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Anyone into cars that can give me advice?

asthmacat

[asthmacat loved that]
i have a 2005 toyota corolla (badass, i know)
she's a great car for having a not-so-new model. doesn't give me many problems that run me out of my wallet minus some minor fixes that a typical over 200,000 miles car would have.......until now but hopefully not. these problems may or may not be easy to fix considering they have to do with my brakes, wheel, or tires. i've had two friends that this has happened to and they deemed their cars totaled because of it

my first major problem has to do with my wheel. i can't get any straight answers on the internet so far. going over/around 60mph makes my steering wheel vibrate. however, if i go over 65/70mph it stops and its smooth again. what my friends both said is that i have a crack in my steering system. i pray that this isn't the case because it would be extremely expensive to fix. the other possibility i've read is its my tires which is also not cheap. my tires also don't feel exactly smooth sometimes, but i don't know how to describe it. i just got my tires checked a month ago because i had a slow leak (just needed to be cleaned thank god) and they didn't bring up any other problems. i don't know if they just didn't check or actually didn't find anything. has anyone else had this problem? what was wrong with the car? if you got it fixed how much did you pay?

my second problem is my brakes. about a year to maybe a year and a half ago they started squeaking. i brought it to a mechanic, they found nothing. they told me its probably dust or the dry air. i've brought this car to the mechanic for this squeaking now probably five times. they can't find anything, i've had brake lines replaced, brake pads replaced, my brakes cleaned. still squeaks. its only in one spot, if i press a bit more than lightly on the brakes it squeaks, if i press on it more it stops. one of my worst fears is having brake failure but every mechanic has told me my brakes are fine. i've also seen three different mechanics about it so i'm not only just seeing one who may just not know. i figured when it first started that it was the dry weather but it still happens in the winter when its rainy/snowy. it brakes fine i think, just squeaks fairly loudly at one spot. has anyone else had this problem? is she just old and dusty? it hasn't gotten worse so i'm not sure if i should just continue to believe that my brakes are fine but i just got it checked again a month ago while getting an oil change just in case and once again, he said its fine

thanks if you could give me any advice. sometimes looking it up on the internet makes me a bit worried because i get so many different answers and freak myself out with prices so i figured i'd try to get people's opinions and experiences
 

Wabbajax

Jaxon-Jackal/Arixes-Særkyn
I'm not an expert by any means, but I would like to think that I am at least moderately knowledgeable when it comes to cars.

going over/around 60mph makes my steering wheel vibrate. however, if i go over 65/70mph it stops and its smooth again...my tires also don't feel exactly smooth sometimes...

I had a similar issue with my 2015 Chevy Sonic. I thought it was the tie-rod ends were going bad or that I had a bad wheel bearing. Turns out that I had pissed off one of the mechanics at a tire shop when I bought new tires and they hadn't balanced the wheel on the rim properly to get back at me. So gradually over time, the unbalance wore the rubber out in an odd pattern that I could hear as an odd "thrumming" noise as I was driving, and also caused vibrations in the steering wheel when I hit ~60 mph because that just happened to be the resonant speed for the bad tread. Going faster also made the vibration lessen.

The fix was that I had to buy a brand new tire because even when the old tire was balanced properly, the rubber had been worn out unevenly. The only reason I figured it out was that the vibrations were so severe, they destroyed the wheel bearing the tire was mounted to. That destroyed wheel bearing felt like my brakes were rubbing as I was coming to a stop or start because the car would "pulse" unevenly.

Fun fact about tires and tire places! Tire machines have two ways of latching onto your wheel to mount a tire. Internal and External clamps. The internal method takes several sharp spikes and digs them into the rim on the inside. This method is ONLY SUPPOSED TO BE USED on STEEL rims. But a lot of super lazy tire stores won't bother training their mechanics properly and will let them ruin perfectly good alloy rims by clamping them improperly. The ONLY correct method for securing ALLOY rims is using the machines External clamps, which grab the outer lip of the wheel. Before you choose a tire shop, ask them which clamping method they use for alloy wheels. If they can't tell you or they say there is only one way to clamp a wheel, hang up the phone and choose a different shop.

its only in one spot, if i press a bit more than lightly on the brakes it squeaks, if i press on it more it stops.

I wouldn't worry too much about this one, especially on a car your age. It sounds like your brake pads are squeaking in their mounting brackets because the brackets are old and not a perfect fit for the pads anymore. It's not dangerous, just annoying. This can be fixed by buying some special compound that you squirt onto the backside (not the contact side that touches the rotor!) of the brake pads between the bracket and the pad.
 

asthmacat

[asthmacat loved that]
So gradually over time, the unbalance wore the rubber out in an odd pattern that I could hear as an odd "thrumming" noise as I was driving, and also caused vibrations in the steering wheel when I hit ~60 mph because that just happened to be the resonant speed for the bad tread. Going faster also made the vibration lessen.

