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Anyone know cars? Need mechanical advice...

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Anyone know cars? Need mechanical advice...

Old 05-13-2014, 07:12 AM
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Default Anyone know cars? Need mechanical advice...

Sorry for the long read…

I have a 2008 Dodge Charger that has been good to me, but I haven’t been too good to her lately and now I fear the time has come to pay the price. I am having two issues that may be unrelated, but one may have been exasperated by the root cause of the other…if that makes sense. Anyway, I am looking for some thoughts from those of you who know cars well before I can get it into my guy this weekend.

For background, I do not know cars very well, but I know the basics and can perform general maintenance on my own such as oil changes and brake jobs. My last brake job was about two years and 40,000 miles ago. I used low-end pads and rotors and I have been getting some squeaks from the wear indicators recently, and was planning on a brake job this month.

Now I have a constant squeak/whine coming anytime the wheels are rolling. It dissipates when I press down on the brakes at which point it is replaced by the sound of the wear indicators. I also noticed this morning that there seems to be some excess heat being generated in the front passenger side wheel well. I discovered this when I went to look at the front rotors on both sides of the vehicle after a 40 mile commute to work. Much warmer than on the driver side.

I also have developed a knocking/vibration that I think is originating from under the car near the front passenger side. This started last night after a small incident I had while driving down a dirt road. I came roaring around a corner Dukes of Hazard style when I realized the road in front me was washed out from recent storms. I tried to slow as much as possible before hitting the rough spot ahead. I was on the brakes and ABS had kicked in when I hit the first hole, I threw it in neutral briefly while ABS was going and it dropped my speed considerably, but I was still crashing about the pot holes pretty good. I had to get back on the gas to get the momentum back up to power through a large mud hole. I came out rocking on the other side with this new knock/vibration that I can’t really pin down. I crawled down the rest of the dirt road with this constant knocking/vibration.

Back on the pavement, I realized the knock/vibration only occurs when I hit bumps or rough pavement on the road (maybe has something to do with suspension?). The knock has the tempo of a woodpecker pecking, and it vibrates the floorboards under my feet. It seems to be more pronounced when the bumps are on the right side of the road under the passenger side of the vehicle. The longer the rough patch, the longer it knocks. The shorter the rough patch or bumps, the shorter it knocks (1 second vs. 3 seconds worth of knocking). But the tempo is always the same. This happens up to about 55 mph. After 55 mph, it is not as pronounced and at freeway speeds, it is not really noticeable. There is nothing noticeable hanging from underneath the car. There is no play in the steering wheel. And no clunks while turning on smooth pavement at any speed.

So…what say ye THT? I’d like to jack her up in the garage tonight and take a closer look underneath, but what exactly should I be looking for? It’s a 3.5 V6 if that makes any difference. She has about 85,000 miles on her and I’d like to keep her for a while yet. Can’t get her into the shop until Thursday night…
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:18 AM
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Lube the pad slides--sounds like strut mounts.

Last edited by Dillard88; 05-13-2014 at 07:37 AM.
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:24 AM
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Ball joint damaged?
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:32 AM
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exhaust pipe ?
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:37 AM
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The heat buildup in the wheel well is likely due to a sticking caliper. You'll need to pull the brakes off and see if the caliper actually will easily slide back, if it's rough, you may need to replace that. The pads being "Cheap" are ok....I actually do all my own maintenance on my cars, and I always buy the cheapest pads that have a groove cut in them....I feel like they brake better and wear out the rotors less....The knocking could be just about anything from a tire that has a slice of rubber missing or flopping around, That one is gonna be hard to troubleshoot without looking at it.
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:43 AM
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You need to add blinker fluid.

