Vibration/metal grinding noise when first driving... - Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums (2005+)
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Vibration/metal grinding noise when first driving...

So I have been noticing the past few days that when I first start driving in the morning I get this metal grinding/vibration sound. Its very minor and hard to hear. It could almost be one of the exhaust heat shield rattling or vibrating off of something, but it seems to only coincide with my initial first few blocks of driving.

The paranoid part of me wonders if its something with the Trans. When I did the bypass I installed a second cooler and I was never sure if I put enough fluid it to accommodate that. Every time I check the levels on the stick are fine, but I still worry. I just wonder though if this noise happens until the trans fluid flows right through everything again or something. I know very little about this sort of thing, but this noise does not seem normal. If its anything I would like to catch it before it gets worse.

Any ideas....
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 10:57 AM
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Ummm...are you sure it's not the ABS self-test?

It kicks in and makes an odd grinding sound for a split second when you reach about 12mph. It only does it once, but it does each time you start up.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muzikman View Post
Ummm...are you sure it's not the ABS self-test?

It kicks in and makes an odd grinding sound for a split second when you reach about 12mph. It only does it once, but it does each time you start up.
I agree with Jason ... the other idea i had you already stated - heat shield vibrating
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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No, that is a distinctive clunk I am aware of. This is a consistent noise that seems to get louder with acceleration. I only hear it when I am first driving a few block to the main street I take to the highway in the morning. Once I get her going and up to 30-40, I don't hear it anymore. Could be the road noise and/or traffic around me. I also want to say though that as I hear this noise the X isn't as responsive...likes its slower to accelerate. Could just me in my head though.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 11:45 AM
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There are small metal straps around the exhaust and heat shields to prevent the them from vibrating. These little straps rust out pretty easy (I don't think I have any factory ones left).

Check them (when the exhaust is cool). If you crawl under and follow the exhaust, you'll see them. What happened on mine was the strap would rust though and then just sit there and rattle.

If you find any loose ones, pull them off. I went and bough a few 2.5" hose clamps and used them in place of the straps. I have had a couple on there for a few years and no problems. I think I replaced my last factory strap this past spring.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 12:10 PM
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Could also be a brake or the e-brake dragging. See if you can have someone drive forward at low speed and walk beside the X until you can determine where the sound is coming from.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 12:25 PM
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Does it make the sound when sitting still at idle?
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 12:35 PM
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maybe u-joint.

i like the e-brake dragging idea best through. especially if it is not as peppy as usual.

sometimes an ebrake will get stuck overnight and won't retract all the way. maybe next next, park with ebrake off then see the next morning?

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think its makes the noise while idle...seems mostly while accelerating.

I only set the e-brake when on a hill, so I don't think it would be that.

If there is any initial power loss, it could be the engine reaching operating temp. I park in an insulated garage....seems fine once I get going.


The exhaust idea is intriguing. That is almost what it reminds me of is like the heat shields or something. Its not always easy to locate the noise while driving, but with both front windows open it sounded as if the noise was coming from the passenger side middle area. I will check these. I do have a 5 year old vehicle in the midwest.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 05:48 PM
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I just diagnosed myself with the rusting heat shield straps. Had to crawl under and found 2 of them just dangling. I heard the metal vibrating sound (the same you seem to be experiencing) this morning. The bigger worry is that when i turn the truck on it sounds like a big release of air coincides with the rattling. Is that something to worry about?

So whats the fastest cheapest easiest solution for the straps?? thanks guys
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