Grinding or vibrating sound

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somebody
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:35 pm

Grinding or vibrating sound

Post by somebody » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:54 pm

New owner of an 09 Vibe AWD with 177,000 miles. There's a noise that is random but is happening too often, it lasts for about 3 seconds and appears to come from the front. I originally thought it was drivetrain related, but after checking the front end, everything seems ok. The car recently passed PA vehicle inspection, and the previous owner replaced all 4 wheel bearings. Then I thought something was loose and rattling under the car, but can't find anything loose. It sounds exactly like tires rubbing on plastic inner fenders and I think it can be felt through the left front wheel but it might be my imagination. Does anyone have any suggestions what it could be? I'm certain I can tune out the rear squeaking sound eventually, but this gives you the impression something is wrong.

Bookworm
Posts: 313
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Grinding or vibrating sound

Post by Bookworm » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:02 am

Well, a very common thing to happen to the Vibes (and Matrix) is that the plastic fender liners pop loose and will drag against the tire. It's most common (in my experience) when you're turning in one direction.

I'd get under the car with a flashlight, and look carefully at the fender liner, and the undercarriage shields. The front of the liner can also come loose and start dragging downwards, especially if you're a 'sidewalk' parker. (someone who drives their car so that the bumper is over the sidewalk or concrete bumper).

If you see empty holes, you'll want to buy a bag of pop-ins. I bought mine from Amazon or Ebay - I got five bags of 10 each, and I've used about 20 of them on various bits.

somebody
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:35 pm

Re: Grinding or vibrating sound

Post by somebody » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:42 pm

I found 2 spots where there were missing fasteners, I stuck some push pins in. Thought that fixed it since it went 6-7 miles with no problems but then it started again. There's nothing touching the tires and I'm now(almost) certain it's powertrain related, as it can be felt when it happens. Took it on a little loop and had it up to 60mph and it still did it. I haven't done any high speed turns yet, it always occurs on straightaways.

zbyers
Posts: 665
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:12 pm
Location: Sheffield, Pennsylvania

Re: Grinding or vibrating sound

Post by zbyers » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:46 am

With those wheel well liners, it is also common for them to be "pushed in" when you are driving from the pressure and rub against the tire still. they do have fasteners along the inside of the wheel well too.

Does it make the noise only under acceleration/decel? Or when you hold speed? when you turn? etc.

If you are leaning towards drivetrain, have you done any recent maintenance? New axles, new tranny fluid, things like that? If so, i'd double check any recent changes.

Where in PA are you? We have many members here who might be able to give a hand.
(2) '03 Bases, '03 GT, '04 GT, '04 AWD, '06 AWD, '07 Base, '17 Frontier CCLB
GenVibe on Facebook, Everything You Need To Know About Vibes, Great How-To Index

somebody
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:35 pm

Re: Grinding or vibrating sound

Post by somebody » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:39 am

I felt how flimsy the the splash guards are but I see no evidence of anything rubbing anywhere. For something to rub the tire it'd have to be so loose it'd be apparent just from a quick glance.

It's in a straight line when it does it but I have yet to take any big sweeping highway turns. I can't remember it happening below 30-35mph, so it's when you're getting up to speed and at a sustained speed. If it was a bad bearing or something it'd do it all the time. You can't make it happen by driving on a bumpy road or over a speed bump. The trans fluid has probably never been changed, I'm going to do that this week, but it shifts fine and the fluid doesn't smell burnt. The CV joint boots are in good shape and the front end appears to be in good working order, it just passed inspection before I got it.

somebody
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:35 pm

Re: Grinding or vibrating sound

Post by somebody » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:26 pm

Replaced trans fluid and filter, no difference.

This thing is just bad all around, I haven't put 200 miles on it and it's been nothing but problems. Pretty disappointing for a vehicle that suppose to be so reliable.

I'm over in Mercer County.

jolt
Posts: 650
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:07 am

Re: Grinding or vibrating sound

Post by jolt » Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:12 am

What happens if you slightly drag the brakes when the noise is happening? Does the noise go away or change at all? Does going over bumps change the sound? Check brakes, rotors, pads, pad backers, struts, springs, and related strut parts

Something different: You changed the transmission fluid, do not forget about the read end, transfer case, and the AWD coupler fluids too. You check the drive shaft to the rear end with the hanger bearings and joints? With 177,000 miles there is going to be a lot of stuff worn and close to being worn out if the car was not properly maintained through out it life up to this point.

zbyers
Posts: 665
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:12 pm
Location: Sheffield, Pennsylvania

Re: Grinding or vibrating sound

Post by zbyers » Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:04 am

If you happen to venture to Warren County, I can try to take a look at it. We own a total of 7 or so. Only one second gen (09 AWD that is dad's), but we are pretty knowledgable on them overall.
(2) '03 Bases, '03 GT, '04 GT, '04 AWD, '06 AWD, '07 Base, '17 Frontier CCLB
GenVibe on Facebook, Everything You Need To Know About Vibes, Great How-To Index

somebody
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:35 pm

Re: Grinding or vibrating sound

Post by somebody » Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:21 am

I wish I could make it to Warren County zbyers, Drove my wife to work last night and ended up walking the last 1/4 mile home...Battery died. I put it on the charger overnight and went to pick her up this morning, we barely made it home. It's only an 18 minute round trip. I did some preventative maintenance the other day, cleaner the battery terminals, and the battery light came on afterwards. The next day I tighten the nuts and the light went off, then came back on, then it would go off and come back on........I metered it while running and it's not charging the battery. Seems weird to me that this happened after I did something good, that ended up being bad. Hopefully I can find a loose wire or something other than buying a new alternator. I have another battery to try, the one in it is only 13 months old though.

Bookworm
Posts: 313
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Grinding or vibrating sound

Post by Bookworm » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:37 am

If you're not getting 14 volts with the engine running, it's almost guaranteed to be the alternator.

somebody
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:35 pm

Re: Grinding or vibrating sound

Post by somebody » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:47 am

Yup, I’m reading mid 11’s, so it’s not charging at all just drawing from the battery. Same thing with the other battery. Just seems weird to me that it all started after I cleaned the terminals.

Bookworm
Posts: 313
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Grinding or vibrating sound

Post by Bookworm » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:06 am

If you have an autozone (or other auto parts store) nearby, they can sometimes do an analyzer on the alternator itself.

Cleaning the terminal may have increased the load on the alternator, pushing it over the edge, if it was marginal.

Check all the connections at the alternator? If you have a good autoranging multimeter, you can check right at the alternator itself.

somebody
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:35 pm

Re: Grinding or vibrating sound

Post by somebody » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:51 pm

Alternator was bad so it got replaced and a new serpentine belt installed. So the charging problem is fixed. Now back to figuring out this grinding or vibrating problem. Thanks for everyones idea's and suggestions.

Bookworm
Posts: 313
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Grinding or vibrating sound

Post by Bookworm » Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:18 pm

Grinding might have been bearings in the alternator. Only way to check is to drive it.

When the alternator was under load, it could have been grinding the brushes or bearings.

somebody
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:35 pm

Re: Grinding or vibrating sound

Post by somebody » Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:06 pm

It still does it, very annoying, but at least I'm not walking home again.

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