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Old 09-29-2011, 12:49 PM   #1
kenpogeorge
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Default Grinding and Thumping!!!

Hello,

A few things bothering me about my Fusion. One, is a grinding when I use the brakes. Not a high-pitched squeal that is common on some cars, and not hardly an issue, but rather, a deeper metal-to-metal grinding sound. Almost as if someone with a deep voice was saying "sshhhhhh!" when I hit the brakes. What could be causing this?

Also, at 70+ MPH speeds, I get a terrible shimmy/thump from somewhere in my wheels. I can hear it at low speeds, with my windows down, and as I speed up it gradually gets louder and at 70 starts to shake the car. Could this be a simple wheel inbalance? Flat spots from sitting at a dealership so long? An issue related to the aforementioned grinding, in any way?

Just wanted to get an expert's opinion on here before I run to the dealership (car came with warranty yay!) and have them give me the run-around for things I don't need. And, I am not afraid to do work myself, but time constraints suck

Thanks for any input/advice you can give!
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Old 09-29-2011, 01:45 PM   #2
bbf2530
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Default Re: Grinding and Thumping!!!

[quote author=kenpogeorge link=topic=199243.msg4122096#msg4122096 date=1317314970]
Hello,

A few things bothering me about my Fusion. One, is a grinding when I use the brakes. Not a high-pitched squeal that is common on some cars, and not hardly an issue, but rather, a deeper metal-to-metal grinding sound. Almost as if someone with a deep voice was saying "sshhhhhh!" when I hit the brakes. What could be causing this?

Also, at 70+ MPH speeds, I get a terrible shimmy/thump from somewhere in my wheels. I can hear it at low speeds, with my windows down, and as I speed up it gradually gets louder and at 70 starts to shake the car. Could this be a simple wheel inbalance? Flat spots from sitting at a dealership so long? An issue related to the aforementioned grinding, in any way?

Just wanted to get an expert's opinion on here before I run to the dealership (car came with warranty yay!) and have them give me the run-around for things I don't need. And, I am not afraid to do work myself, but time constraints suck

Thanks for any input/advice you can give!
[/quote]

Hi kenpogeorge. Not an "expert opinion", but here goes:

If the grinding sound only occurs the first few times you brake, after the car has sat for some time/overnight, then it is probably "normal". It would be light surface rust on the rotors being wiped off by the pads. If it happens much more often or continuously, then you should use the Warranty your Dealer provided to have the brake system checked.

Concerning the "shimmy/thump", more information is needed. Does it occur all the time or only when the brakes are applied? Do you feel it through the steering wheel and/or, through the seat of your pants etc...? Essentially, it could be any or all of the possibilities you mentioned plus a few more or even "normal".

Here is why it could be "normal": Newer vehicles are very aerodynamically dependent. They are optimized on the exterior to be as slippery as possible with the windows closed (within design and cost constraints) for the best fuel economy. This sometimes can cause issues with "harmonic resonance" and or air pressure differentials" when only the front windows are opened. This thumping/drumming sound will get much worse as your speed increases. So, when you hear/feel this "thumping" is it only occurring when your drivers and/or front passenger windows are open and rear windows closed? If that is the case is, it is the aforementioned "harmonic resonance" caused by not having a rear window cracked open to relieve air pressure differentials/build-up. To see if this is the problem, crack open one or both of the rear windows (at least a few inches) and let us know if the problem still occurs. If it does not, you found the cause and it is normal. If the problem still occurs, then it could be tire issues, wheel balance, etc. etc., so bring your car in and have the issue properly diagnosed and corrected by the Dealerships Service Department. May as well use the Warranty while you can.

I know this "harmonic resonance'/pressure build-up information was detailed in the early versions of the Fusion/Milan/MKZ Owners Manuals, so give it a check.

Let us know how you make out and good luck.
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:14 PM   #3
kenpogeorge
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Default Re: Grinding and Thumping!!!

