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shawn24_91
shawn24_91, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 53
Experience:  I have an Associate degree in Automotive Technology and am currently a technician in Wisconsin.
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Infiniti Coupe: Vibrations, vibrations, and more vibrations.I

Customer Question

Vibrations, vibrations, and more vibrations.

I have an '06 G35 Coupe (Automatic)
Performance pkg.
RAS
Sport suspension
~127K miles

Driving and braking steering wheel shakes and vibrates bad usually at 50+.
Shift knob shakes pretty badly also.

I replaced the brake pads, brake fluid, and bled the system about a month ago. Brakes work perfectly. I had a bent wheel that I thought was causing my issue and that was replaced yesterday and it still exists. I ordered some new shocks (front and rear) I think mine are still stock and will replace those soon. I also have some new rotors I haven't installed yet, but is there anything else that I should look at if these do not stop the steering wheel vibration? I did have the car jacked up and spun the front wheels freely and could hear a slight scraping noise on both wheels at certain points where the pads touched the rotors. I do plan on getting an alignment and balance after the shocks are installed.

I also can't figure out what is causing the shift knob to vibrate a lot during high speeds. The car seems to shift gears and everything perfectly is this just something I haven't noticed until now since I'm more worried about it causing problems because I have no warranty left?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 10 months ago.
I own a 2003 Nissan 350z which is basically the same car as the G35. I have noticed the shift knob in my car also shakes slightly and is normal. Without seeing how badly it is shaking its hard to tell if its normal or not. You could possibly have worn syncros in the trans causing the vibration, but that is unlikely if it shifts good.

Does the steering wheel vibrate only when pushing the brake? If so then your new rotors will most likely fix the issue. the grinding noise you hear may be a loose wheel bearing. Also, a loose tie rod end could cause a vibration.

With the car jacked up so that the front wheel is off the ground, try to shake the wheel side to side. If you feel any clunk or looseness then have someone else watch to see if the wheel bearing, tie rod, or ball joint is moving. Also, shake the tire by grabbing the top and bottom. You can also grab the joints on the tie rod or ball joint while shaking the tire to feel any movement. Try putting a finger in between the brake rotor and the backing plate to see if the bearing is moving .
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

The shifter shakes constantly when I'm driving over 50MPH and it's very noticeable and not slight at all. The steering wheel will shake also really bad when driving over 50-60MPH or braking from those speeds as well (doesn't shake at all with low speeds). I tried the wheel test when the car was jacked up and it didn't budge at all. It's not really a grinding sound I hear it's more like a light scraping noise and it happens on both wheels. The noise sounds exactly like this video, but not as a loud: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7b2RK7Udwg

Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 10 months ago.
I would start with the new rotors. If the are warped bad enough then they could cause a vibration at high speeds. Make sure if you put the new rotors on that you look at the pads to see if there is any abnormal or uneven wear on them, if you plan to reuse them. Any abnormal wear will cause problems so you will need to replace the pads as well. If the pads look ok then try to take some fine grit sand paper and clean off the face of the pad. Also, check to make sure that the caliper slides are not frozen, they should move very easily and can cause many different problems when they start to freeze up.

I will have to do more research on the shifter issue when I'm at the shop tomorrow as I haven't seen that before, there's a good chance that someone has the answer through the resources I have at the shop.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Are you talking about the caliper slide pins? I did have one on the rear I noticed that was semi-frozen; I could unscrew easily, but it refused to come all the way out. I did notice when I changed my pads there was a ton of (loose) rust and stuff in all the piston bores, but I cleaned it out as best I could.


 


My rear pads were also wearing out from the outside in like the ends were worn almost to nothing, but lots of remaining pad in the middle.


 


 

Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 10 months ago.
Yes The slide pins. The pins should come out somewhat easily. If they don't come out easily try grabbing the ends with a pliers and twisting while you pull to get them out. I like to lube them up with lots of antiseize or brake lube. The antiseize will help to prevent them from rusting up. The loose rust is pretty normal but it is good clean it out.

