Left front tire rubbing control arm

Tiny
BILLINGTON
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 SATURN L300
  • 6 CYL
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 51,000 MILES
This is for Saturntech9:
My left front tire is rubbing the control arm. It has been doing this for several months. My mechanic first showed me how the left front tire was slightly touching the wheel well when turning left. I was hearing a rubbing noise (sort of what it sounds like when you turn your wheel while the car is sitting - rubber sound) and that is what they found. It only happens when the car has been driven for a while or it is a very hot day. If it has been sitting for a time, it does not do it when you first start driving. It is only noticeable when I turn into a driveway or a parking space - going slow and can hear it. Again, only after the car has been driven for a while. Thought maybe it was after the tires got warm and would then make that rubbing noise. I had them check for front end alignment and it was slightly out of line, but when they fixed it, the noise is still there. Originally I was told it was touching so slightly that it wouldn't hurt anything. Later, on my work sheet after I had it aligned, it said "front wheel rubbing on control arm." The noise isn't really loud, just a rubbing sound when I turn left or right and am going slow. Could be when I am travelling faster, but I can't hear anything at that time. Basically, will this hurt anything? Can I just ignore it? My mechanic has not mentioned fixing it. When he originally said it was rubbing on the wheel well he said they couldn't do anything about it and it would require a body shop. You helped me a couple of years ago with a pressure control solenoid issue and were right on spot with your diagnosis. Sorry for the length, but that's it. Other than the slight noise turning at slow speeds, the car is A-1 and I want to keep it. Thanks for your time and expertise.
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Thursday, July 9th, 2015 AT 4:19 PM