The fix was that I had to buy a brand new tire because even when the old tire was balanced properly, the rubber had been worn out unevenly. The only reason I figured it out was that the vibrations were so severe, they destroyed the wheel bearing the tire was mounted to. That destroyed wheel bearing felt like my brakes were rubbing as I was coming to a stop or start because the car would "pulse" unevenly.
it actually seems like this is my problem, i couldn't describe the noise or feel it in my driving. i just heard it sometimes and could feel it on the floor of my car that something isn't quite right. like you said, it feels like a pulse. granted, my tires are a bit old and i used to drive back and forth every weekend from college that was 2 hours away for a year so it really did a number on them. massachusetts roads are also absolutely awful. you'd think they wouldn't be considering we pay so much in taxes to fix them. what you're describing seems to be a better scenario than a crack that could deem my car totaled or be a horrendously priced fix... so i will keep my hopes up that its this sort of problem or something else that isn't that terrible

Fun fact about tires and tire places! Tire machines have two ways of latching onto your wheel to mount a tire. Internal and External clamps. The internal method takes several sharp spikes and digs them into the rim on the inside. This method is ONLY SUPPOSED TO BE USED on STEEL rims. But a lot of super lazy tire stores won't bother training their mechanics properly and will let them ruin perfectly good alloy rims by clamping them improperly. The ONLY correct method for securing ALLOY rims is using the machines External clamps, which grab the outer lip of the wheel. Before you choose a tire shop, ask them which clamping method they use for alloy wheels. If they can't tell you or they say there is only one way to clamp a wheel, hang up the phone and choose a different shop.
i will definitely keep this in mind. i have had scenarios where mechanics will even take advantage of me being a female (unfortunate, i know. this has happened to my mom too) and a college student since i obviously don't know much about cars so they upcharge me. luckily i know the difference between something that should cost $50 but them saying its $200. as soon as you say never mind they change their mind, hmm interesting! if i need new tires, i can really only afford used ones or discounted ones from mechanics i know well, but its better than nothing. thank you for this advice! calling out mechanics on their mistakes can make a major difference in performance and pricing. unfortunate that you have to because you put so much trust into them. this of course is not all mechanics, i always stick to one, he knows me and gives me great prices since i've gone to him for years now. i've only had bad experiences with one or two that think i'm dumb or something


I wouldn't worry too much about this one, especially on a car your age. It sounds like your brake pads are squeaking in their mounting brackets because the brackets are old and not a perfect fit for the pads anymore. It's not dangerous, just annoying. This can be fixed by buying some special compound that you squirt onto the backside (not the contact side that touches the rotor!) of the brake pads between the bracket and the pad.
i figured it wasn't a big deal, its nice to hear from someone else as well! i assumed it was because she's an older make

if anyone else has any experiences with this, still feel free to comment!
 

Render

If you can lick it, it's probably safe
Banned
The vibrations could be from a lot of things but I'd suspect your front tires are not balanced quite right. Have also seen bad alignment do this, and once a bad power steering belt made the wheel act funny at certain speeds.

Squeaky brakes are not dangerous. If it's annoying I would suspect your rotors are the source, most shops can 'turn' them for you if they are the stock ones (basically they refinish the disk the brake pad presses against). Higher quality brake pads also help.
 

Wabbajax

Jaxon-Jackal/Arixes-Særkyn
i have had scenarios where mechanics will even take advantage of me being a female

Not to derail your thread, but my mate has had this issue before. One particularly ridiculous incident had her take the car into the shop only for the mechanic to tell her the issue she was describing in detail wasn't a big deal and didn't need to be fixed. So I took the car in next and told him the exact same thing, and wouldn't you know, because I am male he believed me!

I get a little upset when I hear stories about women who can't get mechanics to take them seriously.
 

asthmacat

[asthmacat loved that]
Not to derail your thread, but my mate has had this issue before. One particularly ridiculous incident had her take the car into the shop only for the mechanic to tell her the issue she was describing in detail wasn't a big deal and didn't need to be fixed. So I took the car in next and told him the exact same thing, and wouldn't you know, because I am male he believed me!

I get a little upset when I hear stories about women who can't get mechanics to take them seriously.
same thing happen with doctors all the time! its unfortunate and strange. its best to just do research at least on prices before going in so you can all them out on their bullshit
 

asthmacat

[asthmacat loved that]
The vibrations could be from a lot of things but I'd suspect your front tires are not balanced quite right. Have also seen bad alignment do this, and once a bad power steering belt made the wheel act funny at certain speeds.

Squeaky brakes are not dangerous. If it's annoying I would suspect your rotors are the source, most shops can 'turn' them for you if they are the stock ones (basically they refinish the disk the brake pad presses against). Higher quality brake pads also help.
hopefully its an easy and affordable fix...my fear is having to buy brand new tires or them having to fix my steering. i can't recall when this shaking started, but now that i think about it, i did just have my tires rotated and the problem is still happening so i don't think its the tires themselves but rather something else. i miss going 75-80 mph! doing 55 or less is killing me (and others on the highway having to deal with my slow driving) but its what i have to do in fear of losing control or blowing out
 

Water Draco

Well-Known Member
If the wheel balance has been checked was the wheel alignment at the same time?

