Can anyone help me diagnose this strange grinding noise??


Old 05-25-11, 10:45 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ludlow, MA
Posts: 172
Can anyone help me diagnose this strange grinding noise??

I picked up my sisters car to bring to my house for a complete tune up. Once i got it home, I changed the air filter, cleaned off a ton of corrosion on the battery, and took off drivers front wheel and rear wheel and drum. inspected pads and shoes and put it all back together.

Now there is a slight grinding when engine is decelerating. This may or may not have been grinding on the initial ride to my house, since I had the radio on. It goes away if you accelerate or put the clutch to the floor. Its definitely coming from the front of the car.

I have since replaced the front pads and lubed the sliders and pad edges. Changed the tranny fluid. Spark Plugs. PVC. It makes the same sound. Grinds on decel, goes away if you put the clutch in, comes back when you let the clutch out. I am thinking the throw out bearing just so happened to start going when I took the car. Is this a fair assumption? The car only has 90,000. Seems maybe a little early for a throw out bearing. Though she has used the car for stop and go traffic in boston its whole life.

The brakes are in tip top condition. they work amazing, no sounds. wheel bearings don't feel loose. Lug nuts are very tight and put on evenly.

Oil was recently done.

I would really appreciate someone elses opinion. and thanks a bunch if you actually took the time to read this.
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Old 05-26-11, 03:32 AM
chandler's Avatar
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Your diagnosis may be right, either the release bearing or a delaminating clutch pad.
Old 05-26-11, 04:20 AM
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Location: Ludlow, MA
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and oops. its a 03 Toyota corolla. is it very possible that the throw out bearing or clutch plate could have gone at 90,000 miles? the one on my civic made it to 160,000 and i only changed it because i had pulled the motor for other reasons. I guess it makes sense tho, the civic had mostly highway miles where as the corolla has all city driving. maybe I can get under there while its running with a stethoscope and put it to the bellhousing. good idea? besides the "while its running" part thanks again for your help, i hope to return the favor some day.
Old 05-26-11, 04:30 AM
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Clutch life depends a lot on how the car is driven..... and a lot on how the driver uses or misuses the clutch. I've always been able to get 150k or more out of a clutch but some [mostly kids] need a new clutch in a year or so.
Old 05-26-11, 06:21 AM
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Other's opinions may be correct but if he clutch is not slipping, and the 'grinding' noise is only happening when the release bearing is not under pressure I am wondering if the noise is something involving a transmission input shaft bearing or other for example. They can also make a grinding noise when they wear out.
Old 05-27-11, 07:00 AM
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If every thing is adlusted right the release brng should not be operating when the clutch is out.
Old 05-27-11, 07:47 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
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May just be the nature of the beast. How often do you drive this car? Has your sister complained about the noise? When did the noise start?
Stop by a Toyota dealer and test drive a similar model, I bet it's the same ....

Last edited by 2granddaughters; 05-27-11 at 09:48 AM.
Old 05-27-11, 09:58 AM
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this post keeps me puzzled.

i'd safely assume that there was NO grinding noise before you started working on that car. Hondas do not have stereos that powerful, plus, grinding noise carries through metal and is well heard and felt even with very loud music.

I'd seriously suggest to go back through every piece your hands touched while you did what you did. BEFORE you go down the road of replacing transmissions, engines, etc.

my heart points towards brakes, as you did not mention anything else done, just minor stuff. grinding is "something's rubbing when it spins" type of noise, brakes will be right there in that realm. dust shields, eg, are notorious for being bent and rub on rotors. crooked brake pad can do this. loose wheel lugs, btw, oh yeah! Hondas are very sensitive to proper torque on wheel lgs. also, they are very sensitive to having mating surfaces between rotors and wheels perfectly clean, or wheel with sit crooked and out of kilter.

or, you hit something underneath. btw, deceleration as in with using brakes or simply rolling down? if it rolls down and there's grinding noise, wheel bearing might be the culprit. repack them with good grease and see what happens.

last thought: is the manual transmission fluid level good? personally, I do not believe clutch bearing will go bad at 90K, unless that car was really raced, but then clutch will go out before it.

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