A clunking, rattling, or squeaking noise from your front end while driving can be annoying and unnerving. Oftentimes, this noisy symptom means there is a problem with your vehicle’s suspension system. These sounds typically occur when driving over uneven surfaces, bumps, or potholes. Here are some of the potential causes for the clunking noises you hear while driving.
Loose Control Arms
Control arms connect the frame of the vehicle to the wheel hub assembly or steering knuckle. They move up and down with a spring when your car hits a bump or road irregularity. Control arms are part of the suspension system. They allow the tires to maintain full contact with the road at all times. One of the earliest signs of a loose or damaged control arm is hearing a clunking or popping sound when you drive over uneven roads. This sound can also be heard when you speed up or slow down while driving.
Worn Ball Joints
Ball joints are one of the main suspension pivot points in the suspension system. They connect the control arms of your vehicle to the steering knuckles or spindles. The front ball joints allow the front wheels and suspension to move over uneven road surfaces. Worn ball joints can cause a clunking noise as the suspension travels up and down over the road. The ball joint can also make a squeaking noise if the rubber boot that protects the grease inside the ball joint becomes damaged.
Worn Out Shocks or Struts
Shocks and struts help to stabilize your car’s movements, especially when you brake, turn, or encounter uneven road surfaces. A shock is an independent component. A strut combines the shock along with other features within a single unit. They both help to keep your tires in contact with the pavement. Shocks and struts keep your vehicle from bouncing down the road and are cushioned by rubber bushings. Over time the bushings will wear out and can cause a banging or rattling noise as you drive over bumps or uneven road conditions.
Loose Sway Bar Links
Sway bars keep your car stabilized. The sway bar or anti-roll bar is vital in keeping your vehicle controllable. This suspension component is made from steel or iron rods. Sway bars contain bushings or links that can deteriorate over time. You may begin to notice clunking or a rattling noise when driving over bumps. In some cases, a squeaking sound can be heard when driving on uneven roads or flat stretches of highway.
These are just some of the potential causes of clunking noises you may hear while driving. Do you think you have a suspension system issue? Call us or schedule an appointment today! One of our experienced auto technicians can inspect your vehicle’s suspension.
We also offer Digital Vehicle Inspection Reports that we can text or email to you. Photos are included in the DVI Report, so you can see what we see before your vehicle gets fixed. Lou’s Car Care has been serving Baldwinsville, NY, and the surrounding communities since 1976.
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