The outside edge wear could be because of the sticking slides. Since one was starting to freeze up there's a good chance that the others are starting to freeze to, they probably have a couple spots that they stick in. The edges wear because the caliper is not sliding properly so the pads are sticking to the rotors. This wear pattern isn't as common. Also, you could have gotten something like grease on the pads which will cause strange wear patterns as well.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Alright, I created another problem for myself, lol. I was going to replace my rotors now and one of the passenger side caliper brakcet bolts broke off in the bracket; however I was able to get the rotor off. I was able to get the driver's side bracket off without issue, but that rotor is not coming off I used liquid wrench, hammers, and everything to try and break it free. It got to late though and don't want my neighbors hating me for pounding metal after midnight.

 

But, both of my front brake pads are wearing out in the same pattern also from the outside in. Those caliper bolts came off fairly easy though and the rubber part seemed to move freely. Do you think my calipers are shot?

Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 10 months ago.
I don't think the calipers are the problem. I have had many problems getting rotors off like this make sure to check the face off the rotor for 1 or 2 screws that may be holding the rotor on. If nothing is there than just keep hitting the rotor from the back of possible. If you have access to a toech you can heat the face of the rotor to help break it free. You will have to either replace the caliper bracket with the broken bolt or drill the bolt out and tap the hole to put new threads in. I will do some more research on the wear pattern as well.
Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 10 months ago.

The wear on the pads could also be a wear pattern from the rotors. Since you did not replace the rotors with the pads there may be groves in the pads. I have seen this wear there is rust on the rotors and digs out the edges of the pads.

 

Also, another tech at my shop says that he has seen excessive shifter vibration in trucks caused by bad u-joints in the drive shaft. I would fix the brakes/front end vibration first though because vibrations have a tendency to travel around a vehicle, so the shifter could be vibrating because of the other vibration issues.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Alright, thanks I will probably go to a machine shop to see if they can drill out the bolt for me. I've never done bolt extraction before and don't have time to learn/mess it up more today. I also did some research online and found u-joints mentioned as well. I'll do as you suggest though and try the front brakes first though. I'll be traveling starting tomorrow though, so I'll let you know in a few days how I make out. Thanks for your help so far.

Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 10 months ago.
Sounds good. Good luck with the fix. Let me know how it goes.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Okay, I brought my bracket to a mechanic I visit sometimes and he said to buy a new caliper. I then brought it to a automotive shop with a machine shop and they got it out for 50 bucks in 5 minutes, lol. Then went to the dealer and picked up an extra bolt last one left! I got the other rotor off whacked it with a hammer a few times really hard.


 


I believe my passenger caliper is shot. I pumped the brakes about two or three times with the rotor off and only one piston moved. The other pretty much stayed put and is pretty hard to compress back in. Also, on the driver side I put the new rotor in and the pistons put pressure on it with no problems.


 


When you install new rotors should it be pretty hard to turn the wheel? It also sounds like it might be rubbing against the brake pad. I also put anti-seized on the hub? Where the studs are connected, but not on the studs themselves. I also rubbed it around the outside of the center bore. That should be safe to help prevent rust correct? The rotor is not fully flush also unless I push it all the way back. I was always use to rusted rotors, so I never had to deal with this. When I put my tires back on and torque them to the correct setting it should be fine then right?


 


I also took out the caliper slider pins, cleaned them, and put a good about of brake lubricant on them. It's purple silicone oil based according to the ingredients that is the correct lubricant right?

Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 10 months ago.

Looks like you did everything right. I would say if the one caliper piston didn't come out while pushing the pedal that it is sticking and probably should be replaced. Just for future reference you should push the brake pedal with out the pads and rotor on with the caliper, you can actually blow the piston right out of the caliper doing that. The rotors not sitting flush is a normal thing the wheel will hold it in place once you put it on.

 

Also, looks like you put the anti-seize in the right places that should help to keep the rust from holding the rotor so tight. That brake lubricant should work just fine.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Alright, well I took the car out for a small test drive, but due to traffic will have to go out again later. The steering wheel still shakes left and right though. Braking seemed pretty good and better with the new rotors, but I could feel the passenger one interfering.


 


I know I shouldn't have tested it that way, but my back was killing me and I took a shortcut won't happen again. I had a feeling it was bad anyway and just wanted to verify it.


