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1996 Honda Civic LX

Alright, so I got my car aligned about two months ago and ever since then it has started scraping the bottom of my car whenever I go over any form of bump or reach the bottom of a steep hill at a speed higher than 2 mph. Well, about three days ago it started making this clicking sound when I put it into park or come to a complete stop and when I accelerate it makes a grinding sound. As a college student I am kind of tight on cash, so I was wanting to know what the possible issues could be so I will know a general price range when I go to a mechanic.

In my experience, Hondas have less ground clearance than any other make of passenger car, and therein most likely lies the source of the “grinding” problem.

When I owned a '92 Accord, I occasionally found my car bottoming-out in circumstances similar to what the OP mentioned. And, when parking in places where there were “tire stops”, I had to be very careful when pulling forward in order to prevent the crossmember underneath the radiator from scraping that tire stop. Later, when I drove a friend’s 2001 Accord, I noticed the exact same problems. So, I would not be surprised if the OP’s Civic is similarly built with very little ground clearance.

As to the cost of correcting the OP’s “grinding” problem, nobody from afar can know with any type of certainty what the source of the noise actually is, and thus it is extremely difficult to know what the “fix” will cost. However, I will speculate that the OP may merely be hearing noise from a loose or bent heat shield on the exhaust system.

These noises, depending on the exact nature of the situation, can sound like…rattling, grinding, or any number of other types of annoying noises, but what they all have in common is that they only appear within specific ranges of engine RPMs, and thus will appear at certain speeds but not others.

If the OP’s problem is merely noise from a loose or bent heat shield (which is very possible, given the poor ground clearance of the car), the cost should be only a few bucks to fix. However, until someone puts the car up on a lift and replicates the noise, nobody can accurately diagnose this problem.

The clicking problem could relate the brakes, or it could be any number of other situations, and once again, this is not really something that can be accurately diagnosed from afar.

Just look under the car, I think you will see something hanging down. If not, the heat shield is a good suspect, but since it happened immediately after alignment, I would suspect either the front weather shield (plastic skid plate) was not bolted back into place and only comes down when you are moving or one of the trailing arm nuts was not tightened properly.

If it is a trailing arm nut, this needs to be repaired immediately, it can be very dangerous.