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Dealers/Importer doesn't find an issue, car shakes and noises coming

I have an Giulietta (FWD) from 2015.
The car was in perfect condition until last April. Where a problem became evident on the car.

The first symptoms where:

  1. Random humming at high speeds 60mph+
  2. Steering shimmy at 120-140km/h when accelarating (but not always)
  3. Sometimes shimmy even at constant speed at these ranges
  4. When cold no problems
  5. at really low speeds (less than 20 mph) when turning right the car was making a grinding sound.
  6. Warmer weather increased the symptoms

Many changes happened:

  1. New tires (nothing changed)
  2. New Diskrotors (twice)
  3. Clean-up hubs, brakes

It has been checked by mechanics and nobody can see something evident

  1. No bearing play
  2. No suspension issues
  3. No Axle issues (by outside inspection)

Now 6000Miles after the first signs
The symptoms:

Car shakes or steering shimmy on accelaration at that speed range (mostly when you push it)
Car sometimes shakes also when with neutral gear (after the previous symptom occurs)
Low speed 20- miles grinding (it is like the brakepads are on metal!) but it is not the brakepads! it doesn’t change with braking it doesn’t with neutral gear.

When you travel for 1.5 hour also braking shakes at that speeds (and IT is not the disk rotors… 3rd set of brakes does the same)

I am between Wheel bearing issues and Axle (also some tiny thought on Engine mounts).
What is your take on these symptoms?

It could be a problem with a brake caliper. Feel the wheels after a short drive,if one of them is hotter than the rest you found your problem.A seized caliper will eat through the pads in no time and put a lot of stain on the engine and transmission.

They find no issues with the calipers.
I used an infrared thermometer and the difference between calipers was usually 5 degrees Celcius

also the brake pads (we changed them after 10k… in suspected brakes issue. And they did have no issues (uneven)
also mechanic told me nothing can be found wrong on the calipers.
We did a brake job:
clean, new pads, new disks, new brake lines and fluid! and the symptoms are exactly the same

also the humming sound doesn’t change when happens (at 100km/h+ ) even when i apply brakes! which makes me think it is not the brakes.

Car has only 23000miles! can it be the calipers? (brembo calipers)

Example:
I drive on a highway 60mph and then i accelerate with full throttle
shimmy on steering on a sweet spot. I release gas while the issue happens and it stops
Then… I just try to keep the speed and I have a vibration (really fast and short shimmy like on steering).

Also I am really good with brakes as i use them the least. I use downshifting and light braking when needed (pro active driving) But on empty highways I like speed

Also in europe the limit is 130(about 86mph) and this is the “sweet spot” of the vibration.

did you try using the mechanics ears devices for putting a mic at each wheel? or near axle or side of trans and so on?

2 Likes

no we didn’t. Shold every garage have this?

A bad Inner tie rod made my front wheels wobble and vibrate at a certain speed.Do you feel looseness in the steering wheel? Don’t rule out the tie rods. Bent rims,out of balance tires can produce similar symptoms.

steering is having no losseness at all. it is as stiff as it gets! So stiff that nothing there! nope
also they say, they checked it and they see no issues

wheels:
Previous tires did it, new too!
Rims tested with machine for issues and they are factory spec
Also another rim set did issues with the car.

And the problem began after a brake job happened to the car (for first ttime ever) Although might be coincidence

I found this interesting tread in the alfaowners.com Giulietta forum

I just did it today!

But now the new. tires vibrate too on 120km.
So I am starting to get crazy. going to balance them again. The problem is
when they changed tires back/front after teh annual service i had this vibration
NOW with new tires on i have similar vibration and more (only steering wheel and a bit of. car)

The problematic tyres are back, new tires front (replacing the worn) in 2 months new tires.

I will go for a second balancing in a few hours (different garage), but if this doesn’t fix it I will begin thinking of
issues after the Brakepads change (happened on the service last time)

Vibration ishigher when Accelerating over 120km and not on all roads.
tried it with 120 - 170, it happens on most of the range there (especially 130 -150)
Sometimes more sometimes less.

New tires: Mich Sport pilot 4 (225/40ZR18 92W) with 2,6 pressure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuore_Sportivo_155 View Post
you will keep getting this issue if you don’t frequently change the tyres front to back. Change them twice per year, or if you have a winter set aswell change the position every time you put the alternate set on.

I I was in your shoes, I’d put the deformed back on the rear and a new set up front, then in a couple of months get the second set on the front and do the first rotation.

the 2.9 mm are much more likely to aquaplane than the 5.6mm, and if all are original tyres that’s the only discerning difference. Personally I’d still use them, but drive with more reasonable speeds if there’s standing water on the road.
billias is offline

This is my story in Alfa owner forum. but still the issue continues :
the issue is not the tyres.

