What are the symptoms of an imbalanced front wheel?

Question: What are the symptoms of an out of balance front wheel and how can you determine which wheel is the problem?

A: Typically an imbalanced wheel / tire will cause vibration at speeds of around 35 miles per hour. If you experience low speed vibration, the problem is a bent wheel or damaged tire with belt separation.

When a front tire is out of balance, a vibration is usually felt in the steering wheel.

As to which tire, there’s no right way to put it. If there is vibration at speed, it makes sense to balance all four tires.

Question: I walked out of a restaurant the other day and noticed a few minor scratches on the fenders. How to remove the damage?

A: It really depends on the situation. If the marks are paint or rubber transfer marks and the paint itself is not scratched, a light application of a polish or solvent will remove the marks.

If the scratch is on the surface, machine polishing with a friction compound may remove the scratch.

If you can catch your fingernail on the scratch, the area will need to be filled in and touched up with matching paint.

Question: There is a high-pitched squeal from the rear passenger side of the car. The noise stops when the car reaches 15 to 17 miles per hour. What could it be?

A: Some brake pads have metal tabs that drag across the brake disc and produce a high-pitched squeal as the brake lining material thins. Think of it like fingernails on a chalkboard.

The other possibility is that the parking brake is malfunctioning and causing noise.

At this point, the best thing to do would be to take the car to a repair shop and demonstrate the noise to the technician. Once you both hear the noise, the technician can give you an idea of ​​what is wrong and what it will take to fix it.

Question: I have a wonderful 2017 Honda Accord LX. One Honda dealer said it was “certified”, but another Honda dealer said it only showed “oil changes” and nothing else in the cars. maintenance records. He said that means it’s possible they didn’t do the other items that make it certified. We have no other story.

A Honda dealer urges me to flush the transmission, even though the other two dealers have said if there is “no code, no need”.

At 30,000 miles, a dealership tried to sell me $ 800 worth of service. The first dealership (the car is now at 47,000 miles) tries to get me to do some braking work (no braking problems), flush the transmission and “get all the new tires”. It seemed odd, as none of the other dealers suggested this.

My car behaves well, with no codes and no squeaks. Who is right? Who do I trust?

A: At 47,000 miles, your car may need brakes and tires.

When it comes to a transmission fluid flush or change, your car will tell you when this service is required. Honda and many other manufacturers use a maintenance system that will alert the owner when certain items need service.

My suggestion would be to go to an independent repair shop and have the car evaluated. Then you can determine what repairs need to be done and whether you want to use a particular dealer or an independent store. If you are looking for an AAA approved store, go to aaa.com/reparation.

Question: What are your recommendations for trying to prevent / clean rust buildup on the rotors?

A: Simple answer: drive the car more often.

A thin coating of rust will build up on the brake discs by simply parking at night on a damp or humid evening. Never spray anything on the brake discs, as this will contaminate the brake pads. Driving the car a few miles will clean the rust.

John Paul is the AAA Northeast Automotive Doctor. He has over 40 years of experience in the automotive industry and is an ASE Certified Master Technician. Write to John Paul, The Car Doctor, at 110 Royal Little Drive, Providence, RI 02904. Or email [email protected] and put “Car Doctor” in the subject field. Follow him on twitter @johnfpaul Or on Facebook.

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