http://kalecoauto.com/

This is an excellent source for those hard to find parts.
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by THT Mod 9 View Post
Ball joint damaged?
That's wishful thinking. Dodge passenger car...even new, the suspension can barely be called that. Probably struts at the minimum. Check the torsion rod, some call it the lower control arm. The bushings seems to wear prematurely on those cars. Look at the sway bar end links also. Wouldn't surprise me if you didn't bend any wheels also.
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:53 AM
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Does the knocking directly relate to speed of the car or RPM of the engine?
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:55 AM
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Cars, us? Need pic of wife girlfriend.
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:16 AM
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Wrong forum for your answers- go to LXforums.com for all answers about your Charger (LX platform).

http://www.lxforums.com/
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:32 AM
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Sounds like a bad wheel hub, plus the needed brakes and and you should look at the struts.
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Bamby View Post
Sounds like a bad wheel hub, plus the needed brakes and and you should look at the struts.
Drive down the road about 40 mph and swerve side to side. If the noise changes pitch, you've got a bad wheel bearing
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:04 AM
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You may have some issues with the brakes if you already wore thru them that early. I work at a dealer and its pretty rare that we do brakes on 300/chargers/magnums. Ive seen quite a few come in with 100k+ miles and brakes were still almost new.

The front ends are quite prone for the strut tension arm bushing to wear out where it goes into the cradle. They even updated the design a few years ago.On cop cars and cars with higher mileage ive seen the lower control arm bushings seperate from the sleeve and let the arm slide back and forth over the bolt into the cradle. From a dealer it only comes as a whole arm, no bushings are available seperate. The strut tension arms arent that bad to do, though you live up north so I suspect things might be a bite rusty.
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Dillard88 View Post
Drive down the road about 40 mph and swerve side to side. If the noise changes pitch, you've got a bad wheel bearing
Why not jack the front end up and see if the tire moves west to east?
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Jersus View Post
Why not jack the front end up and see if the tire moves west to east?
Not that easy all the time. Sometimes you will only get a noise with the weight of the car.
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Mars5L View Post
You may have some issues with the brakes if you already wore thru them that early. I work at a dealer and its pretty rare that we do brakes on 300/chargers/magnums. Ive seen quite a few come in with 100k+ miles and brakes were still almost new.

The front ends are quite prone for the strut tension arm bushing to wear out where it goes into the cradle. They even updated the design a few years ago.On cop cars and cars with higher mileage ive seen the lower control arm bushings seperate from the sleeve and let the arm slide back and forth over the bolt into the cradle. From a dealer it only comes as a whole arm, no bushings are available seperate. The strut tension arms arent that bad to do, though you live up north so I suspect things might be a bite rusty.
Do Fl State Troopers drive them? We have some Ga State Troopers that come in and we're doing brakes every 10k
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Mars5L View Post
You may have some issues with the brakes if you already wore thru them that early. I work at a dealer and its pretty rare that we do brakes on 300/chargers/magnums. Ive seen quite a few come in with 100k+ miles and brakes were still almost new.

The front ends are quite prone for the strut tension arm bushing to wear out where it goes into the cradle. They even updated the design a few years ago.On cop cars and cars with higher mileage ive seen the lower control arm bushings seperate from the sleeve and let the arm slide back and forth over the bolt into the cradle. From a dealer it only comes as a whole arm, no bushings are available seperate. The strut tension arms arent that bad to do, though you live up north so I suspect things might be a bite rusty.
When I bought the car there were about 36,000 miles on it and around 40,000 I had got a shimmy in the steering wheel while on the brakes. The pads looked fine but the rotors must have been warped. Replaced with cheap-o pads and rotors and all was well again.

I'm dropping the car off Thursday night at the mechanic. Hopefully I don't lose a wheel or something while driving before then.

On a side note, my bride has a 2011 Chrysler 200. 33,000 miles on it and I just had to replace the front brake pads and rotors. The pads looked like they had a lot of life left in them, but the rotors were trashed. Violent shaking of the wheel and grinding noise/feel when on the brakes. The guy at the auto parts store said it seems to be a common thing for 200's to need an early brake job. The brakes also made an ear piercing squeak when moving in reverse from the day the car was new. Ceramic pads this time around took care of that and all is well again.

