Jump to content

Registered users (members) don’t see this ad!

Sign in to follow this  
autotech2612

Need Help Diagonosing Rf Clunk, Binding Noises

Recommended Posts

'02 Corolla RF clunking and binding noises. Passenger yesterday stated he could "feel" it in that vicinity.

 

Following items replaced in the last four months on RF side:

 

Wheel bearing

Inner and outer tie rods

Ball joint

Strut

 

 

The shop and I both suspected the RF strut that was replaced two weeks ago was a defective out-of-box, because the noises are very indicative of a bad strut mount and bad strut bearing at the mount. The shop replaced the strut today and the noise remains.

 

Shop also stated nothing is loose and control arm is also in great condition.

 

At home today, I checked the RF sway bar link and it looks fine. Bushings are not torn. I'm still not ruling that out. Could it be the sway bar itself?

 

What the heck could be causing this noise? Shop offered to use some kind of microphone to pick-up on noise while driving, but I'd rather avoid the additional cost. Can you guys help me out?

 

Thank you.

Edited by autotech2612

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With the binding noise, assuming it comes on immediately during suspension travel - is it better or worse with more or less suspension travel, or does it not matter?

 

Could be the sway bar - brute force way to check is to disconnect the bar and see if the noise goes away or not - though it would be advisable to not try a run on the highway, no front sway = a handful at highway speeds.

 

Binding noise leads me to either a bad bearing or bad bushing - clunking noise could be from a number of possible culprits.

 

CV could be another possibility - coupled with worn engine and transaxle mounts - would sound and act like a bad strut and upper strut mount.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does it make noise when the car is stationary and you are pushing a corner up and down? What happens if you jack up that corner and spin the wheel, any noise?

 

Might be worthwhile to hit the bushing with a silicone lubricant or similar - make sure there isn't any binding there to help you concentrate on the clunking noise. Could also be the bushings on the control arms - those can take a beating but eventually they will tear out. Little tougher to check those out - have to use a pretty decent sized lever to pry on them. Same with the lower ball joint.

 

I know on mine - they (bushings) look OK, but lately the car has been riding a bit rougher than normal. I've seen some 9th gen cars that had bushings that visually look fine, but once removed, completely disintegrated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will do the first suggestion tomorrow, jacking the wheel. I did push the car up and down, but the noise didn't exist.

 

I will also take some photographs of bushings, sway bar, links. The shop told me nothing is loose, and they did use a pry bar.

 

I will report back tomorrow. Thanks, fish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got under the car after work. Discovered the ball joint is torn. It was replaced a month-and-a-half ago. This RF side didn't make any noise until the shop replaced the strut on that side. Called the shop and, of course, the advisor adamantly stated it wasn't "torn the other day" after they replaced the strut again. Perhaps a moderate amount of grease leaked out. Could this indeed cause the noise described in my original post above? Also snapped some other photos. Sway bar link looks fine. I did jack up the car and spin the wheel. No noise.

 

 

001_zps592b5bc2.jpg

 

 

002_zps5bb6d415.jpg

 

 

003_zps87bd35d3.jpg

 

 

004_zpsacf65f37.jpg

 

 

005_zps313f1401.jpg

Edited by autotech2612

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like the lower ball joint and possibly the control arm bushing are hosed. Did the shop try and pump more grease into the lower ball joint? Looks like grease blew out, possible overfilled, causing the boot to rupture/pop off. Definitely clean that up and see if grease continues to leak out of the boot. As long as the boot is filled with grease, it should be OK - but once water makes it way in there, that ball joint is done.

 

That control arm bushing looks a little off. The outside portion of the bushing is OK, but the center could be cracked. Might have to put a jack under the wheel while that corner is up and compress the suspension to see if the bushing is OK or not.

 

The endlinks also look a little funky - just try and wiggle them and see if there is any slop by the endlinks. The endlinks should resist moving, but when they do, it should be smooth - but with no end play (in and out, up and down) at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you referring to the sway bar links? Also, what do you mean by the control arm being a little off?

 

I have my invoice showing the RF ball joint was replaced April 21, 2014 at a different shop. It's just too suspicious to me, after the struts were replaced, this new boot is suddenly torn. The noise did not start until after they worked on the car.

 

Replacing a strut doesn't require the ball joint to even be touched.

Edited by autotech2612

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah the sway bar links. The control arm bushing looks a little weird to me, looks like the center part of the bushing is showing some cracks - but that might just be an artifact from the camera/flash angle.

 

Ball joint is definitely FUBAR - I'd get on the shop and have them come clean on that. No way a bushing will tear out like that unless someone at the shop accidentally knicked the boot or otherwise screwing around with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will find out tomorrow what shop says. Sway bar links are cheap, but I don't see any tears on boots. I did wiggle them and they resist moving.

 

What is a good way to get on the shop an have them come clean on that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a tough one - depends on the shop techs and the owner. Some will come clean after some pressuring on your part, as those guys are truly good people at heart - others, they'll deny it to their dying day. Unless you caught them red-handed, like from a security camera (think those FOX news autoshop stings) - might never know.

 

Might try with the technicians and work your way up - most of the tech staff, from my experience, are more willing to talk than the service writer or the owner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I visited the problem shop today. The service advisor stated "I can say one-hundred-percent we didn't do it" when I showed him the invoice from 04/21/14 showing it was replaced. I was not confrontational with Dave, but I told him "you can see where I'd be suspicious, right?" In return, he was not confrontational.

 

So, the ball joint will be replaced by a different shop on Tuesday. I will let you know if that solves the binding and clunking sounds.

 

Thank you again for your help, Fish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update: Turns out the boot is not torn. I've never had a ball joint with a grease fitting before. There was too much grease in the boot and it seeped out. So, the shop was being completely honest.

 

Now it's on to your thoughts on the control arm and sway bar link.

 

The shop is offering to use some type of microphone installed while driving the car to pinpoint the culprit. It would cost $45 for this service. Do you think it's worth it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good to hear the ball joint boot is not ripped. Sure looked like it though - I've overfilled boots before but they never looked that bad, even before I wiped up the excess grease.

 

Microphone would have a tough time pinpointing the noise - unless it is one of those fancy sound pressure variants - but I doubt a shop would invent the money in something like that as it is $$$ and needs calibrating constantly. If it is an accelerometer - might be more useful. That is a tough call - if it pinpoints the noise - $45 is super cheap, if it doesn't - you'll just flushed $45 down the toilet that could have gone toward the repair.

 

Your call on that - only bright point is that it is less than your garden variety diagnostic charge - usually shops charge you a minimum of $85 before they do any diagnostics. Some even go beyond that and charge you a "garage fee" on top of the diagnostic fee.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

(Only shown to guests, not registered members.)


×
×
  • Create New...