 


I haven't had an alignment in awhile, but I was planning on changing my shocks before doing that. A bad alignment can cause the steering wheel to act like that right? I'll have to see if my shifter acts a little better when I drive later.

Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 10 months ago.
Yes, the alignment can cause some vibrations. Also, you may want to have the tires balanced. If they haven't been balanced in awhile then you can get a high speed vibration and its possible for a wheel weight to fall off causing a bad vibration.
Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 10 months ago.
Also, the wheel may be hard to turn on the drive wheels, meaning the rear wheels on a rear wheel drive car. The front wheels should be pretty easy to turn since there is nothing really holding them, all the have is the bearing. If the fronts are hard to rotate then you either have a brake that is dragging or a wheel bearing that is starting to seize up.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Well with the caliper and pads off the wheel turns pretty easily. But when I put the caliper on it feels like it's constantly in contact with the pads or caliper. The old rotors turned regardless (scraping sometimes), but they were pretty messed up. I bought Centric 12042080 rotors and says they are for my car.

Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 10 months ago.
They should be slightly dragging. Did one pad wear more than the other? If one is wear more than the other than you either have a sticking slide or a stick caliper. You could also have a hose coming to the caliper that is collapsing. If you loosen the bolt holding the hose to the caliper fluid should flow out pretty steady. If some comes out but then stops than the hose is collapsing. This will cause the caliper piston not to retract back into the caliper when you let off the brake.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Both of the pads seemed to wear evenly except the ends were at 45 degree angles. I just took it for a spin going from 10-80MPH and the shifter seemed to not vibrate like it used to. The steering wheel still vibrated a little bit left to right and this was a pretty even road. Looks like my gas is taking a hit though from the sticking caliber I can literally watch the gauge drop.


 


Should calipers be replaced in pairs? I also took an IR Thermostat to my rotors and calipers the one that is seizing was about 10 degrees hotter then the driver side.


 


The rear rotors were like 40-50 degrees hotter then the front as well. I didn't replace my rear rotors yet, but are they supposed to be that much hotter? Could the RWD have something to do with that much heat?


 


I did replace the fluid and bleed my brakes when I changed the pads about a month ago (everything seemed to flow nicely). I'll have to test hoses sometime next week when I get back.

Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 10 months ago.
Calipers don't need to be replaced in pairs. I would say the rear brakes being hotter is probably because of the old rotors and I wouldn't worry to much about it until you have replaced them. The angle on the front and rear edges of the pads is normal, some pads are designed that way depending on the brand.

Do the rear brakes have the parking brake shoes(the drum style), or do the caliper pistons need to be twisted to be pushed in? If they have the drum style then they could be adjusted to tight making them drag which would make the brakes hotter and wheels harder to turn. If the caliper is the twist style then the pistons may not be retracting cause the drag and excessive heat.

I would say that if the brakes are causing the loss of fuel mileage then it's probably the rears causing it because of the excess heat meaning something is dragging.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Alright, I'll order a re-manufactured caliper from RockAuto is it recommended to replace the brake hose also?


 


I didn't have to twist anything when I replaced those pads I just used the same thing I used for the fronts to compress them in. They weren't worn that much and had the same 45 degree angles, but I replaced them last month anyway.


 


How would I go about checking how tight they are?

Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 10 months ago.
The brake hose doesn't need to replaced unless fluid doesn't flow freely through it.

If you didn't need to twist anything than the in the center of the rotor there is a small drum section that hold brake shoes.

When the hand brake is pulled the shoes are pushed out contact the drum which holds the wheel. There is an adjuster in between the two shoes that may be adjusted to tight making it hard for the wheel to turn. You may want to inspect that and readjust when you put on the new rotors. When adjusting these they should have a very small amount of drag but you should be able to put the car in neutral and turn both wheels easily.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I did put my car in neutral the other day when all four were on jack stands. I couldn't move the rear wheels at all. I figured it had something to do with being RWD.

Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 10 months ago.
As long as the car is in neutral you should be able to move the rear wheels. It won't be as easy to move as the front wheels but they should still move pretty easy. I would check the brake hoses like I mentioned before then make sure the caliper pistons compress easily, and the slides are still moving freely. If that is all good then try to turn the adjusters in to loosen the parking brake, you will probably have to pull the rotors off to be able to turn the adjusters since they may be rusted.

