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Clean car = healthy car


Bushwack
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For about a month my silver 'vert would make a moderate noise when going over dips or speed bumps. Thought the problem might be suspension related or possibly the bushings (and remotely the bearings). Even thought the noise might be weather related (don't laugh but SoCal has been in the 50s for a couple weeks and dipping down into the 30s/40s at night). Brrr... :)

Now that you've stopped laughing,...last week I gave the car to my mechanic. The obligatory bounce test was done and all seemed OK (struts/shocks were good and there was no noise). Popped open the hood and bushings seemed to be OK. All other visual inspections was negative.

Put the car on a lift to inspect further. Lubricated the chassis...and we saw how filthy the undercarriage was. Looked rust free but the underside was filthy. A layer of schmutz (<-- technical term) seemed to cover much of the underside.

Brought car down from lift, drove the car about a mile to see if lubricating the chassis helped but not much. Still noisy on speed bumps. Mechanic suggested to have the undercarriage professionally cleaned then come back.

Took car to local car wash that had a lift. For $60.00, I stood there for 90 minutes as two guys started on the undercarriage. First sprayed some cleaning solvent underneath. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Then took a soft bristle brush to scrub/loosen stubborn dirt. The a power-wash. They let the underside air dry for a few minutes and then took some compressed air to fully dry the car. Then they started the process over for a second time. The schmutz on the floor from the first cleaning was horrendous. The second washing was 95% dirt-free (with the exception of the solvents used)

Paid the bill. Drove the car and have been noise-free for 22+ miles.

So... Don't neglect the undercarriage. I wouldn't have thought dirt from underneath would have caused the noise. This was $60.00 (plus tip) well spent.

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Any rust under the schmutz?

Nothing of concern. Every car has some surface rust.

I'm going to have the undercarriage of the white vert cleaned tomorrow and take some pictures. Recently had the muffler and cat converter replaced on the car. Mechanic mentioned there was some rust but nothing of concern. I'll post the pictures if anyone is interested.

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