Foul Weather Mystery

Dave D mstrblastr at
Mon Nov 18 22:41:08 EST 2002

I too experienced a similar noise once.  Turned out is was a piece of
grit/sand/rock from sanding the roads around Wenatchee, WA, started as we
were coming down the road from Mission Ridge.  It was stuck between calipers
and disk or shroud and made quite a screeching sound, was quite worried at
the time, but eventually the rock wore down and fell out and suddenly the
car was silent again...  Have driven in slush a few times and brakes act a
little weird, but a good application or two heats things up and have never
had any real problems.
Dave D
91 200Q
----- Original Message -----
From: "Neil Vonhof" <nhvonhof at>
To: "Peter Sebestyen" <PeterS at>
Cc: <200q20v at>
Sent: Monday, November 18, 2002 9:30 PM
Subject: Re: Foul Weather Mystery

> What you are describing is exactly what happened to me - it even
> happened in Colorado. I bought my car in April of 2000 in Taos, NM. Flew
> down and drove it back to Seattle. Leaving Taos north into CO toward
> Durango I hit a storm with snow and slush and super wet roads (it wasn't
> quite freezing). The screechy screaming started and I freaked out
> thinking the engine was blowing up or ??? I stopped quickly and the
> noise was gone. Started moving again and it began screeching again so I
> slowly proceeded to the next town and called the PO who said it happened
> to him a couple of times in the 6 years he had owned the car and he was
> told it was the water/slush accumulating in the UFO's. I imagined some
> sort of harmonic vibration that builds as speed increases, but really
> have no idea why it happens. I was very relieved to find that it was not
> a harmful situation for the car and that no damage was being done.  It
> was not related to engine RPM, but was totally related to MPH. Slowing
> to below 40 MPH or so made it begin to fade away. Stopping the car
> stopped the problem entirely and it came back slowly after speeding up
> again to 40/45 or above. It was such thick slush and deep standing water
> that speed was effected just from the car meeting all that resistance
> and I don't think there was any power loss - again, I don't think it's
> engine related at all. It happened one more time on that trip going
> through slush and standing water going over the pass into Salt Lake
> City. It 's never happened since. However, I have never encountered
> those conditions since either. BTW the PO never heard of any fix for it.
> He just excepted it as a rare and unthreatening occurance and I guess I
> have adopted the same attitude. I suppose if I had to drive through
> those kinds of extreme conditions regularly I would look for a solution.
> Makes me wonder how many other's have had this expirience and if it's
> ever happened to a car without UFO's. Maybe getting rid of the UFO's is
> a solution.
> My car has been nearly perfect since I bought it and there has never
> been any sign of damage or failure of any part that could have been
> related to that incident.
> BTW I don't remember a "throaty noise."
> Neil Vonhof
> Seattle
> 1991 200q20v Sedan  140,000 miles, Glacier Blue
> IA Stage 3, Bilstein Sports, V8 Tail lights
> Borbet 5 spoke wheels, K&N Air Filter
> Peter Sebestyen wrote:
> >Listers,
> >
> >I posed a "baffling problem" to the list on 10/16/02 regarding a "loss of
> >power in foul weather".  The general consensus was to replace my plug
> >and the problem should be resolved.  I replaced the wires as suggested
> >however the problem is still there.  More than likely, I mis-stated the
> >symptoms since it had been a while since the car exhibited the problem.
> >I'll try to give a better description now.
> >
> >I'm driving a '91 200q20V Wagon, Hoppen Chip, K&N Filter, Bilstein's,
> >otherwise stock.  The car is solid and strong until I hit heavy rain,
> >standing water or sloppy, slushy conditions at which time the car
develops a
> >throaty, grumbly sound with accompanying vibration.  Sometimes it will
> >to screech and scream - LOUDLY.  When it happened this weekend, I put it
> >neutral and revved the motor - the screaming continued regardless of
> >however the throaty noise did follow the RPM's.  It's difficult to say if
> >there is an associated power loss because the noise is so disturbing that
> >slow down and try get off the road.  On Friday, the screaming was VERY
> >But by the time I got off the road, it had stopped.  Within a few miles,
> >road turned from wet slop to dry pavement and the symptoms vanished.  In
> >Colorado, sloppy and/or heavy rain conditions are usually short lived so
> >have just dealt with it over the past couple of years.  Now I want it
> >
> >One more thing, it does NOT happen when the roads are snow covered -
> >has to be water.
> >
> >Background:  New belts last month, new plug wires last week.
> >
> >Ideas:  Exhaust?  Breaks (UFO's)?  Some sort of thermal condition
> >warping somewhere?
> >
> >Any help will be greatly appreciated!
> >
> >Peter
> >_______________________________________________
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> >200q20v at
> >
> >
> >
> >
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