Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationMaintenance & Repairs · 8 months ago

Can you help me diagnose my 02 Pathfinder?

Long story short I spun out due to hydroplaning and had a low-speed impact with a concrete barrier on the back of the driver side, the back wheel was affected by impact with some scrapes on the rim and tire. This happened nearly 1500 miles from home so I made it that same distance back without incident. The vehicle was able to drive away just fine, but I did notice that I get a "wobble" or "jolt" for lack of better terms coming from the affected wheel when braking. It has drum brakes. It doesn't feel like a typical warped rotor because it only happens under two conditions. Braking at Low speeds typically under 20mph (which is when it's most obvious) or when breaking lightly at high speeds (feels like typical warped rotor to an extent but still a bit different). There was a scraping noise that was synchronized to the wobble for a while, but it stopped and has yet to come back.

If I drive while moving forward there is no wobble and vehicle is just fine. This is for high and low speeds (0-80).

The wobble is not present when going in reverse regardless of speed.

The wobble is not present if I brake while in a turn such as using on/off ramps

The vehicle does not pull from side to side while driving. It drives exactly the same as before the accident.

There was a scraping noise synchronized with the wobble, but it went away.

If I brake hard, there is no wobble nor noise when the noise was present.

Brakes are just as responsive as they were before

Any suggestions?


If I brake while going in reverse there is also no wobble regardless of speed.

2 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    First thing to check is if the rim is bent.  Put the spare tire on and see if you still have the wobble.  If you do, then it could be the axle is bent, otherwise, all you need is a new rim.

  • 8 months ago

    A common problem with four wheel disc brake cars is the rear brake pads don't do too much braking and the rotors will corrode often on the inner side that you can't see without removing the rotor. If the jolt/impact made the caliper readjust, then the inner brake pad might finally be making good contact with corroded rotor surface. You could have the wheel/tire balanced to see if that one wheel is slightly bent and have the brake rotor removed for inspection and have them spin the wheel on the car with no weight on it to see if the wheel bearing is OK on that wheel.

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