16 Replies

Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
If you have had dealings with this tech, you will be better of re posting on an old question that he has responded to, this way he will get a direct inbox message, he may miss it in the general question board.
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Friday, July 10th, 2015 AT 7:17 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
So is it rubbing the wheel well?Or something else?Iam trying to picture this in my head. Also any pictures would really help.
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Saturday, July 11th, 2015 AT 3:26 PM
Tiny
BILLINGTON
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the quick reply. My old email name, by the way, was Billington. You helped me once before.
Anyway, when it was up on the rack for an oil change several months ago, the tech called me in and showed me that when he turned the wheel all the way to the left it barely touched the wheel well. He said they could not fix that and it would need to go to a body shop, but it was such a minor brushing of the well that he felt it would do not harm, so I just let it go.
Later, it was still making the noise and, again, only when the car had run for a while and had warmed up. No noise on first driving. Also, do not have to turn the wheel all the way to the left. Just pulling into a parking space or my driveway does it - not a squeal, just a rubbing sound, but loud enough I can hear it easily. Tech said he could not hear it. I think he was listening while driving faster during a regular turn at an intersection.
Later, after I had it in to be sure the front end wasn't out of line, the worksheet said "left wheel rubbing the control arm". I read on the internet that putting a washer or two in would stop the arm from turning far enough to hit the tire and stop the problem. Sounds like a mickey mouse fix?
That's it - rubbing the control arm and the wheel well? Not sure. I don't know how to get pictures since I am a "senior" woman and would have to take it somewhere to be put on a rack.
My biggest question, is whether or not it can be fixed and also, if it is a minor rub, can I just live with the sound and leave it alone? I'm not sure how critical it is. Seems like my tech would have alerted me to fix it if that were the case.
Bet you're sorry you asked me a question! Sorry for the long answer, but I'm trying to get everything in for you. I do so appreciate your opinion, if you can come up with one with the information here. Thanks again and I'm glad you are still there! It's been a couple of years since I last talked with you. Thank you so much.
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Monday, July 13th, 2015 AT 8:54 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
I have been here going on 6yrs now its a hard question to answer being a interference issue.I have never heard of shimming the control arm I wouldn't recommend that will effect alignment and cause uneven tire wear issues. So does it really rub the control arm?Thats seems hard to believe since you said the alignment is good?So does it rub the front of the wheel well liner or the front of the wheel liner?
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Monday, July 13th, 2015 AT 10:51 PM
Tiny
BILLINGTON
  • MEMBER
Well, we may have an answer. I was talking with a co-worker at my office who is into cars (used to race, etc.) And he said he wanted to look at my car. We went out to the parking lot and after he had me turn the wheel both ways as far as they would go, he saw where it was rubbing. Hard to fully explain, but toward the front of the wheel, actually a part of the front bumper (could be the wheel well liner I guess - you're talking to a woman remember). After he pushed on it a little (sort of a softer material), he realized the whole front bumper was loose - quite a bit! It had allowed the bumper to ride down and in and that appears to be what the tire is rubbing on. I don't know why my tech did not see that, or said it was rubbing on the control arm, but I guess he wasn't looking for it. In any case, whether or not it is causing the rubbing noise when I make a turn, it needs to be fixed before it falls off and I run over it. I am going in on Monday for the bumper tightening and we'll see. Thank you so much for your help. I hope this is the solution to my problem. I apologize for throwing what might be a bogus problem at you. I will let you know next week if the noise is gone. If so, maybe it could be a solution to someone else's problem in the future. Thank you again so much for your quick replies and trying to solve this weird problem. I intend to keep my car for a long time - it is a great car - so you may be hearing from me in the future. Lucky you!
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Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 AT 8:21 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Thats why I was asking where it was rubbing I had a suspicion that it was rubbing the front bumper wheel well area. But without seeing it or better info couldn't tell for sure. Well just remember iam here when you need me. Glad you found it some places you go just dont want 5o deal with things like that.
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Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 AT 1:05 PM
Tiny
BILLINGTON
  • MEMBER
See, again you knew the answer but I was not feeding you the right symptoms! You are good.
Thanks for your help. I am definitely keeping your email address. You do wonders with trying to read a silly woman's mind!
Have a wonderful day.
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Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 AT 1:09 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Now reading a woman's mind that would be A incredible feat in itself lol.I will stick to working my magic with cars a much easier feat lol.
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Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 AT 9:38 PM
Tiny
BILLINGTON
  • MEMBER
I think you're right. When God helped man create a car, complicated as it is, He thought he would create something even more complicated - and He created woman! I don't even understand us! I appreciate your auto knowledge and your sense of humor.
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Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 AT 8:10 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
You have to have a sense humor in life otherwise you take life too serous and thats not good lol. Also your not the only women I have talked to that doesnt understand women lol. So I dont fell so bad not understanding them. Let me know when you need my help again iam when you need me.
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Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 AT 12:46 PM
Tiny
BILLINGTON
  • MEMBER
Hi - back again. I wanted to run what I did by you regarding my loose bumper. (You just can't get rid of me!). I went to the body shop and they said I was missing a part - the air deflector. Evidently it fills a space that is now open and allowing the bumper to move. It is OK if pushed down, but you can lift if about a half inch or so and I am afraid that when I hit the highway on my vacation coming in October, it might break loose. Maybe I'm worrying too much. I am going to take it to my mechanic and have him put it on the lift and tell me if he feels it is secured enough not to be a hazard and won't fall off. So far all I get is "it should be OK" and "I don't think it is going to fall". "Should be" and "I think" aren't cutting it for me.
I have tried to find the part they are talking about and they tried to order it, but of course, it is discontinued. I have searched the internet with no luck. Any suggestions? I asked if there was any way they could secure it with anything, but they said they could only fabricate a part for me and I am trying to avoid that. Work your long distance magic! Thanks for any suggestions.
(I had the bumper replaced in 2010 when I damaged it backing out of my garage. I have found out since that the repair place - Caliber Collision - is known for short cuts and not so great work - but the insurance companies send you to them. I think I know why now. I don't want to fool with them now and it has been 5 years - doubt they will stand by anything and the part is discontinued anyway.)
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Friday, July 24th, 2015 AT 9:27 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
So is it the filler piece behind the front bumper cover bellow the grill?
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Sunday, July 26th, 2015 AT 7:56 PM
Tiny
BILLINGTON
  • MEMBER
I think so. Its purpose, as I understand, is to deflect air into the radiator to help cool the car and also keeps air from just blowing under the car, thus increasing gas mileage. I have the part number now and I did find it online after I got that. It is GM 22683982, Hopefully that helps you to see what it is. Dimensions are 60 x 12 x 5 and it weighs 5 pounds. Sort of a bow shaped piece.
I can get it for about $60, but if it isn't placed so that it might snug up the bumper and all it is going to do is redirect air, I'm not sure that it is anything that will help my problem. On line I read that many people take the air deflector off.
That's my story. Thanks so much for your help.
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Monday, July 27th, 2015 AT 8:34 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Yeah its hard to say if that would solve all your problems without seeing whats going on with car that kind of stuff can be tricky enough when your right there and even harder whennyour not.
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Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 AT 12:32 PM
Tiny
BILLINGTON
  • MEMBER
I do appreciate your mind reading efforts on my part. I'm taking my car to my mechanic Saturday and he thinks it could be one of the plastic tabs, or whatever you call them, that secure the bumper might have broken off of come loose. He said the air deflector is likely not involved and he agreed that a lot of people just take them off because they keep scraping the ground over speed bumps and curbs.
Anyway, I'm off on my next avenue of fixing the thing. You have to admit that I am persistent, if not very knowledgeable about what I'm doing.
Thank you so much for your efforts. I'll leave you alone until my next mystery Saturn problem. Thanks again!
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Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 AT 2:29 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Alright I will be here when you need me.
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Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 AT 10:17 PM

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