Front Tires Feel Like They Are Rubbing/Grinding [Archive] - Honda Element Owners Club Forum

: Front Tires Feel Like They Are Rubbing/Grinding


z(+)diac
04-12-2009, 12:59 PM
Hello Fellow E-Owners, Lend Me Your Ears...(please)...

So a few months back I noticed one of my front tires had a leak in it. I took it to a local Sears Auto and was told that there was a huge tear in the tire, that could not be patched, so I ended up buying two new tires for the front.

A couple of days afterward, I noticed that whenever I would make a sharp turn (either turning, backing up, - basically cranking the wheel) I could faintly hear a sort of rubbing/grinding noise coming from the front. Not to mention the wheel had some resistance to it, as though I was rubbing up on a curb and what not.

Took it to another Sears to have them look at it (suggested it might be my tires) but was told they couldn't see or hear anything.

Jump to about 3 weeks ago, it started up again. My brother who is a mechanic genius came up this year for Easter so I had him take a look at it. He said there wasn't anything the wheels were grinding up against or any other obstructions. He started questioning me about the 4wd/All-Wheel-Drive system and I explained it the best I could. He suggested that it might be something involving that or the (let me remind you I'm a ditz when it comes to cars) "fluid that lubricates the joints - something like that".

Any ideas?

lizzurd
04-12-2009, 01:27 PM
Hello Fellow E-Owners, Lend Me Your Ears...(please)...

So a few months back I noticed one of my front tires had a leak in it. I took it to a local Sears Auto and was told that there was a huge tear in the tire, that could not be patched, so I ended up buying two new tires for the front.

A couple of days afterward, I noticed that whenever I would make a sharp turn (either turning, backing up, - basically cranking the wheel) I could faintly hear a sort of rubbing/grinding noise coming from the front. Not to mention the wheel had some resistance to it, as though I was rubbing up on a curb and what not.

Took it to another Sears to have them look at it (suggested it might be my tires) but was told they couldn't see or hear anything.

Jump to about 3 weeks ago, it started up again. My brother who is a mechanic genius came up this year for Easter so I had him take a look at it. He said there wasn't anything the wheels were grinding up against or any other obstructions. He started questioning me about the 4wd/All-Wheel-Drive system and I explained it the best I could. He suggested that it might be something involving that or the (let me remind you I'm a ditz when it comes to cars) "fluid that lubricates the joints - something like that".

Any ideas?


Ever had the rear diff fluid changed?

The fluid breaks down over time and causes the symptoms you describe.

http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29533&page=7

z(+)diac
04-12-2009, 02:08 PM
Hmmm, not that I know of (either my brother-in-law or my local Dealer) usually takes care of the maintenance. I will bring up this point with him.

Thanks ;)

paulj
04-12-2009, 04:08 PM
When I first put my Cooper tires on, I heard/felt a rubbing from the front tires on low speed tight turns. What I was hearing, I think, was the coarse new tread of the tires scraping on the pavement when I turned the steering. Upping tire pressure a few pounds reduced that, by shifting tire load toward the center of the tire, reducing contact of the shoulders with the ground. The down side of that is that seem to be getting more tire wear in the center. My Coopers have blockier, squarer shoulders than the old Wranglers.

steamloco76
04-12-2009, 05:10 PM
Ditto paulJ- the ATR tires sound like they are grinding in tight turns at "normal" air pressure-upping to around 38 PSI quiets them but makes the center wear. You pay your money and make your choice.....

nacranym
04-12-2009, 08:40 PM
were the 2 replacement tires exactly the same size as the unchanged tires? a difference in tire diameter could cause the rear clutch to engage the rear half of the 4WD and burble that dual pump fluid that may never have been changed. the nonchanging of the DP fluid is not entirely the previous owner's fault, as Honda has put out confusing statements about how often it should be changed. someplace between 30K and 100K is ideal, i tend toward 30K.

paulj
04-13-2009, 01:25 AM
But the OP talks about the noise coming from the front, and resistance in the steering. I don't think the rear wheel drive mechanism is involved.

Whether changing front tires is enough to activate the AWD mechanism is debatable. if the new tires had the same nominal size, then the diameter will be similar, within 1% or better is my guess (225/70/16 tires are 1/2" large in diameter, which is 2% larger). With more tread they might even be a bit larger, and hence turn a bit slower.

AWD is activated with the fronts spin faster than the rear, and some literature talks about a bias in the oil pumps that requires at least a 2% higher rotation rate in front.

The only argument against that that I am aware of is a case related by a CRV owner, where one new tire (in the rear I believe) was enough to trigger permanent AWD engagement. But that story is old and not independently verified.

hotrodder
04-13-2009, 01:54 PM
Since the problem started with the replacement of the front two tires, I would look into Honda's Owner's Manual requirement of all four tires must be replaced at the same time and be identical on AWD models.

z(+)diac
04-13-2009, 03:23 PM
Hey Guys,

Aye, both tires are identical so that shouldn't be the issue. I do recall the service associate mentioning that whenever you replace one (two tires in my case) it's best to replace every tire. I can't imagine that causing this much of an issue, as the other two tires still have great tread life on them.

Now as far as cleaning the differential fluid, would anyone know how much this might set me back if I took it to my Honda dealer?

ApriliaGuy
04-13-2009, 09:09 PM
Now as far as cleaning the differential fluid, would anyone know how much this might set me back if I took it to my Honda dealer?

Depends on the dealer....i've heard everywhere from $50-$200!

Here is a DIY for changing the fluid (http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29533)....even if you take it to someone else, at least you know what you're paying for.

z(+)diac
04-29-2009, 03:28 AM
I just wanted to follow up and thank everyone for their input and help. Looks like that was the culprit, not squeaks or grinding noise. My brother-in-law (who helped me with it) was amazed.

Looks like though I'm due for a transmission cleaning. I don't want to think about how much that will set me back.

ApriliaGuy
04-29-2009, 11:20 AM
Looks like that was the culprit, not squeaks or grinding noise. My brother-in-law (who helped me with it) was amazed.

Looks like though I'm due for a transmission cleaning. I don't want to think about how much that will set me back. (color added)

What is "that"? Tires? Diff fluid?

Your profile dosen't show which trans you have...but
Auto trans fluid replacement (http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=51749)is even easier than rear diff fluid.

Will

z(+)diac
05-04-2009, 03:11 AM
(color added)

What is "that"? Tires? Diff fluid?

Your profile dosen't show which trans you have...but
Auto trans fluid replacement (http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=51749)is even easier than rear diff fluid.

Will

Hmm, thanks for the linky Will. Maybe I will afterall wait for him to get back to the area this weekend and see if he can work his magic.

It's a 2003 EX (Auto) so it looks to be right.

Thanks!

Blue Whale
05-04-2009, 09:32 PM
I bought my Element via private party recently and experienced the same issue as the original poster. A hard turn left or right would create a grinding sound. I took the Element (2006, LX, 80K mi) to a trusted mechanic and he suggested I first change the tires (all 4 identical Toyos) because he saw a big difference in tread from front to rear.

If that didn't eliminate the noise, he recommended changing the diff fluid (as called out in this thread) and if that didn't do the trick, he tells me I have a big problem (with AWD system and/or transmission).

My question - in terms of the order of things - is he right to suggest changing tires first (these supposedly are 80K fancy tires that have at least 20K left) then change the diff fluid?

Opinions?

ApriliaGuy
05-05-2009, 09:57 AM
My question - in terms of the order of things - is he right to suggest changing tires first (these supposedly are 80K fancy tires that have at least 20K left) then change the diff fluid?

Opinions?

I'm old skool.....start with common sense & observation....move on to the cheap and/or easy stuff next, and then spend really money/time if you still need to.

tr@gotorandall.com
09-19-2011, 06:45 PM
Change the diff oil first, you can easily do that yourself and if your married you can convince the wife you just saved a lot of money and my get a new golf club or some other prize for your brilliance? Just saying, Ewing how that is how it worked out for me with the exact same issue!