If the adjusters can't be turned in any further then you may have a problem with the cables going from the hand brake to the rear wheels. either they are stuck in place or possibly adjusted to tight so they are always pulling on the brake shoes.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Alright, thanks I will check that stuff out and get back to you in a few days.

Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 10 months ago.
Sounds good
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Okay I did ~300 miles so far and noticed more details about vibrations. Steering wheel shakes at all speeds, shifter little bit. Then as soon as I hit 70+ shifter and basically whole car vibrates. I can feel vibrations in driver seat, all down center of car, and passenger seat. I couldn't go this fast in town.


 


I have new struts just need toinstall them. So besides the struts, caliper, and algnment anything else I should look at? How long do springs usually last?

Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 10 months ago.
The springs typically last the life a vehicle but you can check the springs by checking the ride height. I'm not at my shop right now so I can't get you the spec for it but you can measure from the ground to the pinch weld under the car at each corner and see if they are all about the same.

I would check the u-joints also, if you are driving put it in a low gear and hit the gas hard, listen for any clunks in the rear when you hit the gas. Also, put the vehicle up and use a pry bar to push on the u-joints in a couple different directions the check for any movement. If no movement is found the pull the drive shaft out and make sure that the u-joints move around easily and have no "jerkiness" to them.

You could also pull the caps off the ends of the u-joints to make sure they are not rusted, but be careful that you don't drop any of the tiny pins that are inside the cap. The pins need to be lined up around the edge of the cap when you put it back on.

Also, make sure to balance the tires. Tires being off by as little as .25-.50 of an ounce can cause vibration problems. It may be a good idea to look at the tires and make sure they don't have any bulges in them and that they are wearing evenly.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Is a lift required for the u joints? Is this something a novice who can follow directions do? I have alldatadiy just want to make sure I don't get in over my head.

 

Oh yea tires look good pretty much brand new. I had to replace one though that had a bent rim and bulge on the side.

Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 10 months ago.
You don't need a hoist as long as you can get the car high enough to lay under it. It's very easy typically just about 4 small bolts to remove where the drive shaft connects to the real axle. Some trans fluid may come out of the tranny when you pull out the drive shaft, you don't need to worry about it though it won't be much.
shawn24_91, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 53
Experience: I have an Associate degree in Automotive Technology and am currently a technician in Wisconsin.
shawn24_91 and 10 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Hey Shawn,


 


Finally had sometime to dedicate to my car and I think I can say that I got rid of 80-90% of my vibrations. I just took it out for a test drive upto about 90MPH and both the steering wheel and shift reacted a lot differently before I replaced some parts. I wasn't fighting the steering wheel to steer and the shifter doesn't look like it's going to fly out of the driveshaft. I can still feel some vibrations, but I haven't changed out my rear rotors or struts yet.


 


I replaced both front calipers (I ordered both, but then noticed the driver side was digging into the top of the rotor at an angle), I replaced both struts, and I replaced the two ball joints in the wheel knuckle they busted on me.


 


If I hear ticking from the engine that is usually the fuel injectors correct? Also, I had my car up on jack stands for about a week and didn't start it. When I started it for a very long time there was something like a clanking sound. I read online that it could possibly be the timing tensioner going bad and it takes longer for the oil pressure to build in the engine. Do you know anything about this and is this something that I should get fixed?

Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 10 months ago.
The ticking noise is normally the injectors. If you want to be sure you can use a long screw driver to hear the noise better, it sounds dumb but it works. You just press the screw driver to the injector and listen into handle the screw drive will better focus the noise so u can pinpoint exactly where it is coming from. The other noise you described does sound like a possible timing chain rattle. If that noise went away then I wouldn't worry to much about it. If the chain has never been replaced and you are over about 130, 000 miles than it may not bw a bad idea to get it changed as preventative maintenance but should not really cause a problem unless the noise does not go away.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

This might be a dumb question and I have heard about the screwdriver trick. But, aren't the fuel injectors located under the upper and lower plenum? How would I test them with the engine running?


