2001 Nissan Maxima 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 46000 miles
Hi there. I have a 2001 Maxima with pretty low mileage (46,000 miles).
Recently when I first drive in the morning to take my daughter to school, I notice a scraping noise from the front once I reach 25 - 30 mph. It is a knocking sound that seems to vary with my speed, as if something was stuck to my tires and was rubbing against something regularly as the tires rotate. But there's nothing stuck to my tires. The sound persists up until I get on the freeway and disappears around 60 mph. Just over the last couple of days, the scraping sound gets much worse when I am making a tight right turn going downhill.
The sound seems to go away as the day gets warmer and I've been driving a while. Only seems to happen when I first drive it in the morning, at the coldest part of the day (65 - 70 degrees - I live in the tropics).
FYI, a few months ago I had my brake discs and pads replaced, but not by the dealer. I went to the auto parts store for the discs and pads and had my neighborhood mechanic install them instead. A friend of mine said perhaps the noise is because the brake discs and pads I had installed were not to manufacturer specifications? Does that sound right to you guys? The noise didn't start until weeks after the new discs and pads were installed, though. The research I'm doing seems to suggest that there are many possibilities, including CV joints.
Coldest part of the day. Your killing me as it is 20 degress here. Lol.
Anyways, what I would suggest is to raise the front end on jack stands and turn the front wheels by hand to see if the noise can be heard, It may stand out and then you can look closer for the source this way. If nothing, Pull the wheels into a direction of a hard right turn and then spin each one. IF still nothing, Start the engine, put it in gear and allow the wheels to spin. Is the noise now heard? IF still no, then turn the wheels to a right turn position and raise the rpms to about 30-35 MPH, now is it present?
You may need a stethescope to narrow down the source if you can duplicate it in a stationary position.
A scraping sound is not really consistent with a bad axle (cv joints). That is more often a clicking noise and mostly present intiially on a turn in one direction. It can be interpreted as a knocking noise, so I would not eliminate that as a possiblility. A wheel bearing can also click as it goes bad.
I would discount the idea on improper manufactured parts. Possible, but the nosie would have been there immediatly after doing the job.
It would be good while the front is in the air to check to make sure the caliper pin are tight.
To help clarify a little, could you say that the noise may be a roar or hum? IF you veer left and then right, will then noise come and go.
January, 8, 2010 AT 12:21 PM
Thanks for the reply. To answer your question at the end, it's neither a roar or a hum. It's a steady scraping noise, somewhat similar to if you were driving over very low speed bumps every 20 yards. If I had to choose, it's a hum. It's irritating as hell, very audible.
Haven't tried the veering left to right thing, but will.
I don't have jack stands, stethoscope, etc.
January, 8, 2010 AT 1:10 PM
Check with the neighbor that did the brakes, he probably has both.
A long handled prybar will work as a stethescope.
Place the tip against the ares to be checked and place your ear on the handle. The noside will go throguh