Rattling noise, spring things in back, broken piece up top?

Tiny
KALEYY
  • MEMBER
  • 2004 CHRYSLER SEBRING
  • 86 MILES
Behind my back tires, there's those spring things? (If you cant tell already, I know NOTHING about cars.) At the very top of them, there's the piece that goes into the inside of the car, I guess you'd say. It's plastic, I think, and it's cracked, which is causing my car to make this horribly annoying rattling noise.
I need to know A) what that piece is called, B) How much it'll cost to fix it and C) If I can drive my car while it's broken?
Do you
have the same problem?
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No
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 AT 7:23 PM

10 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Any chance you can post a photo of it? Is that spring around a round black metal tube right next to the tire?
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Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 AT 8:25 PM
Tiny
KALEYY
  • MEMBER
Yes, the spring is right next to the tire. This picture is very close up, but its taken from right at the top of the spring.
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Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 AT 12:59 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Can you get a shot from a little further away so I can get a better reference? If that is rubber you're pulling out, that is likely the upper strut mount and nothing out of the ordinary. That could also be the outer lip of the metal upper mount but you said it's plastic. I'd be willing to bet that's not the cause of the noise you're hearing. Try listening right above it from the back seat while a helper drives the car over bumpy roads. That upper mount might be visible from inside the trunk too. There will be a larger nut in the center of the mount. That nut should not move sideways when the car is rocked or bounced.
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Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 AT 2:47 AM
Tiny
KALEYY
  • MEMBER
Okay, if it's the mount, is it able to be driven before I get it fixed? Or should I not drive it any farther than the mechanic? It's plastic, but it's not RUBBER. It's for sure hard plastic. I'll take a better picture tomorrow when there's light, but is it safe to drive?
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Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 AT 3:12 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
My best guess is it's okay to drive, just irritating. What you're pointing to isn't going to cause a noise but slop in the upper mount can let the shaft of the strut wobble and knock around. One problem with those upper mounts, particularly on the front, is you can't tell they're worn until the strut is disassembled for replacement. Then we have to find the customer and tell them they need more parts than first expected.

For a horrible rattle, I'd be looking at anti-sway bar links, rubber control arm bushings, loose exhaust pipe hangars, ... Things like that. Struts and upper mounts don't make that much noise when they're worn. If you can post multiple pictures of the rear suspension on one side of the car, I can copy it and add arrows to show which parts to inspect.
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Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 AT 4:57 AM
Tiny
KALEYY
  • MEMBER
I finally got an appointment to get it fixed this morning. Thank youso much for your help!
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Friday, February 24th, 2012 AT 1:49 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Holler back with what they find.
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Friday, February 24th, 2012 AT 11:17 PM
Tiny
KALEYY
  • MEMBER
It was the rear struts: They said that there's a common defect in Sebrings, Stratuses, and a few other small cars from around '04 where they made the strut mount out of aluminum instead of steel, which made it break extremely easily. They told me they've seen it countless times, but they've changed the part now so it's made of steel. No more breaking! So, high hopes that my car is okay now, for awhile! Again, thank you so much for your help. :)
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Sunday, February 26th, 2012 AT 4:17 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Gonna add that to my memory banks. I was the suspension and alignment specialist at a very nice family-owned Chrysler dealership for 9 years but I left in '99. Up to that point I don't think I replaced any rear struts or mounts.

Chrysler started making a lot of parts out of aluminum to save weight in 1980. I still have two Volares' with aluminum master cylinders. Most of those parts just cost more to make but aren't in high-stress areas. After a few years they figure out they need to beef up parts like upper strut mounts, but that doesn't do you much good.

Happy to hear it's solved.
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Sunday, February 26th, 2012 AT 4:41 AM
Tiny
KALEYY
  • MEMBER
Thank you very much :) Yes, definitely a good thing to keep in mind. Haha. Yeah, sometimes, it's best to stop trying to save weight and continue just making the cars work well and for a long time.

Thank you, I am as well!
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Monday, February 27th, 2012 AT 2:21 AM

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