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Front End Noise 2004 Corolla


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#1 vurjt

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 11:58 AM

I occassionally hear a noise coming from my front end----almost seems like the driver's side front tire. It is most noticeable at speeds around 35 to 55 MPH. The best way to describe the sound is whomp, whomp, whomp. Just like that three to four whomps at a time.

It has done it since I had about 100k or so. I now have over 200k. New tires, alignment, brakes doesn't seem to do anything for it. I've even injected grease into the CV boots.

Any ideas?

#2 Bitter

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 07:51 AM

wheel bearing? ball joint? sway bar link? tierod?

#3 fishexpo101

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 08:40 AM

... I've even injected grease into the CV boots


Ouch, not recommended that you do this to sealed CV joints. I take it you had a needle filled with grease that you pushed in by the edge of the rubber boot? Adding grease in that manner will not get to the joint, can't "force" the grease in there, plus it gives the extra grease and now a possible exit hole to squirt out of.

As for the noise, could be pretty much anything - have you tried moving the wheels around (rotate tires) and see if the noise changes?

#4 vurjt

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 11:44 AM


... I've even injected grease into the CV boots


Ouch, not recommended that you do this to sealed CV joints. I take it you had a needle filled with grease that you pushed in by the edge of the rubber boot? Adding grease in that manner will not get to the joint, can't "force" the grease in there, plus it gives the extra grease and now a possible exit hole to squirt out of.

As for the noise, could be pretty much anything - have you tried moving the wheels around (rotate tires) and see if the noise changes?



Yes, I used one of those needles to "inject" the grease into the boot. Just to see if that would make a difference. It seems to do it the same even after rotation---although I should go front to back and back to front. Never have tried swapping sides or doing a cris cross. That's a good idea. Thanks!!

#5 fishexpo101

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 03:41 PM

Have to check the tread pattern on the tires - some don't recommend side to side swaps (i.e., directional tires).

Can always toss the spare tire on there as a test tire - since the noise seems to happen at moderate speeds.

Just curious - what tire brand, size, and tire pressures are you running? Is the noise pretty even, like a constant thumping noise or is a more intermittent. What happens when you tap the brakes when you hear the noise? What happens when you shift into neutral or lower gear at that speed? Does the noise seem to get worse or better under any certain conditions?

#6 Darth Prizm

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 11:35 AM

Not trying to hijack the thread, but... Mine has an irritating rattle that goes away if I touch the brakes. What is this? Do I need anti-rattle clips? Is something else loose? I haven't had a chance to get under the thing in a while... what all could that be?

#7 vurjt

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 02:50 PM

Have to check the tread pattern on the tires - some don't recommend side to side swaps (i.e., directional tires).

Can always toss the spare tire on there as a test tire - since the noise seems to happen at moderate speeds.

Just curious - what tire brand, size, and tire pressures are you running? Is the noise pretty even, like a constant thumping noise or is a more intermittent. What happens when you tap the brakes when you hear the noise? What happens when you shift into neutral or lower gear at that speed? Does the noise seem to get worse or better under any certain conditions?


I had Kumhos on it,195/65R15 at 31psi. Now have Cooper CS4 195/65R15 at 31psi. The thumping noise is intermittent. Very noticeable at times. Very low at other times. I've not tried tapping the brakes or shifting into neutral or lower gear when it does that. The noise seems loudest when at around 35 mph since that's the speed limit on the road leaving the area where I work each afternoon. I don't seem to hear it at freeway speeds like 65 and above. 35 is loudest and decreasing until I get up to 65.

#8 fishexpo101

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 04:59 PM

Is the thumping frequency the same every time you drive at 35MPH? What I mean, is that the noise has the same pitch and periodicity (thumps per second). Has the noise changed much between the old Kuhmos and the newer Cooper tires?

Possible that you might have a bad tire and/or bent wheel issue. Either they need to unmount the tire and spin in 180 degrees (high spot of the tire, where they overlapped the bands, could be causing the noise).

I still wouldn't rule out a suspension issue - assuming original struts, springs, tierod, bushings, etc?

#9 vurjt

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 08:04 AM

Is the thumping frequency the same every time you drive at 35MPH? What I mean, is that the noise has the same pitch and periodicity (thumps per second). Has the noise changed much between the old Kuhmos and the newer Cooper tires?

