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ASEMaster35yrs
ASEMaster35yrs, Chevy Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 2031
Experience:  ASE Certified since 1972,Master Auto tech,Heavy Truck Tech ,chev dealer tech
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2004 Chevrolet Cavalier with grinding noise only when wheels

Customer Question

2004 Chevrolet Cavalier with grinding noise only when wheels are turning. It sounds like something in the transmission. I checked pan...no cracks. Tran is operating OK with no slips. CV axles look OK. Recently replaced both front hubs. Any ideas?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  ASEMaster35yrs replied 4 years ago.
Check the level in your power steering reservoir. If the level is low there will be a growling noise when turning.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
It's not just when it's turning. It's whenever it is moving. I jacked the front wheels up, put it in drive and it still made the noise.
Expert:  ASEMaster35yrs replied 4 years ago.
Does it make the noise sitting still in drive? Have you checked your brakes to see if they are on the wear indicators? Is there any vibration on acceleration? Is there a clicking noise when turning? Does the noise change when you turn side to side? Is the noise constant when moving?

Edited by ASEMaster35yrs on 1/2/2010 at 8:17 AM EST
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
It is constant when moving. Like I said, I jacked the car up so that the wheels were not touchng the ground and it still made the same noise. It doesn't have a transmission dipstick, so I cannot check that. It's getting worse and louder.
Expert:  ASEMaster35yrs replied 4 years ago.

In order to help you better, I need more information. Please answer all my questions and we can narrow down the problem instead of quessing the answer. Let's start with the unanswered questions. 1) Is your power steering level full? 2)Does it make the noise sitting still, wheels not moving in drive? 3) Have you checked your brakes to see if nothing is rubbing and lining is not on wear indicators? 4) Is there any vibration on acceleration? 5) Is there a clicking noise when turning? 6) Does the noise change when turning side to side while moving?

Get a stethoscope and try to determin exactly where the noise is comming from. You could also use a long screwdriver and listen on the handle end. It would also serve you well to get a trans dipstick and check your fluid level.

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
1) Power Steering level is full.
2) It does not make the noise sitting still
3) Brakes look fine
4) No vibration on acceleration
5) No clicking noise while turning
6) Noise does not change when moving side to side

This car was made without a trans dipstick.
Expert:  ASEMaster35yrs replied 4 years ago.
Get a stethoscope and try to determin exactly where the noise is comming from. You could also use a long screwdriver and listen on the handle end. There is a possibility that there is a crack in your flexplate.

Edited by ASEMaster35yrs on 1/2/2010 at 10:39 PM EST
Expert:  ASEMaster35yrs replied 4 years ago.

Did you check with a stethoscope and find where the noise is comming from?

I had one of these Cavaliers bearing only last one month then the noise came back, another bad hub bearing.

 

There is no dipstick for the newer model Automatic transmission Cavaliers, however, There is a red fill cap on the drivers' side on top of the transmission. The only way to check fluid level is to jack up the car, making sure it level with a jack stand on each side of the car, and remove a small plug from the side of the transmission, underneath the car. It will be small and in an American size. It is either a 3/8" or a 7/16" size plug. Once it is removed, fluid will drain out if it is overfilled. Once there is no more fluid coming out, it is at it's proper level. If there is none coming out, then add more until it comes out and levels off. It has a capacity of about 11 quarts for the 4 speed models. The 3 speed models have about 7 quarts.



Edited by ASEMaster35yrs on 1/3/2010 at 12:31 AM EST
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The noise only happens when the car is moving, so I can't put a stethescope on it. Well, I could, but I might fall out from under the hood as the car was rolling.
Expert:  ASEMaster35yrs replied 4 years ago.
You said you jacked the car up with the front wheels off the ground and with the wheels turning, it made the noise. You could put the stethoscope on the steering knuckle and on the transmission in various locations while wheels are turning. Since it only does it when the wheels are moving, I would strongly suspect something that involves the rotation of your wheels. You can try it with wheels off and 2 bolts on rotors and also with rotors off to narrow it down. Use the stethoscope where the noise is loudest to pinpoint where it's comming from.

Edited by ASEMaster35yrs on 1/3/2010 at 5:04 AM EST
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
ok, it seems to be the loudest at the transmission. Nothing is slipping or anything like a trans normally would if it were out of fluid.
Expert:  ASEMaster35yrs replied 4 years ago.
Is the noise loudest at the output housing, or is it loudest where it bolts to the engine block? If the noise is more prominent close to where it bolts to the block, you will have to pull the trans and inspect the flywheel. There may be a loose flywheel bolt or cracks in the flywheel (flexplate).

Edited by ASEMaster35yrs on 1/3/2010 at 5:17 AM EST
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
it's loudest at the output housing
Expert:  ASEMaster35yrs replied 4 years ago.
You need to pull the axle and take a look inside the output housing to see what's going on there.

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