic converters should not be push started.

Try it in successive order as noted above. First rule out the tire pressure. Then rule out the wheels, then work from there.


Last edited by Joe_F; 01-27-03 at 04:50 PM.
 
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01-27-03, 04:44 PM   #7  
Shutting off engine while rolling is also a serious problem for an automatic transmission. What you did was fine to detirmine if drive line or engine noise. What type of noise are you hearing? (whine, click, etc...)

 
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01-27-03, 05:00 PM   #8  
my 2 cents

I do agree that you will lose power steering and you will have a few applications of brakes till the booster runs out of air pressure. And as far as the transmission yes it would not be a good thing for it if you were going miles in this condition such as towing.(but for a quick troubleshooting I have found it to work pretty well) It can be done as long as you do it safely.Doing it this way will eliminate all engine noise such as pulleys,belts,pumps,alternator,fans etc.Also test is not done in gear with would cause a great build up of unburned fuel in the muffler.(I blew a muffler on a 65 dodge).

 
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01-27-03, 06:33 PM   #9  
trendar
possible transmission damage aside, why would unburned fuel continue to flow out to the exhaust if the engine is shut off? I could see it on a carbureted car and coasting down in gear, but if the engine is shut off and have it's in neutral, there shouldn't be any fuel delivery in either case-

 
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01-27-03, 06:41 PM   #10  
thats correct

You are correct I did it on a 65 Dodge the new fuel injected engines wont do the fuel thing.I was a dumb kid of 19 or so and I was hauling down the freeway going about 70 and I got a bright idea what if I shut off engine in gear and then restart now I know.
It scared the heck out of me and split the muffler in half at the seam.Wish I still had that Dodge Coronet.

 
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01-27-03, 07:15 PM   #11  
Joe_F
Conking the motor out in gear or while moving will cause everything to go into a convulsion. It's killing 12V to the computer and sensors and is not a good thing.

There are many better ways to check the noise. First of all, we do not know what type of noise we are dealing with as Dan pointed out.

Also, rolling without the engine running means that the transmission fluid is not being pumped through the tranny and you're running it dry. Not good .

 
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01-27-03, 07:19 PM   #12  
trendar
A friend of mine used to do that for entertainment on his Honda Interceptor, back in his younger days; hit the kill switch while coasting down in gear, then after the exhaust was sufficiently loaded up with fuel, switched it back on- BLAM!
No power steering or catalytics to worry about there, and it didn't seem to faze the muffler much.

 
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01-28-03, 07:33 AM   #13  
Description of noise

In response to Dirty Dans question about the noise:

It is more of a continuous whine/humming that gets louder as the car goes faster. I noticed last night as I was going around a bend at 40 mph that the noise stopped when I had the drivers wheel cranked to make the bend. Then, when I straightened out and proceeded in a straight drive, the noise came back.

Any thoughts?

 
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01-28-03, 07:38 AM   #14  
Joe_F
Possible bad wheel bearing. Again, check alldata.com. I recall some sort of recall/bulletin on this type of problem.

I remember there was a recall on these era "JA" body cars on the suspension, ball joints and possibly the wheel bearings.

 
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01-28-03, 10:23 PM   #15  
I agree with Joe, sounds like wheel bearings. Jack up front of car grab tire by top and bottom and try to wiggle the wheel. If it wiggles at all you have a problem with at least the bearings. It is not safe to drive a car with this problem. Get it fixed very soon.
Also, a great time to check the brakes while you're in there.

 
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01-29-03, 10:11 AM   #16  
Joe_F
Original poster:

Have you checked alldata.com as suggested by me and others for bulletins? First place to start!

 
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01-29-03, 11:39 AM   #17  
ALLDATA

I just checked the alldata listing for the '97 Dodge Startus and found that there was a recall on the "Front Lower Control Arm Ball Joints."

Would this be causing my problem - that whining noise? Is it the same as the wheel bearings the posters were mentioning?

If this recall is the problem, what exactly should I do about it? I bought the car used in July, and not from the dealer. Would it still qualify for the recall??

One last question - -on alldata they list safety recalls and service bulletins. What use are the service bulletins?

I appreciate all the advice and answers to my questions. Thanks.

 
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01-29-03, 04:27 PM   #18  
Joe_F
Just give the VIN # to the Chrysler dealer and they will advise if your car is affected and if it has been taken care of. Get all of the recalls checked out and done if they apply and haven't been done to your car.

A technical service bulletin is just a way to inform the dealership of a problem on a model or how to fix something better when they encounter it. It may or may not translate into a "free" repair for the customer. Depends on the customer, dealer, situation, problem, campaign, etc.

As for the Stratus/Cirrus/Breeze, all of them are lackluster heaps. Blown head gaskets, creaks, rattles and problems abound with these. My friend has one that he inherited from his mother---40,000 miles and a blown head gasket. Not good. Chrysler has redesigned the gasket easily four times, still problematic. One of these would have to be free for me to own it.

This bulletin is probably one you want to talk to the dealer about. Get them to give you a copy and see if it matches your symptoms:

02-07-97 SEP 97 Front Hub - Rumble or Gear Type Noises

 
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02-03-03, 01:31 PM   #19  
You guys were right on: a friend recommended a trusted mechanic and he determined that it was a bad wheel bearing. Thanks again!

 
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02-03-03, 01:43 PM   #20  
Joe_F
Glad to hear it's solved.

 
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