"whump" sound del sol ...cont'd


I want to give an update on the “whump, whump, whump…” noise on my honda del sol. The problem seems to be the transaxle rather than a flat spot on the tire. I know this is not good news, and I’ll be talking to transmission people about it, but if anyone has any advice, I’d appreciate it. “Triedaq” you were right to have the noise checked out and not assume it was a flat spot on the tire from sitting for 3 yrs. My car isn’t worth much, although I love this car and have had fun with it for the brief time I’ve owned it- 1 month. I don’t know if it’s worth repairing.

If anyone’s interested, I’ll give you the update after talking to the transmission people.


Who made the diagnosis the problem is transmission related? It’s always possible, and happens often, that a misdiagnosis can be made.

The vehicle has not been back on the road very long. It’s possible a tire could have a bad spot and not show any odd wear on the tread pattern due to the comparatively low number of miles.
Someone could think that given the noise and no odd wear the problem is trans related.

You might consider dropping by a local gas station, maybe even WalMart, and have them put the car on the rack. With trans in neutral, rotate the wheel by hand. Any flat spot should be easily visible.

Just a suggestion anyway.


a flat spot on the tire from sitting for 3 yrs

I would not be quick to eliminate a tyre flat spot with that history.  I also would not rule out something else.


Transaxle covers a lot of ground–the transmission and the axle shafts. The noise, if it is not a tire, might be a wheel bearing that someone might consider as a part of the transaxle. Years ago, we had a Rambler that made the same noise as you described in your original post except that the noise was in the rear (the Rambler was a rear wheel drive). It did turn out to be a rear axle bearing. Is your car a standard shift or an automatic? If it is a standard shift, it may be a bearing in the transmission.

At any rate if you like the car and find it fun to drive, then for you it is worth the repair (assuming the repair isn’t in 5 figures). I would really like to have a car that is fun to drive. Unfortunately, I am always hauling people and their musical instruments so I am limited to a minivan. I keep hoping for the day when they make minature tympani and string bass instruments that would fit in the trunk of a Mazda Miata.


I reread your original post and see that your car is an automatic. I’ve had to have bearing replaced in manual transmisison cars, but have never had this problem with automatic transmissions. However, I suppose anything is possible.


Sorry I didn’t get back to you earlier,but I was out of town. Yes, it is an automatic. Midas said the “whump…” sounded like it was coming from the transaxle when they had the del sol up on the lift. They said there should be no problem driving it, unless the noise got worse or sounded more metalic. Then I drove the car from
Boston to Maine and back. It sounded louder, so I took it to Sears. Sears looked at the tires and said they didn’t see any flat spots on the tires when they rotated them on the lift. Sears said before they got the car on the lift that the noise might be a wheel bearing, but after checking it, Sears said the transaxle was loose and I should take it to a transmission place or Honda dealership. Nix on the dealership! The other info I should add is that the transmission seems to hesitate before shifting into the next gear, especially noticeable sometimes on 2nd gear. My questions is what could have caused this problem on a car with only 32,000 miles on it. Are transaxle or other transmission problem possibly due to sitting around for 3+ years? Thanks for sharing your expertise and opinions.


There might be damage or a “set” to the tire’s belts or other internal structures that might not show up in a quick visual inspection. Did the tires go flat over the three year period? Maybe there’s a damaged sidewall or belt where the rim pressed in on it. Have you tried rotating the tires between front and rear to see if the sound shifts to the front (establishing it as a tire problem)?


Reminds me of when my dealer replaced second gear in my 1996 Del sol Si 5spd at about 10,000 miles (under warranty) because the Pirelli P190 Ice tires would roar like a banshee when you accelerated quickly, but then roll quiet as a mouse when coasting or braking.

I’d say if you like the car, the trans-axle is worth replacing - if the mechanic will warrant that that fixes the problem. You might also ask around and try (borrow?) some other tires first. They could be used tires for this test…