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Noise when Coasting

northeast, IL(Zone 5a)

In the past week my car has started to make a soft grinding noise when it is coasting (when I take my foot off the gas pedal when driving). Once I get below about 20mph it stops, and if I give it some gas it stops. My mechanic did a trans oil and filter change, said the sound should go away, it hasn't. He said not to worry about it, it'll last another 70,000 miles +. Of course, I worry about it, it's not normal. Any ideas, does this sound fixable, or am I in for a new transmission?

Deb

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Well, it is 9 days later. Has it gotten worse, better, no change? I am sorry I don't have a clue but will be curious what you find.

northeast, IL(Zone 5a)

It's still the same. I'm hoping it's nothing too expensive to fix. I won't even have the money to have it looked at until probably next month. I'm just hoping the guy who told me not to worry is right. It still shifts gears fine, it just makes this soft grinding noise when I take my foot off the gas, and I did notice that the rpm's drops significantly, too, but I guess that would be expected if it's putting a drag on something.

Thanks for checking in,
Deb

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Deb ~ I asked my husband ~ the car nut! He says it doesn't sound like transmission at all. He wondered if they checked the grease in the rear end or is it a front wheel drive? He said if he had to guess, it sounds like a driveshaft noise, maybe a U joint going out in it. I remember a few years back ours started making a buzzing noise only I could hear and only at certain speeds. Turned out to be a U joint. Anyway, just a couple of thoughts. Good luck!

northeast, IL(Zone 5a)

Thanks for the ideas. It is front wheel drive, do front wheel drive cars have U joints? I'm probably going to go back to the mechanic who told me not to worry about it. He works at a Meineke muffler place, and is the only real mechanic I think they have. (The others only do mufflers and brakes). He heard it, too, when he took it for a drive when I first went in. He said something about the differential, and that in front wheel drive cars it is located behind the transmission or it's part of the transmission, I didn't quite get what he meant. Unfortunately I don't have anyone in the family, or any close friends who know anything about cars.

Deb

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

OH ~ sorry, we haven't ever had a front wheel drive so aren't familiar with it. Sounds like what your mechanic said would be similar to what DH was thinking. Wish someone else would come along here with more knowledge. Wish you luck.

Missouri City, TX

Front weel drive cars have contatant velocity (CV) joints. there are s series of balls that rotate in a sleve that allows turning while driving the wheels. Usually the sound they make when worn is q clicking - and it seems loudest at very low speeds - sepecially when forst leaving the house during a turn form the driveway.

There is a differential behind the trznsmission or as part of it, and it powers the separate front axle shafts come out each side. Commonly this is called a transaxle.

Is there a dealer for the vehicle nearby? could be worth getting an opinion from somepone who knows that make/model.

northeast, IL(Zone 5a)

It's a Windstar, and the dealer where I bought it isn't too far. I may have to take it in and get an estimate. I really don't have the money to get it fixed until next month, but I'm driving as little as possible until then.
If I'm going 20mph or less, I don't hear the noise at all. Doesn't matter if the engines warm or cold, same grinding noise when I lift my foot off the gas pedal. Sometimes it takes a second or two to start, sometimes I hear the noise almost instantly. You can feel the drag on the engine when it starts the grinding noise.

Thank you both for your ideas.
Deb

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

Two questions. Does it still make the same noise if you push it in neutral or if you put the brakes on lightly does the noise change. Vehicles drop down in the from as they slow down. If you brake hard you notice it a lot. I think that when you take your foot off the gas the van is settling slightly in front and something is coming into contact with some rotating part. You've checked the transmission. This kind of noise doesn't sound like its engine related. With limited funds I'd have someone look at the brakes and CV joints and maybe see if it has a bad lower ball joint . They can make weird noises. If these are all OK then you have check most of the major thinks that would strand you on the road. I wouldn't worry about it unless or until it gets worse. Noises can be very difficult to tract down.

northeast, IL(Zone 5a)

If I put the car in neutral the sound goes away. It doesn't seem to change, or get any louder when I put on the brakes. I only hear it until about 20 mph then it goes away at lower speeds.

I did drop it off at a transmission place this evening. They give free estimates. The mechanic who I first had check it recommended this place. So we'll see what they say.

I got the impression from my first mechanic that he feels it is a differential or transmission noise. I stopped in yesterday evening for a recommendation on a place to take it, and his explanation to the shop manager was that "it sounds like it's riding up on the rings". That doesn't mean anything to me, but maybe it will to someone who knows cars.

Hopefully I will have some idea what I'm in for, cost wise, by tomorrow afternoon.

Deb

northeast, IL(Zone 5a)

Just heard from the shop. They said it is inside the transmission, and I need a rebuilt which would run $1700. No idea what to do, there's no way I can get that kind of money together quickly. They wouldn't give me any idea of how long it may last.

New question for you car folks: Will it cost any more, other than towing, if I drive it until it breaks? Or, are there parts that are salvaged and reused that will save money, if I can drive it in under it's own power?

I was told that my best bet was to drive it as little as possible. Something about planets spinning out of position, and then it won't go at all. Is driving slow better than driving fast? Or does it matter? I was shifting into neutral when slowing down, so it wouldn't make the grindy noise. Is that OK, or does it not really matter?

Any info is greatly appreciated.
Deb

Missouri City, TX

Nothing like a rock and a hard place -- If it is in the planetary gears, it moght stop hard, but if you are lucky and can shift into neutral - at least coast to the side of the road.

Since you now know what a new/ / rebuilt will cost, I would drive when I needed to, but restrict it to local short hops until you can either collect the cash or be able to finance the repair. $1700 is bunch of change, but a WHOLE bunch less than a new vehicle.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Have you thought about seeing what they might give you for trade in? Although there again, you don't know what problems a different vehicle will have. Just a thought.

northeast, IL(Zone 5a)

No way I can get another car. No money for payments, not the best credit. If it will last until I get my tax refund, at least I'm hoping to get a tax refund (nothing has changed since last year, and I got one then), I may be OK.

It might "stop hard", that sounds scary. If I have to take any of the dogs out, I'll have to make sure they are in a crate. I just wish I had an idea of how long I have.

Thanks for all your idea.
Deb

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