Clicking Web-Spokes

Dan over at dcmini.blogspot.com has a great write-up concering the growing problem with the ever popular web-spoke wheels. Here’s an excerpt:

The Problem: Sometime in the middle of June I noticed a consistent clicking upon each revolution of the wheel. I initially noticed it coming from the front left wheel but after I had others people lend me their ears, I was told that it seemed to be coming from the other wheels as well.

The Cause:
My diagnosis, which is the only one at the moment, it that since the web spoke wheels are a two piece system, the two parts seems to be moving or making and breaking contact with each other at the mating surfaces.

A few conditions have to be met to cause the very noticeable clicking. 1. It has to be hot outside. 2. It has to be humid outside. 3. the wheels have to be broken in and rotating.

You can read more from Dan below:

[ Web Spoke Isssue ] dcmini.blogspot.com
  • MrV

    NO problems with mine so far. I went all summer in the Texas heat waiting for them to start (I had been reading the thread on this over on MINI2) but no problems yet. Pretty humid here in Texas too.

    *Cross fingers*

  • David

    I have the webspokes and I’ve noticed the clicking. It sounds really loud when you hear the reflection from parked cars or walls. You can still hear it with the windows down and the radio off. My MCS is going into the shop Thursday for an unrelated issue (rattle under hood) but I’m going to ask them to take a look at the clicking and I’ll see how they deal with the issue.

  • Bugsquasher

    I now have 9000 Km on my wheels, and I have had no issues. Admittedly, this past summer here in Alberta was unusually wet but lacking the heat to make it humid.

  • Check for baseball cards and clothspins – maybe some SUV owner has gotten jealous of your new MINI and decided to have some clever fun with you. 🙂

  • this is documented well on MINI2.

    not every webspoke gets it, but for thos ewhose do, MINI certainly does not.

  • modboi

    I have a clicking noise coming from the front left wheel; however, I have s-lites wheels on my 05 MCS. There are several threads on NAM about this problem which seems to be related to a loose axle nut. Although, this may not be the same clicking noise that you’re hearing but you might want to check out those threads.

    2005 MCS with 12,000 miles, 6 visits to the MINI service department. and counting. Rattles, vibrations creaks, and now clicks. You gotta love this car…

  • modboi

    Sorry, I guess I should’ve read your entire write-up before commenting. I really wanted these wheels too but they weren’t available for the early build 05s.

    At least you got a new set of wheels, even though they started clicking again. The very first time I took my MCS to MINI of San Francisco for the dash rattle, the SA told me that it’s part of the character of the car and that no matter how many times they try to fix the rattles and creaks, that they will always come back. I ended up taking my car to Eastbay MINI which is an hour away to get the rattles fixed.

    I sure love my car but I can’t avoid focusing on these little annoyances while driving which somewhat takes the fun away.

    To all web-spoke owners, I hope they find a permanent solution to this problem soon.

  • Floyd

    Great, They’re on my new MCS that we’re picking up this week. A problem and we haven’t even taken delivery yet. Sure are pretty though.

  • Thanks Gabe, for posting this. It seems to be an uphill battle since not every web spoke wheel clicks. It just so happens that both sets (8 separate rims) that I have had, all clicked. There are other factors that seem to calm the clicking down such as washing or waxing them.

  • I got my MCS back in August. I’ve heard the clicking ever since, I thought it was something to do with the brakes… I have 2600 miles on it already, but casual driving, nothing extreme. I’m going to call the dealer and see what happens. I read on the MINI2 blog that the dealer says it’s safe to drive on, but I don’t really think the explanations I read are safe, I heard it has something to do with the bolt holes being too large for the bolts, in which the bolts are making the clicking noise. Eventually the bolts will fail if they are just being turned in a hole too large… This is my assessment – I would check with your dealers just to be safe…

  • Kennedy

    Thanks for the post. For a while now, I have been going nuts, trying to figure what the clicking was. I too thought perhaps I had inadvertently left a baseball card in the wheel, but I never found one.

    Actually, I had been looking for some elusive rock in the tire, something behind the wheel/tire to no avail. Never thought about the two-piece wheel being the culprit itself.

    Wonder what the dealer’s fix is? I also have the occasional pop from the sunroof when presumeably the car twists a little… Quite the orchestra we have when you couple this with the popping exhaust! 🙂

  • tanya

    Scary stuff. What is supposed to be the benefit of a 2-piece wheel anyway? Seems like the lightest wheels are 1-piece forged.

  • jim w

    I have a 04 S with R85 (s-lite) rims with similar sounding click. It is only on the passenger side, and is most noticeable with driving past a wall with the window down. It seems to be worse in hot weather, and it sounds just like a nail or stone is imbedded in the tire. Having closely inspected the tires I assumed it was a wheel bearing and was going to bring it up at my next dealer visit. With several of you experiencing the issue with several replacement rims, and at least one additional non-web spoked complaint posted here, how positive are you that is a rim issue and not something else?

