Steering and suspension noises are never anything to ignore. Some of the worn parts that make noise are relatively harmless, but some can lead to loss of control and crashes if they separate. The best bet is to have it inspected at a tire and alignment shop.
The minor, but irritating things include worn anti-sway bar links and bushings and sloppy struts. Worn lower control arm bushings are getting to be pretty common too.
The parts that will be serious if they break include lower ball joints and tie rod ends. Even when suspension parts can't come apart completely, they can allow the wheel to change position resulting in accelerated and abnormal tire wear.
If you want to try to diagnose this yourself, I can tell you how to check each part and I can recommend a tool that you may be able to find at an auto parts store that borrows tools. The problem is once you find a worn part, most people replace it, then they're angry if the noise is still there. You can't stop looking once you find a bad part. All the other parts are just as old and many are worn but not causing a noise yet. That's why I prefer having the steering and suspension systems inspected by the professionals. They will make a complete list of what parts and services are needed. Most steering and suspension parts require an alignment after the repairs are done. No alignment specialist is going to align any car until he does his own brief inspection, so if it's going to get inspected anyway, might as well do it right away to avoid overlooking anything.
Thursday, February 20th, 2014 AT 8:02 PM