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Grinding noise while driving through curved road thats not quite flat

I don’t think I’ve heard it for a while but hearing them again. While driving car over some terrain (road, parking lot, parking lot ramp) that’s not flat but curved up/down, as the car goes over it, I may hear a grinding type noise.

I don’t believe it’s the one where the bottom of car hits the road because of bobbing up and down and having low clearance from tires to bottom of car frame. I’ve heard that type of noise before as passenger in other people’s cars.

Is this noise likely to be associated to some suspension component, axle, or the shock absorbers, etc.? I recently had the shocks replaced about a year ago, I hope the shocks didn’t just die after a year. Other than that, car runs fine.

I did have tires replaced with new ones recently though if that makes a difference, car didn’t go through alignment check though, just rebalance new tires.

I wish you had combined this with your other post describing a shuddering when you turn full-stop. This changes my other answer to your other post.

Yes, this noise (and probably the shuddering too) is likely to be associated with some suspension component…and/or some drivetrain component. I’m going to posit a wild guess that it’s coming from the control arm ends (joints) or the ball joints. But you gottta get this lifted up on a rack to know anything at all. You gotta have it looked at. ASAP. You could have a ball joint ready to fall apart, and I’ve seen the damage that can cause; you don’t wanna know. The wheel crumples up backwards into the wheel well and if you’re really lucky there’ll be no Freightliner coming the other way.

I urge you, get this looked at ASAP.

I think that mountainbike is probably correct, but I would suggest having the CV joints (both inner & outer) checked, along with the suspension.

Thanks for the comments. I’ll have it looked at when I get a chance then. Looks like my other post may have been deleted, I can’t seem to find it and it’s not under “My Discussions”.

But curious, why would engine shuddering be related to suspension? By shuddering, I meant there’s sort of a vibration coming from engine like it’s shivering and about to turn off as if run out of gas (I’ve felt that before on a 20 yr old car that had known symptom of always doing that whenever I apply brakes at low speed ~5-10 mph or less, so I had to let go of brakes a bit to prevent it from actually dying that would require restarting the car & then I’d sometimes had problems restarting the car as well during warm weather but those days are long gone). It’s not shuddering as if the car’s frame/chassis was shaking.

And right now that shuddering is only while turning into parking spot (wide turns). I’ve not noticed anything doing right turns on street or left/U turn at intersection, or turning into parking spot at 90 degrees or less. It might be that on those wide turns the ground wasn’t flat but slanted up or down, I’m not sure. I did once drive the old car mentioned before that made noise while making left turns. I brought that in and turned out the left axle (or maybe CV joint, I forget) was worn out and I had that replaced.

Understand that shudders caused by bad CV joints will propogate backwards through the engine as well as out to the wheels and that shudders that may feel like they’re coming from the engine could be coming from the suspension.

VDC’s comment about the inner CV joints being suspect is particularly relevant here. The inner CV joints are designed to allow the total axle length to change as it moves through both the suspension dynamics and the steering arcs. It contains a three-pronged “wishbone” (my word) that slides back and forth within a three-slotted “housing” as the axle turns and the suspension or steering inputs change its length. And when you torn to the stop while parking, the “wishbones” can go to places in the slots where they rarely go. An inner CV joint could easily be the culprit.

But, again, it could also be a ball joint, and that could be dangerous. I urge expedience in getting this looked at.

On a related topic, I went checking my wheel nuts since I had new tires put on recently. Noticed that on 3 out of 4 tires, one nut was not bolted tight (though not too loose) and those nuts are cracked (they’re plastic - stock from the Suzuki). Would that also cause any related problem. Not sure how long they’ve been cracked, I’ve never checked really until now. But one tire/wheel seems fine out of 4.

Plastic? are you sure those aren’t the decorative nuts on the hubcap?
Any damaged lugnut should justify replacement of them all, but I’ve never seen and cannot imagine a plastic lugnut.

I’m on the same page (as I usually am) with mountainbike, and I have a hard time imagining that Suzuki–or any other car maker–would use plastic lug nuts.

If Suzuki actually did resort to plastic lug nuts (rather than just decorative pseudo-lug nuts on wheel covers), then they really did deserve to go out of business in The US.

Also, the comment, “one tire/wheel seems fine out of 4” is hardly something that should comfort you. All 4 wheels need to be secured with steel lug nuts that are torqued to the correct specification.

Worn tie rods or other suspension component whose articulating surface is worn or needs lubrication. I have grease fittings on my tractor components and they grind when they need attention. Cars have no such luck. Something may need to be replaced. Have it put on a lift and inspected. You may not be able to tell anything with the suspension under load.

Yea, I don’t know much about cars, so the plastic would likely be the decorative nut on the wheel cover. Is it a problem if one of those is not tight? they cracked along the side, from one of the angled corners of the nut. I’m guess maybe overdriven with power torque wrenches?

Do most mechanics even bother to check nuts by hand after tightening up with those power torque wrenches to confirm tightness or check for things like crack/strip or they just go “ok done” once the power wrenching indicates can turn no further.

I called my mechanic about this problem, he said to bring it in for a test drive with him to listen to the noise and go from there. So we’ll see…

RE Lugnuts, I helped a neighbor change a tire, I was not sure what was going on so I looked in the manual. The one loose imitation lugnut was to unscrew and remove hubcap, to get to the real lugnuts.

Interesting. I haven’t personally run across that setup for retaining hubcaps before, but it makes sense that someone would do it that way. It’s actually a good idea.

I’m not sure what @Barkydog meant. So one imitation lugnut is supposed to be loose?

I took the car to mechanic today for test drive. Based on telling him the noise comes when going over bumps or uneven road in parking lots, and being in the car with me for the test drive, he said it’s likely some of the bushings in the car are getting worn.

But as the noise wasn’t really loud and doesn’t happen all the time, he said it’s normal for an aging car and that he doesn’t recommend fixing it until it gets worse (really loud, or happens all the time consistently when driving over bumpy roads or making turns). Otherwise kind of waste of money to fix early on. Just curious, I asked how much it would be to fix and he said roughly $200 and the bushing parts were cheap like $20 (forget exact figure mentioned) but labor would be high to take time to pinpoint the noise & bad bushings, when there’s like 20-30 on my car.

I think I’ll take his word for it for now. I’ve heard the noise for quite a while before, never really thought much about it until recently just like the power steering noise mystery that has baffled me for quite a while:

For that noise, the mechanic was concerned about it, and we ended up finding the problem & fixing it while replacing timing belt.

It’s too bad it would be tricky/hard to record the noise of this thread topic for you all to hear.

Take your car to another mechanic and have them put it up on the rack and check the front suspension. Old cars mean worn components. I don’t want to see you get hurt because the mechanic did not want to take the time to put it on the lift. Check “mechanic files” for your area.