 


Also, the shaking came back on the interstate again, however, I think I might have figured out what was causing my problem. There are no hubcentric rings on my aftermarket wheels that I use for winter driving. I'm thinking possibly the wheels start of fine and aligned like last night when it was perfect, but then become unaligned during driving. I'm kind of glad it took awhile to figure it out though, since I found some other problems I wasn't aware of. I need to buy some of those rings and see if it makes a difference.


 


It sounds like either a faint rattle or ticking noise while my car is running. I'm about 2500 miles under 130K and I am taking my car into Nissan on Thursday just to have them check out the rattling noise.

Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 10 months ago.
You just want to listen as close as you can to narrow down the general area of the noise. I believe the injectors are under the upper plenum on these although I could be wrong I have never looked for them on mine. The lack of the rings could explain the shaking since the wheels may not be properly centered on the hub.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

So, I took it to Firestone and bought the lifetime alignment along with a wheel balance. I still need to replace my rear shocks. They told me my tires were "choppy" and it was difficult to align my car due to being "lowered and modified". The thing is my car isn't lowered or modified it's stock w/sport suspension, but I did put in some Tokico HP blue shocks in the front. I have the KYB GR2/Excel-G for the rears I will be installing. I also have 18" winter wheels vs. the 19" that came stock with the car.


 


These are the measurements I was given.


 


Camber


 


FL -0.8


FR -1.4


RL -1.9


RR -1.7


 


Toe


 


FL .05


FR .05


RL .15


RR .16


 


Caster


 


 


FL 8.4


FR 8.1

SAI


 


FL 2.2


FR 8.3


 


Included Angle


 


FL 1.4


FR 6.9


I looked up the specs on AllData for both 18" and 19" wheels and I'm way off. Is it possible the tech didn't know what he was doing or is my suspension in need of some serious work? The tires are pretty good tread wise, but they said I need four new tires. Considering I replaced one less then a month ago and that was included in the all tires choppy statement I'm a little hesitant to conclude they did a decent job.


 


*I also noticed that my passenger side lower control arm moved a lot more freely then the driver side. It almost feels like the bushing on the mounting bolt is not there.

Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 10 months ago.
The tires being choppy is normally caused by the worn out struts so for a new tire to be choppy already is kinda unlikely, it could happen though. The choppy tires can also cause vibrations and a lot of tire noise but should not affect the alignment to much. They may have suggested 4 tires when they say that 3 were bad not knowing that one was recently replaced. Its just normal practice to replace all 4 if your going to replace 3.

The spec. book I am looking at has different specs based on which wheel size the car has. My guess is they tried to align it to the 18" wheels which is why they think its lowered. It looks like the only thing they adjusted is the toe which is within spec for both the 18" and 19" wheels. The car may not have anything in to adjust camber or caster, these are usually bolts with cam lobes that you have to put in to adjust these.

When you say the control arm moved freely, do you mean it came out easy, it was easy to pivot, or you could wiggle it back and forth? You really shouldn't be able to wiggle it around much. They will pivot up and down kinda hard and when you stop pulling down on them they should "spring" up. If the were removed easily that's nothing to be worried about as long as it doesn't move around once bolted in. You could have worn out control arm bushing from the sounds of things though.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Yes, you're correct the adjusted only the toe on my car. The car veers significantly to the right now. I'm concerned with the SAI and Include Angle readings from what I read online that can be caused by bent spindles, knuckles, struts, or strut towers. Is there anyway to confirm if these parts are bent at all?


 


I could do all of the above without any problems on the control arm and when I disconnected it from the knuckle it just fell down to the floor (still attached of course). I could wiggle it left, right, up, and down without any kind of resistance. The driver side reacted more like how you described. Should I just buy a new control arm or look at replacing the bushings? I don't have a press and the control arm has almost 130K miles on it.


 


Tomorrow I'm going to try and replace my rear shocks and double check the front struts to make sure I properly torqued and mounted them.

Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 10 months ago.
The slight pull I think is because of the camber. Typically you want all of the numbers to be the same on each side. The right side had a good amount more camber than the left probably causing your pull.