Also check the tyre pressures are correct all round.

If tyres are getting on in age or have taken a significant wack they can go out of shape. I will replace a tyre regardless of how good it looks if it is over 6 years old.

Some tyre wear indication are

a tire with the outer edges worn down on both sides has lightly been driven with an incorrect inflation that was lower than it's correct pressure.

a tire with the tread worn away in the center but not the edges has lightly been driven with it over inflated.

a tire that has wear on just one side would suggest an alignment issue or suspension issue.

Tire wear should be even across the tread.

And inspection should also be able to determine the condition of wheel bearings, track rod ends, drop linkages, suspension bushings... and so on.


Breaks can squeal. With the mileage on your car the pads must have been replaced quite a few times and lightly your on your second or third set of break rotors. So it is possible that cheeper after market ones may have been fitted that may be more lightly to chatter.
So if there in good condition and pass the breaking efficiency testing, then the noise is just something to put up with. Some people put Copper slip on the backs of the pads where the pistons press against them to try to reduce screching. But it's important to check the engineering manual and also the break pad manufacturers guide lines as in some instances copper slip must not be used.
Most car manufacturers original break pads now use a special dry coating on the back of the pads to reduce the chances of screaching.
 

Render

If you can lick it, it's probably safe
Banned
hopefully its an easy and affordable fix...my fear is having to buy brand new tires or them having to fix my steering. i can't recall when this shaking started, but now that i think about it, i did just have my tires rotated and the problem is still happening so i don't think its the tires themselves but rather something else. i miss going 75-80 mph! doing 55 or less is killing me (and others on the highway having to deal with my slow driving) but its what i have to do in fear of losing control or blowing out
Having thought more about it both symptoms could be from slightly warped rotors. Turning rotors usually costs less than a tank of gas, takes maybe 20-30min
 

asthmacat

[asthmacat loved that]
Having thought more about it both symptoms could be from slightly warped rotors. Turning rotors usually costs less than a tank of gas, takes maybe 20-30min
well i really hope its this then! i'm a bit hopeful its an affordable fix considering its been happening for at least a year or maybe more and hasn't gotten worse. i'm glad there may be other options than new tires, it really calms my nerves down a lot haha
 

Wabbajax

Jaxon-Jackal/Arixes-Særkyn
...i did just have my tires rotated and the problem is still happening so i don't think its the tires themselves but rather something else...

Interesting. There is one other possibility of what might be going on. If your tires are directional (have an arrow on the side denoting which way they need to rotate) the steel belts inside will have set in a specific pattern. If the tires are rotated incorrectly to where one or more tires are now rotating backwards, that could easily cause a vibration. If there is an arrow showing tire rotation, it should be pointing forward when the tire is spun with the arrow at the top of the tire.
 

asthmacat

[asthmacat loved that]
If the wheel balance has been checked was the wheel alignment at the same time?

Also check the tyre pressures are correct all round.

If tyres are getting on in age or have taken a significant wack they can go out of shape. I will replace a tyre regardless of how good it looks if it is over 6 years old.

Some tyre wear indication are

a tire with the outer edges worn down on both sides has lightly been driven with an incorrect inflation that was lower than it's correct pressure.

a tire with the tread worn away in the center but not the edges has lightly been driven with it over inflated.

a tire that has wear on just one side would suggest an alignment issue or suspension issue.

Tire wear should be even across the tread.

And inspection should also be able to determine the condition of wheel bearings, track rod ends, drop linkages, suspension bushings... and so on.


Breaks can squeal. With the mileage on your car the pads must have been replaced quite a few times and lightly your on your second or third set of break rotors. So it is possible that cheeper after market ones may have been fitted that may be more lightly to chatter.
So if there in good condition and pass the breaking efficiency testing, then the noise is just something to put up with. Some people put Copper slip on the backs of the pads where the pistons press against them to try to reduce screching. But it's important to check the engineering manual and also the break pad manufacturers guide lines as in some instances copper slip must not be used.
Most car manufacturers original break pads now use a special dry coating on the back of the pads to reduce the chances of screaching.
i've had multiple inspections done since this started and haven't had any mechanic bring it up. i haven't brought it up because i flat out can't afford to fix something too expensive right now. my tires should be good, they look fine and the treads grip well and don't look worn. i also forgot to mention that i had a rotation done a month ago and the problem is still happening so its not the tires rather than something else like the axels or such
 

asthmacat

[asthmacat loved that]
Interesting. There is one other possibility of what might be going on. If your tires are directional (have an arrow on the side denoting which way they need to rotate) the steel belts inside will have set in a specific pattern. If the tires are rotated incorrectly to where one or more tires are now rotating backwards, that could easily cause a vibration. If there is an arrow showing tire rotation, it should be pointing forward when the tire is spun with the arrow at the top of the tire.
hmm, where would i find this arrow?
 

asthmacat

[asthmacat loved that]
It would be on the sidewall of the tire where the letters are printed. There's not a whole lot of directional tires that I know of but it is something to check for in the off chance that you have a set.
i will check this out tomorrow before heading to work!
 
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