Any easy way to isolate a growl?


Old 04-15-10, 07:48 AM
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Any easy way to isolate a growl?

I have this growl that is more pronounced at times than others. It is not loud or anything. My mother, if this was her car, would never even think about it. It is just that I am attuned to what a fine tuned running machine should sound like. Anything I feel is out of the ordinary makes me cringe. Because you can envision impossible repair bills maybe in the future, or a catastrophic failure while out on the road.

I still am trying to figure out if certain roads/stretches are causing it more than others.

The sound could be likened to the growl you can get from snow tires. Or if someone overtightened the wheel bearings. Or is it in the transaxle? You can even feel it a little bit on the gas pedal when it is doing it. I am very attuned to problems/sounds and this is borderline disconcerning to me. It also may be.....MAY be causing the car to have a slight drag when this growl is going on - but not 100% positive if I am imagining that or not. If it is, it may be so so slight that even doing test coasting runs with growl and without may not even be conclusive. If say the car slowed from 60 down to 30 in X seconds without the growl, but then took 1 second longer with the growl, is that because a slight breeze cropped up?
That sort of thing.

And could THIS be related? Something peculiar I just noticed: When I accelerate to say 30 and let off the gas, the car slows, naturally, and smoothly and then as it continues to slow, I feel this weak 'shudder'. The shudder is linear. Not like a sideways shimmy shudder. It is like there is band slippage in the tranny that grabs, slips, grabs. Torque converter? Is this maybe even normal? I have no slippage while driving. Trans fluid is pink and has no foul odor and is slightly below full at hot idle. It is just as I said, an interesting discovery I noticed, when slightly accelerating to a slow speed and letting off the gas. Out of 100 people that are not motorheads, I seriously doubt anyone would have picked uip on this anamoly.

The car is a 92 Spirit with a 3.0L V-6 engine.
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Old 04-15-10, 10:58 AM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Kingsport, TN
Posts: 217
My mother had a '98 cadillac. It would emit slight growls and slight vibration(I heard it/felt it) occasionally at low speed. It was her transmission; she had to get it replaced.

Hope your problem is something less costly. You could try letting your mother in law out of the trunk.
Old 04-15-10, 03:21 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northeastern PA.
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A few stupid things to point out before the panic sets in.

1) Beg borrow or steal a torque wrench, 85 Ft/lbs on all of your lug nuts.....( I'm a firm believer that "Torquing" Lug nuts is a load of "Poppycock", but it cant hurt.)
2) Inflate the tires to the door sticker value...If memory serves it was 33 psi.
3) Jack up each wheel and spin the wheel slowly by hand.Listen for any abnormal noise "INSIDE" the tire. Ive found old valve stems, old wheel weights, (And for the Old guys here --A timex Watch) That inadvertently made their way in during tire replacement, and can cause all sorts of balance and noise concerns.
4) motor mounts can rattle on the frame during "Float" conditions such as youve described, And will dissipate as the engine "Sits" back down on its Perch.
5) The right side splash shield can lose its "Clips" Over the years, and send air vibrations thru the frame of the vehicle.

If all else fails, and you still worry about trans......Take it to a reputable dealer or trans shop, equipped with a "DRBII" or equivalent Scan tool. Ask for the CVI readings, and perform a "QUICKLEARN". There is a Chart to follow which is to in depth to post here, but if you post the values, I can take them to work and run them against the chart.
Old 04-15-10, 03:28 PM
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. Ya, similar to when someone else told me I might have a tiger in my tank.


I am going to have to write your post down longhand and save it. Thanks for the insight. Like I said, all this stuff is pretty minor and would go undetected by most people. I'll notice it, and then I won't - because it is even subtle when it is there. If one were to think tiger in the tank, it be more like a kitty in the tank.

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