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tomsmeets 10-11-2006 04:16 AM

Help! loud crunching noises coming from front suspension
Hi everyone,

Hope someone can help me with the following problem regarding my 2002 Ford Focus TDCI (115bhp):

Iíve been hearing a loud grinding/creaking/crunching noise in the left front suspension. Noise occurs whenever I throttle back completely without disengaging the clutch, and it does so when driving at speeds below 60km/h (+-38mph). When I disengage the clutch, the noise disappears. However... when riding on poor roads, the noise also occurs when disengaging the clutch. Even does so when I shut down the engine completetly and put it in neutral and release clutch pedal. By the way, this noise also occurs when going over speed bumps.

To me this seems to indicate itís a suspension problem, and not a flywheel/clutch problem (both flywheel and clutch were replaced less than a year ago because of a shattered dual mass flywheel, another one of the frequent Focus TDCI problems; I think the focus Ė or at least mine- has poor reliability!) or a problem with the gearbox. Also the noise doesnít get worse when cornering at low speed, probably indicating it is not a matter of faulty cardan shaft/joint, right???

Took it to the local dealer couple of weeks ago when the noise first started, and they said maybe it was the stabilizer. But as the mechanic found no indication of looseness, he told me to continue driving until things got worse. Things definitely got worse, but still no looseness in the stabilizer.

Anyone experiencing the same problems? If so, has someone got an idea on what might cause the noise?



oxide 10-11-2006 10:24 AM

I had the same problem with the sounds coming in the rear, but had nothing to do with the clutch. They told me it was the rear stabiliser aswell and replaced it, but it's still there.

Although the sound isn't as bad as you seem to describe it.

See thread: Focus with broken stuff

viney266 10-11-2006 03:34 PM

For starters , get some white lithium grease and try lubing all you pivot points on your suspension. See if that takes care of it. They make an aerosol version that is easy to use, spray it in and wipe off the excess.

Slo_Focus 10-11-2006 04:58 PM

this happened to me...exactly from what ur descirbing... it's the dampers... belgium (not sure) is a cold place... after the shocks have been worn a lot, the seals can wear down... well being cole u get condensation on ur shocks... when that condensation is passed into the gas chamber, it makes a dreaking sound... not 100% sure, but thats what everyone told me...

tomsmeets 10-12-2006 01:54 AM

Thanks everyone for your helpful replies.

As it turns out I went to another dealer yesterday, and they took a quick look at the cardan joint and the stabilizer end link. To no avail, they seemed fine to them. To put it in the mechanics words "I can't see anything wrong with it, but having heard the noise it makes while driving , I can only imagine it has something to do with the shocks".

So, as I'm willing to give anything a shot right now, I think I'm gonna take out the shock and have a look at it. Then spray some lubes on it, and see what happens.

Probably will do so in the next couple of days. Will keep you guys posted on what happens. Thanks!


Slo_Focus 10-12-2006 03:15 AM

aight no prob... would like to hear how it turns out... my old focus is long gone but idk if this one will do the same...

tomsmeets 12-06-2006 07:23 AM

the crunching sounds are still with me...

sorry it has taken me this long to post a reply (that's what a close relative with serious health problems will do to you...). Just to give you an update:

I first of all greased all joints/pivot points, but to no avail.

Then I inspected the shock absorbers, and indeed the left shock was slightly bended. I was happy to finally have found the problem, and I changed the shocks last week. But.... the noise is still there. Have taken it to four different dealers, and no one has a clue what might be causing it.

I'm starting to really hate this focus: same day I replaced the front shocks, the waterpump went... since I didn't have any time left, I went to the dealer which cost me another 450euro (about 600 US dollars; including the distribution belt (not sure about he English word...))...

The dealer told me to look on the bright side: nearly all parts have been replaced, so I'm practically driving a new car now. Not very reassuring though...

If (notice the use of if, not when!) I ever find out what is causing the problem, I'll be sure to let you know...

thanks anyway for helping me out!


EnixIV 12-10-2006 12:21 AM

The distribution belt is probably the the accesory belt(runs a/c water pump/alternator)

tomsmeets 12-11-2006 03:36 AM

actually, I meant the belt related to the camshaft. But the accesory belt ([burnout] ) has also been changed...

tomsmeets 12-29-2006 01:54 AM

Latest update:

Yesterday I discovered that the left front braking disc is sligthly smaller (in diameter) than what is is supposed to be. It's about 240mm instead of the regular 258mm which are on all european focus models. It seems to be a disc from a Ford Ka, which is 240 mm but other than the diameter is pretty identical to the disc of a focus.

This caused an uneven wearing of the break pads, with the top edges of the pads being virtually new as they slide over the disc.

Thus, I polished the pads to make sure this wasn't causing the noise I'm still experiencing. Again, this operation was unsuccessful. I'm kinda running out of option here...

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