Toyota Corolla 1997 50000km Hong Kong
Back to 2 months ago, I started to hear uncomfortable clunky noise from the rear left when the rear wheels go over speed-ramps in carpark, when climbing up a slighty bumpy slope, when driving in the town in speed < 30km/hr. The noise is best described as the noise of the walking horse-shoes. It is not very lound but as the driver, you would be able to tell that there must be something gone abnormal. I checked my trunk and made sure there was no items (scisscors jack and spare tyre, etc) in an insecue position.
Going over speed ramp, the noise is produced in two instants. One when the rear wheels go up the speed-ramp and the other when it runs down the ramp and hit onto the trailing edge of the ramp.
The noise is more pronounced when it is loaded..E. When there are passengers in the rear seats, e.G. Two adults and two kids < 4 yr-old.
I checked out the rear suspension by giving hard pushes on the rear part of the body, no spring-like bouncing and the damping was good. I talked to several mechanics about the symptoms, all of them advised me the shock absorber / strut assembly should have gone to the end of its life. Okay, I took it to the garage and have both the rear strut assembly replaced.
However, the problem did not go away with the struts replacement. I took my car again to the garage but the mechanic said there was not anything wrong with the suspension (the bushings and the suspension mount) and he asked me to put up with the noise as after all it is not a new car or I would need to replace all the suspension components (the bushing does not come alone but must be bought with the suspension rods and suspension arms and there is no OEM parts available. Geniue parts would cost me a lot to get rid of the noise.
I did a check myself, I took out the rear sway bar and the associated end-links, in an attempt to isolate the source of the noise, whether the noise comes from the end-links (due to deteriorated ball-joints), or the sway bar or the assoicated bushings, and further to isolate the noise if it comes from the left suspension or from the right. Up to the moment, I managed to isolate the problem and confirmed that the noise comes from the left suspension.
From there, what I managed to do was to tighten up the 4 bolts of suspension crossmember to the chassis and apply lubricant to the 12 bushings (left and right, more precisely - the gap between the busings and the pole of the bolt body but not the nut/thread end of the bolt as to avoid it comes loose one day when the car in motion). However, what I did does not help stoping the noise at all.
Now I am thinking of replacing the left struct mount since it was not replaced when the strut assembly was replaced and I am now looking for the spring compressor.
I checked with the dealer, strut mount failure is not a common fault and they do not keep stock for the struct mount parts => I start to question myself if I am in the right track, and I am not too sure if the intended move would be the ultimate fix to the problem. But, on the other side, since there are only 4 joints for which the entire wheel rolling set is privoted to the chassis.
Except the strut mount, which moves vertically, the others (the suspension rods parallel to the length of the car body, the #1 and #2 suspension arms parallel to the axle of the wheels) are just on a plane perpendicular to the vertical motion when the wheels go over a bump. And becasue the other 3 joints rotate about the privoting bolts (circular movement), while the strut moves in a vertical way with a greater range of displacement/movement. I intend to convince myself and go for the strut mount replacement.
Yet, on the other side, may be the noise comes from some lossen bolts I just did not aware of.
Seeing so, I would like to have the guru's advice on my situation and please could anyone out there enlighten me a little bit more on fixing out the noise problem with my car. It is even so annoying to drive along with the unpleasant noise.
Thank you very much to your words.
Thursday, December 21st, 2006 AT 2:35 AM