Thumping noise during braking
January 17, 2006 9:14 AM   Subscribe

I was out of town for three weeks and left my car in the open (almost) and due to the cold weather I had tough time getting it started yesterday. The AAA guy said it was very likely moisture in the gas, etc. But eventually after much cranking and screeching and some initial smoke it seems to working ok again. However, I also noticed I get a thumping noise coming from wheels or somewhere close by when I brake. I was wondering if somebody can tell me if it is related to cold weather also. I put the car in the garage yesterday. But the noise seems to be still there. I am not sure if it has lessened somewhat or not.

It is a 94 Civic EX sedan, with ABS, auto transmission.
posted by flyby22 to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total)
 
Does the thumping noise happen repeatedly as you brake, and if so, does it slow down as you slow down? Also, which wheel(s) make the noise?
posted by doctor_negative at 9:18 AM on January 17, 2006


Do you feel vibration in the steering wheel or brake pedal? Did you clear out any snow that might have built up in the wheels?
posted by knave at 9:23 AM on January 17, 2006


it does slow down as i slow down. not yet sure which wheel it is coming from. Have not had much time to look into it since i returned yesterday. I do not feel vibration in the steering wheel and may be little bit of vibration in the brake pedal. The car was parked in a parking garage. So there was no snow around it. However since the garage was open on all sides it did get lot of cold air I guess. not sure if somebody stuck something underneath. Will check later today.
posted by flyby22 at 9:38 AM on January 17, 2006


I wonder if it's your ABS kicking in when it shouldn't be. If so, it's a cheap repair -- probably just a short.
posted by waldo at 10:03 AM on January 17, 2006


Yea, it sounds like the ABS, so assuming you're not stopping quickly on snow/ice, it's probably being overly zealous.
posted by cyrusdogstar at 10:09 AM on January 17, 2006


I thought the same thing knave posted above. When that happened to me, the mechanic told me to first run the car through the car wash to melt excess snow or ice and see if that helps.
posted by Gooney at 10:22 AM on January 17, 2006


When steel belted tires sit out in the cold, they get a flat spot on them. I would have thought that this would go away from driving some but it would not be much of an issue to check.
posted by Danf at 10:29 AM on January 17, 2006


flyby22 posted "But eventually after much cranking and screeching and some initial smoke it seems to working ok again."

Sounds like you flooded the engine. How cold are we talking? Any modern car in good working order should be fine to at least -20, garaging is a luxury not a requirement.

If you get drifting snow the wheel noises could just be an accumulation of ice/snow on wheels or driveshafts. You should take a look to rule that out before driving as a chunk of ice could damage your car if it got wedged in the wrong location. Nothing fancy needed just bend down and look around. A flashlight would be handy.

Real noticeable flat spots were usually a bias ply tire thing, you shouldn't notice it much on properly inflated radials and it should go away in only a few kilometres.
posted by Mitheral at 12:53 PM on January 17, 2006


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