Question about 1995 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

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Thumping noise when braking - 2001 Sienna

After going through a number of disasters with a Ford 95 Windstar, we purchased a 2001 Sienna, fully decked out. It has been a great van/car - except for one problem. Whenever we slow down and stop, you can hear a "thump-thump-thump" sound from (I believe)the rear of the car. I thought the spare tire might be loose, but that checked out, and I couldn't figure this out. It's VERY noticable. My local Toyota service guy told my wife that this was "normal" for this car, annoying but normal. She doesn't remember what he told her caused it. Before I go down and talk to the service manager, I'd like to be armed with any knowledge some of the folks her can provide. Surely this isn't "normal"? They looked at the rotors and said they were fine, and there is no symptom other than the sound. What could this be? Thanks, Doc 1995 merc/benz c320 wagon thumping begins when braking - like having a flat spot on tires, but tires are good. Dan

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  • Anonymous May 20, 2009

    I have the same situation with a 2000 Siennna. This van has over 120,000 miles and is running like new. But it has this particular thumping which I cannot figure.


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Could be a number of things that you cannot "see".

First, make sure the tire pressures are within the van manufacturers specifications. The tire pressure label will be on the driver side door pillar on a little sticker. Also confirm that the tires haven't been replace with an overly greater / lesser size.

Broken radial belts inside the tires are another cause - and is also dangerous if the tire heats up enough - it's a blowout waiting to happen.

Check for ANY unusual "ripples" on the inner and outer sides of the tires, and for any unusual wear patterns.

Putting the tires on a balancer will NOT show these tire problems.

You could try narrowing the problem down to a particular tire, and putting the spare on and see if the problem goes away.

Also, I have seen "off brand" or "blem" tires do this a lot.

Posted on Jun 08, 2008

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