  • When I first dropped off the car they thought it might be the wheel bearings too, but upon further investigation, in my case it was not. Back in June, when my dealer first diagnosed the problem, they replaced all my wheels with the s-lites to see if there was a difference. And sure enough, on my mini, there was no clicking. They also tried fitting my tires on other rims and again no clicking. They are certain that the web spoke rims, in my case, were the cause.

  • GrumpyGills

    Just want to put this out there…

    Any chance there are little rocks caught in the wheels? My vehicles’ (large and mini) have wheels click when they’ve got a pebble jammed in the rubber. An aggressive acceleration with a sharp turn pops the little fellow out everytime.

  • bipto

    I have the clicking, too, on the web-spokes. For me, it was in the first couple of thousand miles and was in the front right wheel. I haven’t heard it in a while, but the weather has cooled, so maybe that plays a part? Maybe I need to call my dealer…

  • O(=^=)O Capn

    Hmmn, tap shoes for the MINI.

  • greg

    7600 so far so good. Anybody have issues with the passenger air bag not turning OFF when a child under 100lbs sits there? I’m getting a run around from Mini on this.

  • My 2005 MCS “OFF” light is triggered by my 25# book bag…

  • Bilbo Baggins

    When you read dcmini’s whole blog he mentions, near the end, about hearing the clicking as the wheel makes one rotation and then it stops. Also that as the weather cools it does not do it.

    If it were the two halves of the wheel moving, he would have an air leak and that is not mentioned. Since aluminium expands as it gets warmer and contracts as it gets colder the two halves should be tighter in the warmer weather and not click. As the weather cools the halves should contract and click more.

    The only thing that comes to my mind that could happen with relation to the change of temperature is that perhaps the hub centric portion of the wheel was machined incorrectly. If the opening were machined just a fraction too large then in the warmer weather the diameter of the hub would increase ever so slightly allowing the wheel to shift, clicking. When it cooled off, the hub would shrink and fit more tightly around the flange of the brake disc and stop clicking.

    When stored over night inside a garage the wheels would warm up and expand the hub opening until they got outside and cooled off.

    JOHO

    Keep us posted as to what the final outcome is.

  • Lee L

    2 pc wheels are not split in half. The “spoke ” section is one piece and the rim section is another. The 2 pieces can be taken apart without losing air.

    I can easily see this happeneing as the wheels undergo quite a bit of stress.

    I wonder if a kevlar (or some other thin, strong material) gasket between the pieces will help?

  • i’m sure the solution lies either in addressing the mating surface of the two pieces or beefing up the bolts that hold the two pieces together. Also, it certainly has something to do with different expanding issues between the pieces.
    if it is the bolts causing the clicking, its not a far stretch to think they might fail at some point and present a safety issue. I have since opted to a different style rim, one piece, to be on the safe side. But I am still intrested to hear what the fix might be.

  • JFW

    Which rims did you decide to go with, DanC? Did the dealership give you credit for the clicking Web-Spokes?

  • Nike61

    Had my MCSa 05 since June in Western Australia, done 5,000 kms and no problems here. My MCSa was the first with web spoke. Climate here is mild to hot as we never get below 13 degC in winter nor any snow etc. Maybe just problem in USA as not seen any other Aussies with problems.

  • Dave From Florida

    well guys my right front wheel is making a whole hell of a noise right now and i am scared to drive the dam thing……i thought the wheel studs was loose or the bearing went bad…right now my car is in the parking lot and i dont want to move it…… i have 18″ enkei evo5 on my car…so i dont know if the wheels are causing this noise….

  • Spikedacrzyman

    Now, i only get a clicking noise after hard acceleration in first and second gear. After that you can’t hear it any longer. I heard it could be the harmonic balancer, but who knows… Its not a CV popping noise, just a clicking noise. Its weird. If anyone comes up with a solution, please email me. Thanks Spike

  • Turk

    I am having the same problem with an early Bronco and big tires. It does not do it usually right when you start driving. It is definately once every rotation and is quite loud. I have relplaced the wheel bearings. The one brakepad was put on wrong, corrected that and it still makes the sound. This has been going on for quite some time and it is driving me mad trying to find the solution.

  • Dan T

    I’ve had the same problem with our MCS 2006 (rcv’d November 2005) with web spoke wheels. It started less than a year after getting the car. The dealer saw a bit of curb damage and claimed that was the cause of the problem. They split the cost of one new wheel with us and the problem was gone…for a month or so. Had the car back to the dealer last week and they’re looking into what they can do; but still claiming that it’s curb damage.

    Several people since then (including tire/wheel dealerships) have told me that there’s no way curb damage should cause this kind of problem. Anyone have opinions about this? How about safety concerns; any reports of wheel failure related to this?

    The damage on the wheel seems pretty cosmetic; a bit of scraping on the edge of the rim. Since getting rid of the annoying runflat tires, I think the rim will be more protected by the new tires.

    Any references to articles about this are appreciated as I’d like to have some ammo when talking to the dealer about the problem. Thanks.