1998 Mitsubishi Mirage I thought it was the tires

Tiny
FURYIAN
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE
Shakes or Wobbles problem
1998 Mitsubishi Mirage Automatic 190000 miles

Recently, my car has been making this "thumping" sound when I get over 10-15 MPH and it sounds like a tire with a knot on it. The sound originates from the front driver's side from what I can tell. A riding passenger said that it sounded to him like a tire with a knot.

I took it to the place where I get my tires replaced and had them look at the driver's side tire (recently replaced) and they said that aside from it being slightly out of alignment (which they fixed), there was nothing wrong with it. The thumping sound still persists and it sounds just like a tire with a knot.

I had a flat on my front passenger side tire not long ago but a can of Fix-A-Flat and some air and the tire was inflated and ready to go. Since then, I've driven several hundred miles on it. Could this thumping sound be THAT tire?

If this is a suspension problem, what would I need to do to get better help, here? There is no popping sound, no grinding sound and the thumping eases a bit when I turn the wheel to the right. It slightly pulls to the right but not bad.

I live in a small town and all the mechanics that I've taken my car to have overcharged me for basic service and added things to my vehicle that I didn't need but had no choice to pay for. I'm hoping to get a basic idea of what might be wrong before I take it to one of these guys to be fleeced for something simple.
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Saturday, January 23rd, 2010 AT 5:07 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi Furyian,

Thank you for the donation.

Noise problems are never easy to diagnose online so we have to try to understand the symptoms better to enable us to get an idea where and what is causing it.

1. If it is a particular tire, try swapping it with others to see if problem goes away or is transferred. Wheel and tire noises would be more uniformed and tempo changes according to the vehicle speed.

2. Suspension noises would occur at irregular rates and affected by road surface and conditions.

3. At the speed you referred to, I would say it is too low for it to be caused by tire out of balance due to the use of fix-a-flat.

4. The pulling to right and easing of the thumping indicates it is a possible fault with the steering linkages or arm bushes and ball joints. I would sugggest getting those checked.

Does the noise increase with bumpiness of the ride, ie driving over uneven road surfaces?
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Saturday, January 23rd, 2010 AT 8:08 AM
Tiny
FURYIAN
  • MEMBER
There is no difference in the noise according to road conditions. It's the same whether on a smooth road or a bumpy one.

At the risk of being ridiculous, could it be the passenger side tire needing to be changed? I'm unsure as to whether this would cause a thumping sound on the driver's side, though.
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Saturday, January 23rd, 2010 AT 11:57 AM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
If the thumping noise is from the driver side, then the problem should not be caused by the passenger side.

When does the thumping occur? Normal driving, uneven road, coasting in neutral?

Did you try swapping the front tires to see if the noise changes?
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Monday, January 25th, 2010 AT 7:10 AM

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