I would say that control arm is defiantly a problem. I would just get a new control arm, it is usually cheaper than paying labor on having the bushings replaced, and you don't have to worry about not getting the bushings in correctly.

It looks like the camber and caster on this car is corrected by using shims to move the upper control arm around. A company called SPC Performance, which is one of the companies we use at our shop, has a kit that includes upper control arms and shims to correct caster and camber. The part number in one book I have is 72125 if you would like to look it up. I would recommend getting this so that the car can be perfectly aligned since you will have to have it aligned after replace the bad control arm anyway.
Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 10 months ago.
The kit I mentioned also has a adjustable ball joint so that you will not need to buy new shims to correct camber on future alignments.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I've heard of SPC and there outside of my budget right now, lol. I changed the rear rotors and shocks last week, but came across another bad caliper. The pin was seized and stuck with no grease at all. So, I ordered a replacement along with a lower control arm for the front and going to take care of that now. I'm also going to install new hub centric rings and hope that helps out with my issues.


 


Should suspension parts be tightened with a load put on them (ie: jack up the knuckle?) After that will take it back to Firestone for an alignment in the next day or two. I did check out the tires and the rears were worn on the inside and middle sort of at an angle.


 


I know I can't rotate my tires since they are staggered, but do you think it would be a good idea to switch the sides the tires are currently on?

Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 10 months ago.
Suspension parts do not need to be tightened with a load on them. They will be fine tightening without a load.

That were pattern is almost always caused by the the tire bouncing from the worn struts. It would pay much to switch sides now since the wear pattern will be there for the life of the tire no matter what you do.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Alright thanks I will check back in a few days and let you know how I made out.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Alright, I didn't get to replace the lower control arm yet ran out of free time. But, with the new rear rotors and rear shocks the car runs better and I took it on the roads I noticed the most problems with. The steering wheel doesn't shake nearly as bad and the shifter knob is pretty firm now.


 


However, when I do get to about 80-90+MPH (I don't this fast normally) the steering wheel shakes noticeably, but nowhere near like it used to. Does this mean I can have some worn out steering parts (ie: tie rods) or just do to bad wear on the tires? I can feel mostly thumping now from the tire wear, but I can live with that until I buy a new set.


 


Also, I think I know the cause of this, but when I go over bumps and potholes I hear sort of a clunking noise from the passenger rear. I think the strut nut might not be tight enough. Are there any mechanic secrets for tightening these? I used vice grips on the top shaft with a wrench underneath and got it as tight as possible. I'm also going to check out the strut mount as well.


 


Overall though the car is 90% better now then when I noticed these problems.

Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 10 months ago.
The tie wear is the most likely cause of the vibration that I can think of. Also, I normally tighten those the same way that you did. The clunk you are hear could be worn sway bar bushings or sway bar links, these would be the most common causes of this clunk.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Okay, I changed the lower control arm today the bushing that connects to the chassis through a bolt was completely destroyed; I could move it easily with a pry bar (The driver one is still holding up, but I can see the bushing is damaged). I had to replace the caliper again in the rear, since I noticed the one they sent me was leaking. While I was back there I checked the sway bars and they seemed pretty firm. The end links I could easily move left and right, but it looks like they are designed that way? I could do it on both the front and back end links. The only thing that seemed to have a little bit of play was a black bar going from the spindle up to the chassis (there are two total). I think it's called a tie end or something?


 


I have two more questions that popped up just today and it seems like I fix one thing and another thing breaks.


 


I think when I originally asked you about the clunking noise I think it might be a bad idler pulley now. When I start my car now it's a different noise, but sounds like bearings worn out and I heard the belt squeak a few times. Are these relatively difficult to replace? I have new belts I was going to install also, but if I have bad pulleys I might as well do them at once. I also put a stethoscope to a few parts on the engine and it sounds pretty quiet in there other then like a chain moving I guess, but no extremely large clunks.


 


Also, when I was under the car I noticed a small decent size of oil at certain points around the pan and the part the filter screws in. I believe that's called an oil cooler, but I'm not positive. Is that something that should be leaking I mean obviously not, but is that something that would be difficult to replace?

Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 10 months ago.
That black bar would be a tie rod if it is what I am thinking of, that being loose can also cause vibrations and will cause tire wear problems because it will allow the tire to wobble slightly when driving.

If it is the idler pulley than replacing is normally very simple. All you normally do is remove the bolt in the center of the pulley to remove it. If it is the a different pulley than the replaced can be more complicated. You can use the stethoscope to narrow down which pulley is making the noise by placing it as close to the pulley as possible, or placing it on the bolt in the center of the pulley.

Also, if there is a sound like a chain moving around in the front of the motor than you could have a timing chain issue, but if it can only be heard with the stethoscope and you have no performance issues than you probably don't need to be worried about it yet.

If the oil is around the filter that could just be there from changing the filter. Try taking a can of brake clean and cleaning the oil off. Run the engine for a little bit while you watch to see where its coming from. It could just be there from oil being spilled when the oil change was done, especially if it is not leaving any drops on the floor.

Replacing the oil pan gasket, filter housing, or oil cooler can be difficult, but I'm not sure on your car as I haven't had to do one before.

Unfortunately cars do like to have multiple things go wrong at one time, normally one thing starts to fail and if it's not found soon enough it will take other things out with it, especially in steering and suspension parts.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Okay, I looked on RockAuto and those black bars are called trailing arm and lateral link. Are they similar to what a tie rod on the front does? I do know my car has rear active steering.


 


I replaced my belts today and used a marker to label where the tensioner was set to. I then took out both pulleys, cleaned them, and put some grease on them. All of the pulleys spun freely without issues except the crankshaft one. The new belts smoked for about a second that's normal right? I heard the same two noises something similar to a grinding and a belt squeaking. But, with the new belts it's more intermittent then it was prior. I put a stethoscope on each idler pulleys nut. I heard more of a grinding noise from the left one, but will replace both since they are the same age. I can't tell if any of the other pulleys are bad though since there is nowhere to place the stethoscope safely.


 


I sprayed brake cleaner all around the dirty areas I saw, but then I noticed the upper oil pan looks like it was leaking. I did have an antifreeze leak I fixed, so I cleaned that area also and will check it in a few days.

Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 10 months ago.
If those arms have movement in them then I would replace them. If you have active steering then you should have a tie rod in each rear spindle, they might call the tie rod trailing and lateral arms in this case, but they does basically the same thing.

The smoke on the belt is probably from cleaning them or getting grease on them, I wouldn't worry about it. Sometimes it can be difficult to get the stethoscope to the pulleys, I try to get it behind the pulley if possible it can be hard to do you just need to be careful not to hit the fan.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I replaced the two idle pulleys and the noise is still there. I then disconnected the AC compressor belt and the noise was still there. So, I have narrowed it down to the harmonic balancer, alternator, power steering, or the other idle pulley. My next step I was going to try is removing that idle pulley they sell a modification to remove it and just requires a slightly smaller belt. I uploaded three videos anyway you can maybe have a listen and let me know what you think? Also, I adjusted the tension before, after, and while the engine was running. It would go away for a little bit, but then come back. Is it possible for the tensioner brackets and bolts to go bad?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07mVCaMhZOI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZJKqWidB6A
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YthB2pUMdNQ

*i just took all belts off and cranked the engine and noise was still there. So I'm looking at water pump or harmonic pulley right? The power steering pulley has some play and is slightly bent also at the shaft.
Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 9 months ago.
Most likely water pump the harmonic doesn't normally make any noise. I also noticed in the beginning of the first video that there was a lot of rattling that sounded similar to a timing chain rattle to me.

The the brackets shouldn't be a problem unless they are bent.

There shouldn't be much(if any)play in any of the pulleys, and im pretty sure there shouldn't be a bend at the shaft.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

So, I took it to a mechanic today also for a quick diagnosis it's within walking distance of my home as well. He wanted 500 bucks to change the water pump (he came to the same conclusion), so I decided to perform this on my own and I do have the Infiniti FSM for my car. I also ordered a new timing chain tensioner from the dealership as well.


 


I'm also going to order a new power steering pump. If I wanted to replace the timing chain odds are I'd probably have to remove most of the front car right?


