I can only have one tire alignment

Strange case of squeaking / grinding noises at low speed after new tires / alignment

I have a 2009 Honda Civic (LX, I think not sure how to definitely judge, for some time) and yesterday I replaced the front tires with new ones (size 205/55) and all 4 wheels aligned with factory specs on one local Town Fair Tires. However, for some reason there is now noise at very low speeds with the following observations:

  1. When I drive for the first time after not driving for more than 8 hours, no problems, no noise at low speeds or speeds.
  2. The more I drive, the more the "squeak" / grind occurs at low speeds (usually from 0.1 to 15 or 20 mph or so).
  3. It doesn't ALWAYS happen, but when it does it seems to correlate with the rotation of the tires (because the squeak / grind seems inherently rhythmic).
  4. It mostly happens at very low speeds, and at higher speeds the sound suddenly stops and is very smooth and without any problems.
  5. It doesn't seem to correlate with braking because when I accelerate at low speeds I get that sound too.
  6. It doesn't seem to correlate with RPM as I don't have that noise at higher speeds but low / minimum RPM.
  7. The car has been driven for a long time (3+ years) without realigning the tires. So you are not sure if this is the cause of this noise as the tires have suddenly been realigned.

So this is very mysterious ... I googled and don't understand half of the technical terms used on the forums. So I wonder if this is due to:

  • The new tires are of poor quality
  • Problems with wheel bearings (no idea what that means)
  • Realignment issues because the car has been driven with "bad alignment" for a long time

Any knowledge will be helpful.

To edit: I went back to the Town Fair tire and asked the mechanic why it was squeaking and he found that installing new tires was causing contact with the rotors I believe. The problem has now been resolved.

Uzumaki Naruto

In addition, I don't feel any "vibration" (or at least I can't see it) when it squeaks / crunches with noise. I can only hear it

Mauro

With the car at a standstill, set the left steering to full lock and check the tires, then right to full lock and check the tires again. Look for signs of scoring on the shoulders and tread of the tires - they may be rubbing against body work.

CharlieRB

I have a theory, what you might hear, but have a few questions first. Is this happening on a certain type of surface (asphalt, asphalt, etc.)? Are the ambient conditions changing (hot patch versus cold patch)? Is it more pronounced when turning?

Uzumaki Naruto

This is very difficult to say as far as the type of finish is concerned. This happens both in the morning and in the evening, so the temperature of the patch is unlikely to play a role. It doesn't seem to be more pronounced when turning, about the same ... seems to correlate more with speed.

Uzumaki Naruto

@Mauro, I did this last night and looked very closely at the tires and felt the "inside" which also faces the inside of the car ... I feel the bristles so it indicates that there are no scoring / rubbing . So I don't think that's the cause ...

MechanicJoe

The brake may also have failed. When your brakes wear out they rub the rotors and cause the grinding and squeaking as it's metal on metal. You want to have this looked at as soon as possible.

Uzumaki Naruto

This was the next suggestion - the brakes didn't fail but I went back to the Town Fair tire and asked the mechanic why it was squeaking and he found that installing new tires was causing contact with the rotors I believe. The brakes are still okay. The problem has now been resolved.

zipzit

I'm not sure if this is your specific defect, but it is something to be aware of.

It is quite possible that the tire shop has fumbled your tire pressure transmitter unit in the tire and now the pressure transmitter unit in the tire is loose. I just worked on a car with this defect and the low speed noises sound similar to what you described.

Check this by removing the entire wheel and rolling ten feet on the ground. You will immediately know whether this is your fault.

Uzumaki Naruto

OK thanks. If the other suggestions above don't work I'll bring them to the shop and ask them to test and see why (and suggest that this could be the cause).

tlhIngan

There are a couple of things to answer here:

  • Do you have an LX? It doesn't matter to your problem, but if you really want to know, do a Google search for a Honda VIN decoder and enter your VIN.
  • Worn wheel bearings I let this happen with 2 vehicles. The noise would worsen at higher speeds and get worse when steering at high speeds (cornering on the motorway, changing lanes on the motorway). The wheel bearings are located in the wheel hub and allow the wheels to roll with minimal friction. They are small steel balls with a lot of fat around them. Sometimes the grease goes bad, the balls lose their shape, or dirt and metal filings get in, causing friction and noise. This is probably not your problem.
  • Check your tire pressure I have previously set the wrong pressure in tire shops. So don't trust them. If you don't have a tire pressure gauge, get one (don't spend more than $ 5) and measure the pressure on all 4 tires when the tires are cold (out of the sun, not driven in the last hour). Find out what the normal pressure is for your car. These are usually printed on a sticker in the driver's door or on the frame that the driver's door clicks into. Make sure your pressure is within 1 PSI.
  • Loud tires What brand and model of tire did you have on your car? Some tires are louder than others. Some tires are also known as "directional tires," which means that they only roll in one direction. We can tell from your tire brand and tire model whether it is a directional tire. However, the tire will also state whether this is the case, with an arrow and the word Rotation printed on the sidewall of the tire. In the following pictures you can find 2 examples. With your tires straightened, for each tire, use your finger to make small circles in the air in the direction the arrow indicates, making sure it is the same direction the tire would roll if you moved forward drive. If not, they have back mounted your tires. They did this to my mother a few years ago.
  • Check your tires As stated in another answer, check your tires. They are brand new (right?) So you would expect them to be pristine. The surface needs to be a bit smooth and even. Look for "shredding" marks, bubbles, scratch marks, etc.

Uzumaki Naruto

Thanks for the detailed questions. My answers: 1) Yes, LX; 2) The noise disappears at high speeds, as you mentioned earlier, this is probably not the case here ... 3) It's a Zeetex, 205/55 ... it doesn't seem directional, probably bi-directional, 4) there as far as I can see there doesn't seem to be any shredders, bubbles or scratch marks ...

JimmyB

When (un) mounted wheels sometimes touch the dust cover (?) (The one from this question) and throw it a little out of shape. The piece can then lightly touch the inner part of the rim and cause a metallic grinding noise.

Check the inner part of the rims for signs of scratches and / or try to bend the shield a little a few mm in one direction or the other. 1 mm distance can be sufficient.

Uzumaki Naruto

I'm not sure what the "inner part of the rims" is ... do I have to take the tire off? I don't have the tools for that.

JimmyB

The tire does not have to be removed. What I mean is the part of the rim that is behind the spokes, towards the "inside" of the vehicle.