So the next step is to check the calipers once more + the axle/bearing for issues (replace it with new)

Check the inner cv joints on Your axles, those at the transmission. They can give those symptoms.

Interesting! Did you have any service done prior to April like a wheel alignment? Do you remember hitting a curb or driving into hub deep water?. Sometimes a wheel bearing will show no play but the seal protecting it can be damaged allowing water and dirt to get in. Did the mechanic use a stetoscope to listen to each bearing for noise and grittiness while the wheels were turning at a moderate pace?

That sounds like a wheel bearing problem on the left side of the car to me. One of the pro mechanics here IIRC mentioned that wheel bearings can fail but no play is evident when using the usual jack up the wheel test method. In any event there should be no grinding nose when turning left at slow speeds, so suggest to focus on that as it may be the cause of the other problems too, and it is easy to replicate apparently. Swapping tires around for a test and taking the brakes apart for visual inspection would make sense before biting the bullet and replacing a wheel bearing.

I wouldn’t guess CV problems would be the culprit b/c of the new-ness of the vehicle, but such a thing is possible I guess. Have you ever hit a pothole really really hard? Sometimes just a single bang on a big pothole at speed can damage a CV joint or a wheel bearing.

Note: I have no personal experience w/Alfas & I don’t think your car is common in the USA so most of the posters here probably don’t have much experience on this make either.

FCA just started selling Alfa Romeos in the USA, and it happens that the Giulietta is the first model sold. It’s just been a year though.

They are sold in Canada since 2015 through Chrysler dealerships.Sales figure are extremely low

They sell Stelvios and Giulias (which is not Giulietta)
which are different cars, completely renewed

if you can hear grinding while you drive i am at a loss to figure out why a mechanic cannot find it

Because it has the symptoms of tyre noise sometimes or brakepads been wornout or too warmbut it is not the case
Depends on speed too.

It comes and goes

Back on april t was the first time ever tha car was jacked up to replace brakepads… also first time ever the wheels where out of the car, ever.

Before april… i used the car for 9 months constabtly and then stopped using it often, due to job change.

Never ever curb, never ever hit into much water or something.
The first symptoms where

  1. Shimmy sometimes under acceleration
  2. A thumbing, humming sound but not constant, just a hm hum hum…

Later when a garage took the car to measure everything (as they say) the car shaking increased.
When i jacked up one side and refit the wheel (to check if something is wrong myself.) The shake stopped. And became really less…also If i do jot drive it for a week or so the vibration most of times needs more time to show.

To gather the problem:

when car is cold the car is okish (no strange sounds)
after 10 minutes of riding it at highway, the car migh shudder (feeling on gas petal/left feet vibration first) then steering will shimmy. Increases with accelaration…

Longer rides also shaking on braking at specific range.

Extra symptoms:

  1. noisy ride, like a tire has stepping at 100km/h+ … goes till the end
  2. Grinding (rubbing) at low speeds, when braking / cornering (turning left or right) this starts after a bit not immediately.

Garages find no issues (no bearing play, no tie-rod issues, no suspension issues).
Wheels no problem a tall! it does the same whatever wheel/tire you have on the car!

I suspect hub bearings or ball joint as first.

Yes

It’s not that expensive

Here’s what it looks like, wired and wireless. They’re easy to use, and it sure beats guessing

image

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If you can reliably duplicate the noise, and the shop can’t duplicate it, they’re not very good. Maybe they gave up too easily, they don’t have the correct tools, or they really don’t want to strain their brains trying to diagnose the problem

Have you talked to the shop foreman, as to WHY they haven’t been able to find the cause, given that you are able to duplicate the noise reliably . . . ?

Here shops are like clinics… you make appointment you leave the car and they call you back.

Whenever i drove woth mechanics they couldn’t hear the noise feel the vibration. After they took it for extra checks… suddenly this became normal car character… and my driving…
Which is abnormal to them when I am not in. But when i drive they find it normal.

I am disappointed from Dutch garages. Also the language barrier might be one of the reasons… as I do not speak Dutch.

Plus they focus on the symptoms the wrong way.
They feel a shaking symptom but they do not combine it with others.

First gain money then find nothing wrong.
Now with a car in warranty I have to find it on my expense… and repair it.
I have to travel 160 km on a super specialist… to diagnose this.

I have had cars for the last 20 years. Never before this bad experience with car garages. In Greece they where more careful and you could easily find a garage looking like it, and not an expensive hairdresser :frowning: