car rubbing on tires

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Hi all, my car is rubbing my rear tires when I go over a bump and more often when it's cold outside or I have something of some weight in the trunk. It's kinda more important to get that fixed now because I have new tires and I didn't want to ruin them as they were quite expensive and I need good tires. My guess is I'm needing shocks. But I need to be pretty certain, if I go in some shop not knowing what it is they'll say I need a new johnson rod or something. It's a 1994 Toyota Corolla. I bought it used less than a year ago, so if I got burned on needing shocks I'm still doing okay. It has ran good and the popular, big burn of using oil never happened so I got lucky there. I can't imagine that the tires are too big, they are just 185/14/65.
Thanks
It's the middle, blue car in the photo, the oldest car of the lot.

Thumbnail by shortleaf
Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

Tirerack shows that size tire as ONE of the OEM sizes. If it is on the original rims with the proper offset, then you probably do have some other issue like worn suspension parts. Struts/shocks don't last forever.

Look on the label inside the door frame and confirm you shouldn't be using 175 width tires. Then, maybe have someone check the struts/suspension. You could also ask around at the toyotanation forum.

This message was edited Dec 21, 2011 11:17 PM

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Thanks, I'll go to toyotanation also. I'll look again on the door frame to see if I can find the tire size. I think that label might be gone or messed up. Man, I hope it's not the tires, they weren't cheap.
I think that car could have over 300,000 miles on it, reason I know that is the instrument cluster was replaced, they could be the original shocks.
Thanks for replying Texan

Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

Quote from shortleaf :
Thanks, I'll go to toyotanation also. I'll look again on the door frame to see if I can find the tire size. I think that label might be gone or messed up. Man, I hope it's not the tires, they weren't cheap.
I think that car could have over 300,000 miles on it, reason I know that is the instrument cluster was replaced, they could be the original shocks.
Thanks for replying Texan


Seems like they could be rubbing on the lower spring perch. Can you tell if the rubbing is on the inside of the tire or against the fender liner on the outside? Might be possible to put a spacer between the rims and the rotor. Not an ideal solution - but doable.

If you know someone that does some wrenching on their cars, they might take a look for you in exchange for some Lotto scratch-offs or a 6 pack of beer.

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Thanks Texan. i took some photos and posted the best one here. I think you might be onto something about the lower spring support thing. There is just enuff room between it and the tires to stick my fingers thru, and my fingers are pretty fat. I am strongly leaning toward that though. I didn't see any obvious tire rubbing, but there is a pretty noticeable shiny spot on that lower spring support thing. I wonder if the tires are also too wide?
I'm thinking even a somewhat skinny tire would get rubbed tho because that lower spring support thing is quite a bit over the tire. In the photo, the part of it that isn't all dirty is the rubbed part.
Boy, it is a madhouse at Walmart this afternoon, a lady was going to fight the greeter because the thing went off, she says, "come on!" to the old greeter lady.
Anyhow, I think I'm gonna be taking my car to this reputable car repair place. It's my friend's boss's father-in-law business, he's always pretty reasonable on me. Do you think bad shocks could be putting that tower lower towards the tires? I registered at toyotanation, I haven't been verified yet.
Thanks again.

Thumbnail by shortleaf
Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

could just be cleaner from being sprayed/sandblasted from stuff flying off the tire. With your fingers able to fit, probably means the camber and tire width are OK. hard to say for certain. Do you really hear rubbing - or banging/knocking/thumping?

Even IF your car originally had 175s, going to 185s only adds half a centimeter to the inside and half to the outside so, you could very well have some other issue going on. Whether it's only a tire issue or 2-3 issues will require an experienced eye. Your car is just at an age where many things, if original, are likely worn out or nearly so. be prepared for the worst - hope for the best! Sounds like you have a line on a good mechanic so, we'll see what he says.

This message was edited Dec 23, 2011 12:19 AM

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Hi Texan, sorry it took so long to get back. I am gonna try to get my car to a shop soon, hopefully tomorrow. I took a few photo. I wonder if it sits lower in the rear because the struts are bad?
It sounds like rubbing, like when I go over the driveway curb or railroad tracks, it just bottoms out. - http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v243/w4i0a/toyotanationposts/
The 2 photos with the signals are the fronts. Oh, believe me, stuff feels real used, hehe, on that car! For ex., the shifter is real easy to shift.

Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

It does seem low in the back. Wonder if someone 'cut' the springs/replaced them with lower ones - or if they're just worn/sagging.

There are struts that are gas/oil and the gas section has a little spring action - not a lot. I'm thinking you need to find someone who will take a real interest in your concerns. If you could find a low-mileage wreck in a junkyard - you could have the springs swapped with used ones when the struts are replaced. Probably get new mounts for the top too since everything is so old. At some point, you need to decide how long you're gonna keep the car and what problems you can 'live with' vs what makes sense to repair. If you are interested in any DIY - you can find pics, videos for a lot of car repair issues on-line. And sometimes mentioning your problem on a Forum can even find someone local that will come over and guide you through the process for pizza and a coupla beers. But, if the car is otherwise in good shape (suits your needs, has good compression in all cylinders, good transmission, etc.) even paying someone to fix stuff is often cheaper than 3-4 car payments on a new car.

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

Springs will sag with time. If you can afford it I'd be tempted to do both shocks and springs or struts and springs if that is what it has in back.

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Good advice, thanks you guys. I am still kinda procrastinating on taking my car to a shop, it seems like there isn't much of an opportunity, but I'll get it fixed sometime soon hopefully, that rub is making me nuts!
It's probably "spring fatigue" as well. I'm gonna try new struts first I think. I might be taking a chance on springs from a salvage yard, they could be as bad or worse as the ones I have.
I do some DIY on occasion, not alot anymore. I think doing struts myself, (I think it's struts in the back, not sure) would require some equipment that I don't have, like a spring compresser, which is needed I think.
Oh, I agree, I'd much rather have repair work done than have car payments. My 20's are over and having to have a shiny car! lol Yeah, it is a decent car, I'd like to keep it at least until it gets rust around the wheel wells, I am TOO old for rust..lol It'll make a practical, economical second car then maybe, if it's running.

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

I had 2 rear "quickstruts" put on each back and it wasn't cheap, I had it done at a shop and it cost me a bit more than I wanted ($365) but at least it's done and I don't have to worry or have scraping when I go over bumps.
It doesn't do that in the back anymore but I think it rubs on occasion in the front!
Thanks you guys

Thumbnail by shortleaf

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