 


I did see that you have to turn the crankshaft manually by hand. What's the best way to avoid skipping any teeth? I plan on reading the procedure and doing a lot of research before I even attempt to do this.


 


I do plan on grounding my car for the time being; I have another I can drive, but is the bearing in the pump most likely going out? I just want to get an idea of what kind of damage can occur besides from overheating, which doesn't seem to be a problem as of now.


 


Checked under the car also about that oil leak I mentioned and it does seem like it's coming from the cooler or lower pan. I plan on putting a new cooler gasket and possibly lower pan gasket in and actually read they do fail alot. Also, from the top weephole I think I might have a very minor coolant leak and that's most likely from the water pump right?


 


I think I need a new AC idler bracket the bolt doesn't tighten on straight it goes up at an angle. It was causing the pulley nuts to loosen on their own and flew around my garage a few times, lol. I did manage to find them though, I had to take the dust shields off for now to keep it tight enough, but the pulleys I replaced the original with claim they don't dust shields anyway.


 

Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 9 months ago.
You will probably have to remove most of the front of the car. The procedure may even tell you to pull the motor out to do it. If you remove the front bumper and basically as much of the front end as possible you will probably be able to get to it.

Normally you only turn the crankshaft very small amounts to put tension on the chain as you move the chain into place. You will probably skip a tooth the first time you try it. Just keep checking the timing marks and do your best to hold them in place. After you get the chain on turn the motor by hand about 4 full revolutions and then recheck to make sure the timing marks are still lined up properly. It can be a major pain in the butt the first couple timing chains you do, just try to be very patient and be sure that the marks are perfect before you put it back together, and follow the directions carefully as you go.

There is a good chance that the bearing is what is causing the noise, its very common. If you leave it alone it will start to leak overtime. The leak at the weephole is probably from the water pump.

You may want to get ahold of a tap to run through the holes for that bolt, you could have a problem with the threads being stripped out.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Okay thanks for your advice.


 


I'm assuming your Z is similar to my G and I have two access holes in the front of the engine. I think I will just replace the tensioner and water pump for now due to time restraints. The manual says to also move the crankshaft to release slack on the chain. How much is usually a good amount to move crankshaft?


 


Also, do you know if it's possible to replace just the pulleys on a power steering pump or would I be better off just buying a new/reman one?

Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 9 months ago.
The Z is built on the same base as the G, they are basically the same car except the G series is more luxury based. You wont have to move the crankshaft much just enough to get the chain off/on.

Some pump pulleys can be replaced but I think your problem is in the pump itself and not the pulley. When you replace the pulley on these you used a special puller to pull it off the shaft. If you have a bent shaft of if the pulley can be moved in and out then you problem will not be fixed by only replacing the pulley.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Alright, I will buy a new pump eventually and get this done as well. My belt is pretty new, but since they have been running on this pump with a bent pulley shaft would it need to be replaced?

Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 9 months ago.
If that belt doesn't appear to have any damage then no it shouldn't need to be replaced.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Okay, so I replaced the tensioner and water pump today, but I think I possibly messed up my timing.


 


The tensioner looked good and so did the primary guide. I turned the crank clockwise a little bit to get some slack and pulled the tensioner out. I undid the three water pump bolts and turned the chain the opposite way to get slack on that side. I heard a pop after turning it once or twice (small increments) I turned it a few more times and got enough slack to remove the pump. The water pump was shot. It was rusty, seize when I spun it, and make a loud screeching/grinding noise by hand.


 


I thought maybe the pop was the pump bracket coming loose from inside the block. I could turn the plate where the bolts went in behind the chain. Do you think my timing is messed up though?

Expert:  shawn24_91 replied 9 months ago.
If I had to guess that pop would be the cam jumping, but that should have been pretty easy to see when it happened. The only way to know for sure if the timing is off is to find the timing marks and make sure everything lines up correctly.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Yep, I took everything apart and my garage is a mess now! I set TDC at compression stroke and the primary chain is four teeth off! I'm awaiting replacement parts and going to replace the guides and primary chain. I was able to do it in the car and leaving the bumper and radiator in place.


 


Thanks for your help!

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