Possible that you might have a bad tire and/or bent wheel issue. Either they need to unmount the tire and spin in 180 degrees (high spot of the tire, where they overlapped the bands, could be causing the noise).

I still wouldn't rule out a suspension issue - assuming original struts, springs, tierod, bushings, etc?



Yes, the thumping is the same from the Kuhmos and the new Coopers. The tires didn't change a thing. I'm thinking suspension due to the high miles???

#10 fishexpo101

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 10:00 AM

Not trying to hijack the thread, but... Mine has an irritating rattle that goes away if I touch the brakes. What is this? Do I need anti-rattle clips? Is something else loose? I haven't had a chance to get under the thing in a while... what all could that be?

Could be the pads moving around on you - running shims on the pads? If the anti-rattle clips are loose or missing, this could cause some of those issues. Could also be suspension or axle related - when you touch the brakes, you also load that front end slightly - that could mask the noises coming from worn components in the suspension or axle.

#11 fishexpo101

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 10:15 AM

Yes, the thumping is the same from the Kuhmos and the new Coopers. The tires didn't change a thing. I'm thinking suspension due to the high miles???


That seems to rule out wheel and tires as a source. Given the amount of miles on the car, suspension would be the most likely culprit. Basically anything from the wheel to the transaxle - strut and spring, axle, hub, wheel bearing, tierod, lower ball joint, upper pillow mount, etc.

#12 Darth Prizm

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 08:56 PM


Not trying to hijack the thread, but... Mine has an irritating rattle that goes away if I touch the brakes. What is this? Do I need anti-rattle clips? Is something else loose? I haven't had a chance to get under the thing in a while... what all could that be?

Could be the pads moving around on you - running shims on the pads? If the anti-rattle clips are loose or missing, this could cause some of those issues. Could also be suspension or axle related - when you touch the brakes, you also load that front end slightly - that could mask the noises coming from worn components in the suspension or axle.




Kinda what I'm thinking... it's driving me crazy. I think I need to get some end links, at least one inner tie rod end, maybe strut bearings... I just want it to be quiet and vibration-free like a toyota is supposed to be.

#13 deep

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 07:05 PM

Hey did you make any progress? My g/f car has a similar front end noise. She got an alignment (she needed that anyway) and her wheels balanced but noise still there. The shop is saying she needs new shocks/struts and links? When they say links, do they mean sway bar end link bushings? I'm a little new to suspension... I'm going to see her this weekend so I'll do a bounce test, but you guys have any other ideas/info?

Thanks a lot!

#14 corollamike

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 08:20 PM

Since struts are both a structural suspension component and a shock absorber, am wondering if there is some sort of harmonic imbalance happening. If you intend to keep the car, I'd go ahead and invest in new struts. A proper shop will be able to tell if you need other suspension components prior to realignment, which should take care of your noise.

#15 fishexpo101

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 11:35 AM

Hey did you make any progress? My g/f car has a similar front end noise. She got an alignment (she needed that anyway) and her wheels balanced but noise still there. The shop is saying she needs new shocks/struts and links? When they say links, do they mean sway bar end link bushings? I'm a little new to suspension... I'm going to see her this weekend so I'll do a bounce test, but you guys have any other ideas/info?

Thanks a lot!

Need a bit more info - what year and how many miles are on the car? How far was her alignment off / tire off balance? Was it just due to normal wear and tear (alignment) or did she smack one too many curbs or potholes?

Not sure what you mean by the sway bar end link bushings, as they refer to two different components, both of which could be causing the noise. End links - tie the swaybar to the lower control arm assembly. Looks like a dogbone with spherical bearings on the ends - worn bearings can make for excessive slop in the suspension leading to noise. The sway bar bushings hold and isolate the swaybar or stabilizer bar itself, again, worn bearings allow excessive movement in the bar, leading to noise.

Unfortunately, the car is too light to get a meaningful "bounce" test from it - unless the struts are completely shot, the car will likely not bounce at all. Worn endlinks are pretty common on higher mileage cars - the bushings at that time are pretty worn as well. Front end noise has many potential culprits - if new struts and links will solve it for her car, hard to say without looking at it. Could be a combination of multiple culprits.