Thanks for the response

It's definitely not a "harmonic" or wind issue. With windows closed, at 70, my car shakes. I don't feel it in the steering, leading me to believe it is an issue with one of the rear wheels. It is more of a "seat-of-the-pants" feel. Everyone in the car can feel it, and it is NOT limited to when I hit the brakes. What I meant by hearing it at low speeds, was with the windows down, I can hear a regular change in the road noise, like a "whomp-whomp-whomp" and progressively gets faster, until I roll my windows up at 40-ish and still hear it, and at 70+ it's plain scary. I'm no stranger to high speeds >_> but I'm afraid to go over 70 in this car (speed limit on the highways here is 75 in some places!) because of that shaking/thumping. When I went to 80 (the first and only time so far) it literally felt like I was driving on gravel (and I wasn't lol).

Hope this can help narrow it down!
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: Grinding and Thumping!!!

[quote author=kenpogeorge link=topic=199243.msg4122300#msg4122300 date=1317330888]
Thanks for the response

It's definitely not a "harmonic" or wind issue. With windows closed, at 70, my car shakes. I don't feel it in the steering, leading me to believe it is an issue with one of the rear wheels. It is more of a "seat-of-the-pants" feel. Everyone in the car can feel it, and it is NOT limited to when I hit the brakes. What I meant by hearing it at low speeds, was with the windows down, I can hear a regular change in the road noise, like a "whomp-whomp-whomp" and progressively gets faster, until I roll my windows up at 40-ish and still hear it, and at 70+ it's plain scary. I'm no stranger to high speeds >_> but I'm afraid to go over 70 in this car (speed limit on the highways here is 75 in some places!) because of that shaking/thumping. When I went to 80 (the first and only time so far) it literally felt like I was driving on gravel (and I wasn't lol).

Hope this can help narrow it down!
[/quote]

Hi kenpogeorge. With the new information you provided, then the usual suspects would be wheel balance, flat spotted tire, out of balance/bad tire etc etc..

If you want to try and self-diagnose, you can move one of the rear wheels/tires to the front and see if the behavior moves with it. If it does, you discovered the bad wheel/tire. If it does not, try moving the other rear wheel/tire to the front. If you or a friend can not hands-on diagnose it yourself, the best course of action would be to bring it to the Dealership and have them diagnose it. Might as well use the Warranty, it comes with the price of the car.

Let us know what you find out.

Good luck.
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Old 10-01-2011, 03:50 PM   #5
kenpogeorge
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Default Re: Grinding and Thumping!!!

Just gonna have the dealership check it out when I bring the car in for the engine work. Hopefully get everything fixed in one day

With these things taken care of, it will be time for modding
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:36 PM   #6
kenpogeorge
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Default Re: Grinding and Thumping!!!

Lol. What a joke, the dealership is.

So they diagnosed what was wrong with the car. It has brand new brake pads, but old rotors, and they said the rotors need to be turned, and it MAY solve the issue. Hmm. Also, my tires are cupped. They say the person before me seemingly never rotated the tires, which resulted in the cupping. When I asked how much it would cost me to get these two things fixed, I get a figure of around....1 grand. For new tires, and new brake rotors. When I politely remind them that I have the bumper-to-bumper warranty, they counter with the issues are periodic maintenance, and are things I should be taking care of myself. I THEN counter with "the car was like this when it was purchased." They finally say to talk to the manager. Fair enough. Only the manager "happens" to not be in today -.-

When I asked them to describe to me what all the price figure includes, they say that for turning the rotors, they remove the wheel, the rotor, and put the rotor back on at a different angle. Yes....that is their definition of "turning" a rotor. LMFAO Then the $150 a tire for Hankook Extra Milage-whatnots (i cant remember exactly) doesn't include mounting, balancing, etc...

Frankly, I'm disappointed, but I didn't expect much, honestly. Apparently, even diagnosing the problems aren't covered under my warranty. All, I can say is, I'm not done with that dealership.

With that said, how important are the issues that I still have? How safe/unsafe are cupped tires and rotors that need to be turned? I imagine that the tires are more important...what is my window for getting that done?

Appreciate the feedback so far, can't wait to get this resolved!
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:02 PM   #7
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Default Re: Grinding and Thumping!!!

[quote author=kenpogeorge link=topic=199243.msg4126057#msg4126057 date=1317850602]
Lol. What a joke, the dealership is.

