2013 Ford Taurus Loose rattle front end

Tiny
REPAIRNAUVICE
  • MEMBER
  • 2013 FORD TAURUS
  • 3.5L
  • V6
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 36,000 MILES
This has been tough to diagnose. At first I thought the tie rod ends. But it isn't a constant problem. Let me know what you think. If I drive long distance at high speed ( hwy or freeway) she is fine. No rattle. Tight steering. But when I pull off the freeway for fuel for example, it's loose steering and the front axle sounds loose and clunky and rattles over small bumps in a parking lot. If I drive in town at speeds lower than 50, it doesn't do it even when I slow to 15, it is fine. It is only after driving 65Mph+ for 30 mins or more. And then rattles only at slow speeds. The rattle and loose feeling is significant and embarrassing. I have 1 week left of my 90 day lemon law warranty and I don't want the dealership to get away with this. I reported it last week. They sent it in for pwr steering recall repair but did not address my concern w the rattle. Now it still does this and they are scheduling me for next week to look at it again. Kinda pissed but not afraid of court. I've had a dealer try this before. Pushing me out till it's not their problem anymore. I won that case. I'll win again but I'm more concerned with diagnosing the problem. Any ideas?
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Sunday, August 16th, 2015 AT 12:54 PM

13 Replies

Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
That is a good one. Check the wheel/hub bearings. I doubt it, but it's something to check. Wiggle and rattle suspension components to make sure they're tight. Check the rack mounts. Once it starts, does it go away after a time or does it stay? Check the exhaust components, especially heat shields, too.
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Sunday, August 16th, 2015 AT 3:05 PM
Tiny
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It goes away after sitting for a while (cooling off) It never starts out loose and rattely. Only after running at high speed for a while. Should mention I have wheels off a 2010. They had to install the correct pressure sensors in them. Could wheel size cause this?
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Sunday, August 16th, 2015 AT 3:14 PM
Tiny
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  • MEMBER
Not an intermittent condition like this, no. Take a look at the struts up front. See if they're leaking.

Has it ever happened after driving around town for a long time, starting and stopping, getting engine and trans temp up?
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Sunday, August 16th, 2015 AT 5:01 PM
Tiny
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No. But then I don't do a lot of in town driving. Usually just 8-10 miles per trip. I'll check the struts. Is it odd that it only happens when everything is warm?
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Sunday, August 16th, 2015 AT 5:06 PM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
Yes, quite odd. Heat causes things to expand, so one would think that anything loose would tighten up. The fact that it doesn't sound like you're describing an issue that is constant after freeway driving is even odder to me. The one thing I remember from the Fords I've owned is that they had issues with the heatshields on the muffler and catalytic converter that would cause a rattling almost buzzing sound when bumps or road irregularities were hit.
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Sunday, August 16th, 2015 AT 7:01 PM
Tiny
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The play in the steering is always there. And you hear a clunk if you turn the wheel while stationary.
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Sunday, August 16th, 2015 AT 7:43 PM
Tiny
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  • MEMBER
Have someone turn the wheel back and forth while you eyeball the steering rack. That sounds like the rack mount bushings are either loose or worn.
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Sunday, August 16th, 2015 AT 8:10 PM
Tiny
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Thank you for your help!
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Sunday, August 16th, 2015 AT 8:12 PM
Tiny
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No problem. Thank you for choosing 2CarPros.
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Monday, August 17th, 2015 AT 5:38 AM
Tiny
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Update. The dealership is saying rack and pinion. Your thoughts?
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Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 AT 10:04 AM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
Makes sense. Loose feeling steering. Only happens when it's hot-ps fluid loses viscosity when hot. Clunking when turning the wheel.
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Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 AT 10:45 AM
Tiny
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Thanks. Helped going in with some knowledge. They aren't as likely to pull some bs with a woman that sounds like she knows a little something. Appreciate your help!
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Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 AT 1:23 PM
Tiny
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Always a pleasure. Thanks for choosing 2CarPros.
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Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 AT 2:01 PM

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