2014 Dodge Caravan Noise from the wheels

Tiny
PAPET
  • MEMBER
  • 2014 DODGE CARAVAN
  • 3.6L
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 27,000 MILES
I went for a tire exchange from my all season to winter tire. When I had the all season tires on a aluminum rims, I never heard this clicking noise or a noise that seems the rim is touching something. So I went back to the garage who did the exchange. They remove the winter tires on the steel rims but there were no marks on the rims that is touching something. I even had a brake service. What must be causing the noise? Thank you very much.
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Monday, November 16th, 2015 AT 2:47 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I would approach this by running the van in gear on a hoist. As a suspension and alignment specialist, I had a drive-on hoist with jacks that allowed me to raise the vehicles by their control arms. That kept the suspension geometry pretty close to the same normal ride height as when it's sitting on the tires. If a regular hoist is used, the suspension droops and that can make noises disappear.

The things to look for are a wheel weight hitting the lower spring plate on the strut, a warped brake rotor making the caliper slide back and forth, a weld bead on a steel wheel hitting the caliper, and things like that. Try switching the clicking wheel with the one on the other side to see if the noise moves or goes away. Be sure the mechanic is torquing the lug nuts with a click-type torque wrench. If he only tightens them with an air impact wrench, as we commonly did 25 years ago, and doesn't recheck them with a torque wrench, bring it to his supervisor's attention, and consider using a different shop next time.

Some mechanics put a little grease on the wheel studs to prevent corrosion, but if you have anodized studs, that electro-plating is a lubricant already, and adding grease can dissolve that coating. Even worse, if too much grease is used on the studs, then the nuts are spun on with air tools, that grease can build up ahead of the nut and get spun onto the friction surfaces. Those friction surfaces are matched between the wheel and nuts and must remain dry. That is what keeps the nuts from working loose. That can cause a clicking noise too, and that will get worse real fast. If that is what is found, that wheel and those nuts must be replaced. A loose wheel slides around under the nuts and all the surfaces will get chewed up. If the wheel or the nuts are reused, they will transmit their damage to the new parts and keep on coming loose.
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Monday, November 16th, 2015 AT 4:57 PM
Tiny
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  • MEMBER
They rotated the wheels last week and the noise was gone. After a week, the noise is back and I can hear it is coming from the rear wheels. Before, I can only hear on the driver side. But now, it us coming from both sides.
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Monday, November 16th, 2015 AT 5:12 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Instead of the hoist, you should be able to raise one tire at a time off the ground with a floor jack, then spin it by hand.

I don't want to make any accusations, but the first thing I would be looking for is the lug nuts weren't torqued properly. A brake drum or rotor can warp from the uneven clamping forces after it goes through a few warm-up / cool-down cycles. That will make a caliper walk back and forth, but it has to be pretty bad before you'll feel it as a vibration.

The next thing I'd be looking for is anything related to ride height. The van will sit a little higher after being jacked up, then it will settle after being driven a little. The clue to that is the noise would come and go related to bouncing over bumpy roads, or based on the load in the vehicle.

I've had the ends of parking brake cables make a clicking noise too, but that shouldn't be a problem with your van's design. If you have rear drum brakes, the drum can warp and become egg-shaped. That will make the shoes slide back and forth and they'll make a scraping noise that can sound like a squeak or chirp.
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Monday, November 16th, 2015 AT 5:27 PM
Tiny
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Thanks a lot for your most appreciated replies on my questions. I was able to fix the problem. I installed back my summer tires with the aluminum rims and the noise is gone. The steel rim was the culprit on making those noise. Once again, thank you so much.
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Tuesday, November 17th, 2015 AT 7:05 AM

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