I own a 96 Dodge Stratus. I bought it brand new back in mid 1996. It has never given me any problems except for the head seal leaking oil. I had that fixed by the dealer on a recall. About 1 year ago I noticed a clanking/popping/knocking sound coming from my front suspension. I looked up for other recalls and noticed that it had lower ball joint with control arm recalls. I took it to the dealer (after 10 years mind you) and they fixed it without any questions. They also told me that the outer tie rods were bad. I had one of their mechanics show me to be sure. They were bad so I paid the dealer 200 bucks after labor and tax to have them replaced. I picked it up 3 days later. I thought that would fix the problem, but it didn't. I drove it home and still heard sounds. I had a lot of people tell me the struts may be bad. I replaced those. Still the noise persisted. I noted that the stabalizer bar links were both bad. I replaced both of those as well. Still the noise persisted. I took the tires off and inspected the brakes to make sure one of the pads wasn't loose. I looked to make sure the battery wasn't flying around in its compartment. I jacked it up and tightened everything I could on the front end. I inspected all bushings and joints. I had all those replaced. Everything is tight and looks good. I didn't replace the upper ball joints or the coil springs. When I changed the struts I very thouroughly inspected the upper ball joints. Everything was good. No borken rubber joints, no play, no worn rubber. They looked good. I am at a dead end. I can't get rid of the rattling sound. The sound is most noticeable when the wheel is bouncing up and down very quicly. Like when you are driving on a gravel road, or when you are driving down an old road with lots of cracks that makes the wheel bounce just a little bit but very quickly. I need help. What else can make it rattle. I know it's coming from the suspension. That is obvious. I have had mechanics look at it. No one can seem to figure it out.
Thursday, August 17th, 2006 AT 9:12 PM