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Here's an easy one to diagnose... I'd like some "professional" opinions so I don't dump obscene amounts of money on a mechanic that can't find the problem.
2000 SE 130K miles
I've replaced the clutch and passenger side CV axle before.
Once you turn the car on, it idles rather roughly. Does not misfire or skip, just a loud grinding noise. Enough so that the interior vibrates. (You can feel it real well in the steering wheel) It continues while driving. At all speeds and gears, a low "popping" noise can be heard (and sometimes felt). This problem has been growing more and more noticable over the past few weeks. I do know what it sounds and feels like when the the axle(s) are bad, and this does not sound like it. The strut is a consideration that I am keeping in mind, because the grinding is more noticable when the car drops over humps and potholes. At the beginning of this adventure, the grinding noise seemed to magically go away once I had driven the car a distance or stopped, turned the engine off, then restarted and drove away (Stopping for gas or a store). But, know, it is a constant. And a constant concern.
I am curious if these are indeed causes of the noise(s). Strut, axle, etc... There seems to be no problems with the engine's performance, other than it's old and got WAY TOO many miles on it.
The car has been lowered (properly!) and has "old school lowrider" rims on it, which can account for the handling and alignment. This is a daily driver, so any help diagnosing would be greatly appreciated!
 

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If the grinding sound is noticeable at an idle w/o moving, you can rule out a lot of things like axles, suspension pieces, wheel bearings, etc.

Possibilities.....motor mounts, transmission bearings, engine pieces like everything that the drive belt is turning, etc.

If you have a stick shift, and pushing the clutch in causes the noise to change....suspect transmission bearings. They can make awful grinding noises.
 

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I have the exact same issue, but no resolution yet. Mine is a 2001 SE, manual. I have the same grinding, rumbling noise at idle. It gets loader when I hit a bump that causes the front to dip down. My car is stock. The motor mounts seem good too. Did you find a solution?
 

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i have the same problem. mostly when the car is cold like in the mornings. first ride of the day or after standing for quite a while. is it the wheels bearings?


also what happens when the wheel bearings go ? does it sieze?? or still driveable to a dealership at least?
 

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Captain TMI
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Remove the serpentine belt and check the idler or tensioner pulleys to see if one is wobbly or difficult to turn. You can also start the engine to see if the sound is still there.

If your engine has an external water pump I would check that as well. For those of you with internal belts, if the water pump is at fault, it will eat up the timing belt eventually and will cause odd running before it goes out. It's been my experience that most water pumps will start making noises like the whole engine is coming apart- knocking. Hopefully that's not your problem. You might also experience some mixing of coolant in the oil with an internal water pump, and a loss of coolant with an external pump as the shaft seal gets beaten up and leaks. These leaks can be difficult to locate because it often only leaks when the engine is running.

Other accessories can also make horrid noises, so inspect each one carefully by turning the pulleys by hand and pulling on the pulleys to see if there is any excessive endplay.
 
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