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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not sure what is wrong, but in first and second gear, at low speeds, when i let off the gas pedal, I hear scratching/grinding sounds, almost similar as to when you license plate scratches the road.
It goes away when the clutch pedal is depressed.

Has anyone had any similar problems and would know what could be wrong?
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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this isn't the famous "transmission noise"? Our cars tend to eminate a strange noise from the tranny when decellerating at times, but not a grinding license plate on asphalt noise. Has your car always done this or is it a new noise?
 

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Had the same issue. Grinding noise a low speed....Went away after a while. It does come back at times depending on the weather. Took it to the dealer once because it had become sol loud and they could not figure it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
this isn't the famous "transmission noise"? Our cars tend to eminate a strange noise from the tranny when decellerating at times, but not a grinding license plate on asphalt noise. Has your car always done this or is it a new noise?
well it wasn't as loud as a license plate, but that was the closest sound I could think of. It isn't a continous sound, it goes high and low, kinda like it was scratching something around it while spinning (harder on one side than the other). and it doesn't even happen sometimes.

When I got it, I drove 800 miles back, didn't hear it, but didn't have many scenarios where I was decelerating at low speeds without the clutch pedal depressed, plus with music on it just about drowns it out. Will see if i can record it today
 

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Maybe a Clutch Release Bearing...

My Elise was making a scratching/fast clicking noise that comes and go. If I depress on the clutch the noise will go away.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
To the OP: if the brakes do not have CRC anti squeal or something like it, you will get that sound.
But the brake pedal is not depressed when I hear this? or does it occur regardless of the brake pedal position?

thanks
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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well, its gotta be in the drivetrain some where - if it goes away when you clutch?. I think the bearing boys might be onto something. Throw out bearing? If that's the case, i think you are pulling the clutch. And I just pulled my clutch, so it is your turn.:)
 

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Without the "goop" that holds the pad to the caliper piston, the pads will rattle around. The noise will stop if you touch the brake pedal. I had this rattle and cured it by putting the CRC anti-squeal behind the pads where the piston touches it. I detest rattles, grinds, and groans and this eliminated noises that drove me crazy!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
given my limited knowledge of pulling clutches and re-gooping pads, I just might take it to the dealer to have a look.

I will say this, I barely hear the sound below 3000rpms in any gear. The sound is most prevalent when you let off the clutch pedal and gas pedal when under ~40mph and over 3000rpms, usually in 1st, 2nd and just a lil-bit in 3rd.
4th and above dont have this problem. Either that or the wind, glee, engine and music block it out
 

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Failed at Self Control
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I'm not sure what is wrong, but in first and second gear, at low speeds, when i let off the gas pedal, I hear scratching/grinding sounds, almost similar as to when you license plate scratches the road. It goes away when the clutch pedal is depressed.
Some of your description sounded like a problem that I was having a year or more ago.

This is what I wrote in my posting:
"I’ve been working on identifying exactly what causes the sound to occur and when. Here is what I know. I tend to hear it between 3000 and 4000 RPMs usually when I’m just decreasing in speed and slowing to stop. I mostly hear it in the lower gears but that could just be because I don’t usually run (decreasing) at 3000 – 4000 RPMs in the higher gears."

But the sound I was hearing was more along the lines of a scratchy squeak or squeal.

When you push the clutch in does it stop? When you have the clutch in and rev the engine can you still hear it?

My problem was the throw-out bearing.

- z
 

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If it goes away when you push in the clutch pedal, or suddenly accelerate, then it is probably the transmission. In low gearing, when off throttle but still in gear the engine brakes the car and there is some gear whine that comes from that. All transmissions do this, but it is more noticeable in the Lotus due to the lack of sound deadening and proximity of the transmission to your ears.

If it doesn't have anything to do with the clutch in/out then it is probably the other thing that some have mentioned- the brake pads drag a bit on the rotors causing a wooshing sound. This is semi-normal and happens when the pads are very new still or the pistons just aren't retracting as much as they should. It is again exaggerated because the car is small and you probably have the top off a lot so you hear things you normally don't in other cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Some of your description sounded like a problem that I was having a year or more ago.

This is what I wrote in my posting:
"I’ve been working on identifying exactly what causes the sound to occur and when. Here is what I know. I tend to hear it between 3000 and 4000 RPMs usually when I’m just decreasing in speed and slowing to stop. I mostly hear it in the lower gears but that could just be because I don’t usually run (decreasing) at 3000 – 4000 RPMs in the higher gears."

But the sound I was hearing was more along the lines of a scratchy squeak or squeal.

When you push the clutch in does it stop? When you have the clutch in and rev the engine can you still hear it?

My problem was the throw-out bearing.

- z
Sounds like my exact problem. It does stop when you press in the clutch, and you don't hear it when revving the engine
 

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Discussion Starter #18
7k miles later, i still hear the sound, and the car still drives like it did back then. Passengers somehow don't hear it though. Maybe it is/was all in my head :shrug:
 

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I think that noise is you scratching your balls while driving!
 

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I have something similar that usually happens as i am slowing down. But it happens on dry revving too like around 2500 rpm. Any more or less and it doesnt happen. Sounds like a license plate vibrating on metal is how i would describe it. Its as if something resonates at that during that rpm. It vibrates to the same tune as my exhaust so i'm guessing its not serious
 
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