My front end whines when I turn

Discussion in 'The Green Room' started by NAHTMMM, Jul 28, 2020.

  1. NAHTMMM

    NAHTMMM Conversant in dark parables

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    Not the noise you get when you turn the wheel all the way and hold it there, but an unhappy metal hydraulic or pneumatic sort of sound? I'm not good at this

    And when I'm just going straight there's occasionally a sort of quiet gasping from the lower front, on the level of the tires I'd say.

    How doomed am I?
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  2. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Depends upon what kind of car you have. Most likely it is one of the following:
    1. Power steering issue. Could be the pump going out, or you could just be low on fluid. If it's got plenty of fluid, then the pump might be going out.
    2. CV Joint going bad. This only the case if your car is FWD or AWD, not if it's RWD.
    3. Bad bearing. Maybe in the wheel, maybe somewhere else.

    One and three are likely to be your least expensive options.
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  3. NAHTMMM

    NAHTMMM Conversant in dark parables

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    I've been hoping for 1, 3 doesn't sound so bad either

    It's a RWD Fit
  4. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    What year?
  5. NAHTMMM

    NAHTMMM Conversant in dark parables

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    Ooh, 2015, younger than I thought

    I got an appointment for next week and the man behind the counter didn't seem fazed by my symptoms. I'm off between today and the appointment so if I just survive today I should be fine
  6. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    @NAHTMMM It's the audible brake wear indicator on your brake pads. Take it anywhere for brakes.

    When it starts making that noise you're down to a couple mm of brake material. It will get louder and more annoying until you replace them. It's still good for a few thousand miles depending on how you drive, but don't push it.

    Pads are about $30 so if you know someone that owes you a favor and does that stuff buy them a six pack and go at it. Dealer and most mechs will charge a couple hundred.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
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  7. ed629

    ed629 Morally Inept Banned

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    It's not overly hard to do. Last year, I replaced the front brake pads on my car, the day before I had surgery on my shoulder. I was able to do the job one handed.
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  8. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 high speed, low drag

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    hmmm......why do the audible pad wear indicators only make the noise when he's turning? I'm not much of a car guy myself.
  9. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    It's not intuitive. They don't usually make noise when you press on the brakes when they first start sounding. That would be a clue.

    The wear sensors are simple metal tabs that extend beyond the metal base of the pads about 2mm. When the brake material wears close to 2mm, depending on the position of the pads, the tabs will contact the turning rotor and make all sorts of weird sounds.

    The pads "float" between the brake calipers (vice like mechanism) and the rotors (disks). This is to allow them to move freely and spring back when the brakes are released. But this means they may not always be flat in relation to the rotors. Turning the car (changing direction) forces the part with the tab to contact before the rest of the pad stops it. When you apply the brakes the calipers tighten and the pads straighten out so the noise stops. For a while...

    They might also make noise when you're backing up as opposed to going forward, or just travelling straight at certain speeds.

    Later when the pads wear to less than 2mm they make constant noise. 1mm is the service minimum so even at 2mm they have several thousand miles of material left on the pads.

    Most people never get to hear this as shops change the pads when they get to 4mm or so. Keep in mind they only start with 8mm so you're throwing out almost half the pad when they sell you brakes.

    The rear brake shoes on Fits should be good for over 200,000 miles, so don't let them sell you a complete brake job.
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  10. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    disclaimer: or it could be your wheels falling off.

    Full disclosure: I'm not a mechanic, but I did all the maintenance on my 09Fit for 10 years.

    Bonus: The Fit is FWD and has electrically assisted steering. The noise it makes when you turn the wheel fully, does this happen if the car is moving forward? If it's sitting still then that's the noise of an unhappy steering rack. Don't do that.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
  11. NAHTMMM

    NAHTMMM Conversant in dark parables

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    Yeah, no, I know not to keep the steering wheel fully turned, the Car Talk brothers taught me that :async:
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  12. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    I gifted my Fit to my son a year ago. It has about 160,000 miles on it now and continues to soldier on. I miss that car. sniff.

    How many miles does yours have on it?
  13. NAHTMMM

    NAHTMMM Conversant in dark parables

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    93k and counting.


    Anyway, steve wins the trophy. It was the brakes on both counts. There's some kind of feedback between steering and the braking system that causes the whining. I'm going to get the brakes replaced in a few weeks because otherwise I'd forget about them, and then it'd be November and I'd remember "oh wait, shouldn't I be getting my brakes replaced?" and because it's November in Wisconsin a deer would lunge out onto the highway and I'd try to brake hard in the snow and bounce off the deer into a tree or something. Also my front treads are getting low so it's convenient to get brakes and tires replaced at the same time.
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  14. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    At 100-110K the maintenance minder may call for coolant flush, plugs and valve check. This can be expensive ($400+). Mine was a 2nd generation, yours is 3rd, so I don't know if it has the same maintenance schedule and if the costs are the same. If they say valves need adjusting and you don't, the risk is burning the exhaust valves. A valve job is lots.

    It should have had the automatic transmission fluid changed (drained and filled, not flushed) around 70K and then every 30K (maintenance minder calls for it). If you don't know if this was done, do it. (unless yours is a manual then tell me to fuck off). This is about $80.

    Additionally, on the brakes, Honda calls for brake fluid flush every 3 years. If you don't know if this was done, I'd do it, but that's another $140.
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