What's causing a thumping noise from my van's front end?
Recently I started noticing a soft thumping noise coming from the front end of my 2002 Ford Windstar LX van. Around the same time my transmission started slipping, so I assumed the thumping noise was related to it. Well, after I had my transmissions checked, and subsequently rebuilt, the noise hasn't gone away. The transmission is fine, shifts fine, the fluid level is good, etc. Therefore, my attention shifted towards the thumping noise having something to do with the wheels, steering, etc.
Before I had the transmission rebuilt, I did notice that both of my front sway bar end links were shot and needed to be replaced, so they were. I was also told about a year ago that my wheel bearings were going bad on the front wheels, but I haven't replaced them yet. I've heard a light whirring noise at lower speeds and I think that's from the bearings.
The thumping noise started out only being audible at higher speeds, but recently it's gotten louder and I can now hear it at lower speeds. It's not always consistently audible. Sometimes I don't hear it at all. I've recently noticed a couple of curious things that will hopefully help you have an idea of what is going on. For one, the thumping noise seems to be present normally when I'm accelerating. If I let off the gas, or if I brake, it seems to stop. Also, I've noticed that if I turn the steering wheel slightly to the right, the noise stops, even while I'm continuously accelerating. When I return the steering wheel to its former position, the noise instantly appears again. I've tried that several times, and it does the same thing every time.
Thanks for your help!
Thursday, March 17th, 2011 AT 3:03 AM