We both drive very conservatively. Brake easy, slow turns, no hard stops unless necessary, etc. Surprised to have these issues. The Dukes of Hazard style driving down the dirt roads is the only time I am aggressive and hard my Charger. Otherwise she gets babied.
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Dillard88 View Post
Do Fl State Troopers drive them? We have some Ga State Troopers that come in and we're doing brakes every 10k
Youre guys must drive theres worse than ours. FHP will usually average 20-30k miles between brakes. Expensive brake jobs too, since we dont turn their rotors we just replace.

When I bought the car there were about 36,000 miles on it and around 40,000 I had got a shimmy in the steering wheel while on the brakes. The pads looked fine but the rotors must have been warped. Replaced with cheap-o pads and rotors and all was well again.

I'm dropping the car off Thursday night at the mechanic. Hopefully I don't lose a wheel or something while driving before then.

On a side note, my bride has a 2011 Chrysler 200. 33,000 miles on it and I just had to replace the front brake pads and rotors. The pads looked like they had a lot of life left in them, but the rotors were trashed. Violent shaking of the wheel and grinding noise/feel when on the brakes. The guy at the auto parts store said it seems to be a common thing for 200's to need an early brake job. The brakes also made an ear piercing squeak when moving in reverse from the day the car was new. Ceramic pads this time around took care of that and all is well again.

We both drive very conservatively. Brake easy, slow turns, no hard stops unless necessary, etc. Surprised to have these issues. The Dukes of Hazard style driving down the dirt roads is the only time I am aggressive and hard my Charger. Otherwise she gets babied.
Depending on what cheap brand pads you got they could be worn out already or just glazed over and making noise. I know for my own personal car I was buying cheap autozone $17 a set brake pads and they lasted me a year before they were chewing into the rotors. But I do drive a bit spirited. Last time around I bought some good but regular NAPA pads and they have lasted me over 3 years so far. Only issues I have with them are when it rains and the rotors get a little surface they are noisy till they get cleaned off.

As far as clunking noise, just check the strut tension arms, and lower control arms. I have done upper control arms on some cars but they were generally high mileage or cop cars.

And yea, ive seen the 200/avengers come in for brake noise in reverse. They pretty much come in though after the brake warranty is up though. Once they hear they wanna pay to put cermaics or something else on, most ppl just say they will live with it .
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Old 05-13-2014, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Mars5L View Post
Youre guys must drive theres worse than ours. FHP will usually average 20-30k miles between brakes. Expensive brake jobs too, since we dont turn their rotors we just replace.



Depending on what cheap brand pads you got they could be worn out already or just glazed over and making noise. I know for my own personal car I was buying cheap autozone $17 a set brake pads and they lasted me a year before they were chewing into the rotors. But I do drive a bit spirited. Last time around I bought some good but regular NAPA pads and they have lasted me over 3 years so far. Only issues I have with them are when it rains and the rotors get a little surface they are noisy till they get cleaned off.

As far as clunking noise, just check the strut tension arms, and lower control arms. I have done upper control arms on some cars but they were generally high mileage or cop cars.

And yea, ive seen the 200/avengers come in for brake noise in reverse. They pretty much come in though after the brake warranty is up though. Once they hear they wanna pay to put cermaics or something else on, most ppl just say they will live with it .
Considering the car, I would put good money on this
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Old 05-16-2014, 12:12 PM
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Well...so far on the Driver's side we have a bad tie rod, control arm and ball joint for sure. Passenger side we have a bad tie rod.

Front brakes look good. Rear brakes need replacing.

The sounds disappeared the other day but I took it in anyway. Mechanic said good thing I did. He said he knew as soon as he got in the car because the steering was tight and didn't spring back (he referred to it as "memory steer" or something). He was surprised I didn't notice it earlier. I said "Now that you mention it...I have been 'correcting' the wheel a lot on the highway." I drive about 80 miles round trip for work every day, plus local driving on top of that. I spend a lot of time in the car so it's hard to notice small changes until you look back and realize it has become a "big" change.

Thanks for the feedback fellas. You guys were spot on.
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