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Old 09-13-2012, 11:13 PM   #1
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HELP - Front drivers side wheel noise

Hi Guys and Girls,

In the past week my car has developed a knock, and noise from the front drivers side wheel. I am after some help diagnosing what the problem may be as it is heading into the mechanics on Monday to be looked over, however if I can point the mechanic in the right direction I figure that is only going to save time and money (which is obviously a good thing).

The car:

2003 Focus 2.0 Zetec engine, mtx75 with 105,000 kms

The noise:

When I first start the car up and start driving you can hardly hear any noise, however once I have been driving for 5 minutes or so, that is when the noise becomes more prominent. When I am driving between 60 - 80 km an hour it sounds like the usual barrelling/ticking sound that you would get if your wheel was out of balance, then when I am driving at low speeds, between 5-20 km an hour it sounds like a metal scrapping noise. The other thing to note is this noise only exists when I am rolling. If I apply the brakes even slightly, or accelerate the noise disappears altogether. Also when I first accelerate, even lightly, I hear a knock from the front drivers side area, and then again when I apply the brakes. The knock is not particularly loud, and I have only recently changed my engine mounts so I don't believe they would be the cause of the knock. It is probably also worth mentioning that both the knock and noise from the wheel area became prominant at the same time.

At first I thought it may have been a wheel bearing however I have jacked the car up and there is no play in the wheel when doing the 12 and 6 test. However there is about 1/2 inch of play when I do the 9 and 3 test. The wheel only has play at the 9 oclock position (Because I am in AUS and have a RHD car, the play at 9 oclock position is on the side of the wheel where the tie rod connects to the knuckle). This suggests to me that possible the inner/outer tie rods could be the culprit? The only other threads I have been able to find have suggested that it may be the inner cv carrier bearing (unsure if this is the correct name for the part)?

If anyone could offer their thoughts on what part may have failed or further things I should look at to diagnose the cause of this issue I would greatly appreciate any help and advice.



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Old 09-15-2012, 10:33 AM   #2
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From your diagnostics to date, the guess at tie rod issues seems reasonable.

Confirm that & fix it first B4 looking further for any other possible problems - since that is prob. the cause of your symptoms....

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