Hi all, just a preface that I’m not super car savvy but trying to learn so bare with me if I ask any dumb questions.
Anyway, I just bought an '03 Mitsubishi Spyder Automatic with around 160,000 miles. The car seems to be in decent shape and runs well but there is a pretty prominent creaking or groaning coming from the front of the car (close to where my feet would go, but more towards the front) in certain situations that is about a 7/10 on the noisy scale. It’s worse when accelerating from a dead stop (faster the car gets going, the less likely the creaking) but also happens when braking (again, more likely at slower speeds) and when shifting from Park to Drive/Reverse. In short, it seems to happen when the car shifts momentum or weight suddenly. I haven’t noticed it at much (if at all) when I get to higher speeds. I don’t think it is a suspension issue because I haven’t noticed it when going over bumps or when I go push on the front of the car. It also doesn’t seem like a braking issue since it’s a little worse when accelerating and there are no problems when braking at higher speeds.
A few more details on the car:
-The previous owner replaced the transmission and either replaced or serviced the axels about 2 months ago.
-Previous owner mentioned the car had been sitting a decent amount the past year and hadn’t been used a ton.
-I noticed quite a bit of rust on the certain spots on the inside of the wheels (noise not coming from the wheels) but haven’t noticed any significant rust issues anywhere else, although I haven’t really been able to look thoroughly under the car.
-There may have been other repairs recently as well. I can look over service records more closely later if anyone thinks it’s relevant.
I’m planning on taking it in for an oil change soon and will have a mechanic look into it but was wondering if any had any ideas. Does this seem like a big issue or just more annoying?
Thanks and sorry if a little on the long side!
The annoying noise is telling you SOMEthing… It acts like a driveline problem, not brakes. I would suspect the CV joints in the axles as being dry of grease but since they’ve been replaced that should eliminate that (should!).
Maybe wheel bearings. Normally they growl when failing but I have experienced a groan or squeal type noise since the seal failed and the bearing was drying out. Have the mechanic check axles and wheel bearings as well as everything else in the driveline. Post back with what he finds, please.
Agree with Mustangman. The only way to be sure is to take it to a shop, put it on a lift and have it checked out. Everything else as @Mustangman has indicated is a list of conjectures one can only do from afar. And yes. Noises are something that can turn into a big issue if ignored. I would have the mechanic “show” you the problems if they are willing. If it’s something simple that just needs lubricating or adjustment, lucky you but still safe if you have it taken care of now.
Since it happens when shifting from park to drive or reverse I’m thinking another possibility might be bad motor/transmission mounts.
Had a thought related to @MY 2 CENTS post, Maybe the exhaust is creaking because the engine is rocking too far on bad motor mounts?
Im not sure what you are referencing… DO THIS…Put your foot on the brake and shift from park to reverse and then with your foot on the brake feather the accelerator… then put it in drive and do the same thing… ALSO …go from reverse to drive several times…see if the sound is repeatable. What I am trying to find out by these tests is to see if the noise is coming from the motor/trans mounts… You already stated that it doesnt seem like the suspension…so I think you are on the correct track with motor mounts…
If it was the CV Joints in the axles it would be a CLICKING Sound when the wheel is turned at a severe angle and power is being applied… those are the symptoms of CV joints. So I think your issue resides in the mounts somewhere.
“Since it happens when shifting from park to drive or reverse I’m thinking another possibility might be bad motor/transmission mounts.”
"Im not sure what you are referencing... DO THIS....Put your foot on the brake and shift from park to reverse and then with your foot on the brake feather the accelerator.... then put it in drive and do the same thing.. ALSO ....go from reverse to drive several times...see if the sound is repeatable. What I am trying to find out by these tests is to see if the noise is coming from the motor/trans mounts... You already stated that it doesnt seem like the suspension....so I think you are on the correct track with motor mounts....
And what would you expect to hear if it was the motor mounts?
Another interesting thing is it is not as bad some times I drive as it is other times…
Thanks all, I’m bringing it in to the mechanic tomorrow morning and will have him look for the possibilities suggested above.
It was transmission mounts so y’all were on the right track.
Greatly appreciate your reporting back. Not many people do.
No problem, I appreciated the help. But they actually reported it on the phone to me wrong. They replaced motor mounts, not transmission, and creaking is completely gone for $330.
So glad you got it fixed. It’s always great to hear the solution.