So they diagnosed what was wrong with the car. It has brand new brake pads, but old rotors, and they said the rotors need to be turned, and it MAY solve the issue. Hmm. Also, my tires are cupped. They say the person before me seemingly never rotated the tires, which resulted in the cupping. When I asked how much it would cost me to get these two things fixed, I get a figure of around....1 grand. For new tires, and new brake rotors. When I politely remind them that I have the bumper-to-bumper warranty, they counter with the issues are periodic maintenance, and are things I should be taking care of myself. I THEN counter with "the car was like this when it was purchased." They finally say to talk to the manager. Fair enough. Only the manager "happens" to not be in today -.-

When I asked them to describe to me what all the price figure includes, they say that for turning the rotors, they remove the wheel, the rotor, and put the rotor back on at a different angle. Yes....that is their definition of "turning" a rotor. LMFAO Then the $150 a tire for Hankook Extra Milage-whatnots (i cant remember exactly) doesn't include mounting, balancing, etc...

Frankly, I'm disappointed, but I didn't expect much, honestly. Apparently, even diagnosing the problems aren't covered under my warranty. All, I can say is, I'm not done with that dealership.

With that said, how important are the issues that I still have? How safe/unsafe are cupped tires and rotors that need to be turned? I imagine that the tires are more important...what is my window for getting that done?

Appreciate the feedback so far, can't wait to get this resolved!
[/quote]

Hi kenpogeorge. Both can be important issues, but their immediacy will vary according to how far along each problem is. So determining which issue needs to be addressed first all depends on how bad each issue is. And unfortunately, we don't have that information. I would simply advise that issues with both brakes and tires should not be taken lightly, since both are vital to your safety.

Upfront, considering how unreliable this "Dealership" seems to be, you should have the car inspected by a good tech/mechanic (i.e. like your Ford Dealer, as you have planned). He/They can give you better information after examining the car first hand than we ever could over the Internet.

Some basic information? Usually, a warped brake rotor will not cause a shimmying/vibration unless you are on the brakes (unless you have a stuck caliper or other brake issue which would then be a third problem :shock. So if the brakes are not causing the shimmying, then it would seem the tire/tires are pretty bad. But if there is also a stuck caliper, then that should be addressed and so on and so on, etc. etc..

Again, I think you really need to have a good, qualified technician check your car over. Assuming at this point it was not a Ford Dealership, what type of Dealership did you purchase the car from? From the information you have provided, I would not buy a pair of fuzzy dice from them, let alone have brake work or purchase tires there. Plenty of options are available for both, whether it is your local Ford/Lincoln Dealer, local repair or tire shops, The Tire Rack, Discount Tire, etc..

Keep us updated and good luck.
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:59 PM   #8
kenpogeorge
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Default Re: Grinding and Thumping!!!

It was bought used from a Mazda/Hyundai dealership.

Their quote about the rotors "you have new brake pads on old rotors, so the new, smooth brake material is rubbing the coarse, old rotor material, and making a grinding noise." This is why they said they needed to be turned....they don't shimmy during braking, nothing except that ungodly-sounding grinding noise. If it's really just the difference in smoothness between the two materials....it wouldn't be a MAJOR safety issue, I don't think. Just, one more reason to get new brake pads/drilled rotors and start modding

Im considering several options, should the dealership not want to fix the tires (and as a result, politely asking them to get me off the warranty I'm paying for). Winter is around the corner, and I could get new winter tires on the stock wheels and use them for the next 8 months (winters last forever here). By the time summer rolls around, I can easily get new rims/tires for summer, and use the stock rims/winter tires during....winter lol. Course, that's just in the back of my mind for now, as I need to get the current issues resolved.

Will keep posted

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Old 10-05-2011, 08:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: Grinding and Thumping!!!

That's the thing when ever you buy pre-owned. Unless you got an extended warranty, you are always a tank full of gas from your next MOD. :P
You may just have to get thst new brake set up sooner than later...
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Old 10-12-2011, 11:12 AM   #10
kenpogeorge
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Default Re: Grinding and Thumping!!!

Ok, I think I may have worked out something with the dealership...

The manager said that he could do my rotors for free, and give me $200 towards my next set of tires. Or, ignore the rotors, and give me $250 towards my next set of tires. Think i'm gonna check out some all-seasons for my car. My tire sizes are 205/60/16s, anything you guys may recommend for a good all-season tire? Since I want to replace the brakes/rotors anyway, I decided to not have them do any work on them.
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