Vehicle Trouble...

Help Support ArboristSite:

TNTreeHugger

TNTreeHugger

Looking for the Light in the Darkness
Joined
May 17, 2016
Messages
10,397
Location
Everywhere.
I was going to put this in "Reader's Rides" but not much action going on over there...

I know there are a lot of great mechanics on the site.... hoping someone can advise me what's wrong with my car.
I took it to the shop last week and he put it on the rack and finally said the "thinks it may be the wheel bearing."
Said it wasn't anything critical and I could continue to drive it.

Well, the noise seems to be worse this week than it was last week.
I just did a quick google search on YT for wheel bearing and it definitely does not sound like this

Mine sounds like old bed springs. rear passenger side.
I first noticed it driving slow through a parking lot, kind of a rickety, metal spring kind of noise, don't hear it at all driving down the road. Also does it backing up.
It is definitely right rear.
Before he put it on the rack, he stood on the back bumper and bounced it and it did make the noise.

Any thoughts on what this could be??
I was thinking something to do with the suspension, or exhaust, but he said no.

Oh, it's a 2003 Saturn LW300.

Thanks.:popcorn2:
 
trains
Joined
Feb 23, 2015
Messages
1,319
Location
Australia
Hmm, very difficult to diagnose online, but you have a rear strut with spring, and lower control arm with 2 bushes and 1 ball joint.

I quickly googled the rear suspention diagram of your vehicle.

from what you describe, it could be anything from the spring pad (bit above the rear spring in between the top spring housing), to the lower control arm bushes squeaking, roll bar bushes, or dry ball joints. etc.

If the rear bearing has started to fail, and move considerably, it could put the rear hub out of alignment and cause a squeal too, again, very difficult to diagnose without seeing it, but I would expect you to be complaining of more issues if it was that, which your not.

Can you spray some lanotec, or wd40 over the lower control arm bushes, and see if that changes it, do one part at a time, drive and test, or bounce if that reliably causes the noise, and work your way from the bottom up if that makes sence.
 
TNTreeHugger

TNTreeHugger

Looking for the Light in the Darkness
Joined
May 17, 2016
Messages
10,397
Location
Everywhere.
Get a can of WD40 and spray one rubber bushing at a time and then get up, bounce on the bumper and see if that stops the squeak. Doing one at a time will allow you to find out exactly which one it is. If it's none then those are eliminated.

They still make parts for that plastic car??
Hey! I'll have you know this car looks like it did brand new 18 years ago!
That's the worst thing about this car - it looks so good on the outside, I can't let it go.
That's one good thing about it... and the new speakers I had installed.. but can't hear because the car is so noisy... can't drive down the road with the windows down because the acoustics are so bad, your ear drums will explode... and the a/c died last fall. :nofunny:... but, good gas mileage. :)
saturn.jpg
Where are the rubber bushings?
 
TNTreeHugger

TNTreeHugger

Looking for the Light in the Darkness
Joined
May 17, 2016
Messages
10,397
Location
Everywhere.
Hmm, very difficult to diagnose online, but you have a rear strut with spring, and lower control arm with 2 bushes and 1 ball joint.

I quickly googled the rear suspention diagram of your vehicle.

from what you describe, it could be anything from the spring pad (bit above the rear spring in between the top spring housing), to the lower control arm bushes squeaking, roll bar bushes, or dry ball joints. etc.

If the rear bearing has started to fail, and move considerably, it could put the rear hub out of alignment and cause a squeal too, again, very difficult to diagnose without seeing it, but I would expect you to be complaining of more issues if it was that, which your not.

Can you spray some lanotec, or wd40 over the lower control arm bushes, and see if that changes it, do one part at a time, drive and test, or bounce if that reliably causes the noise, and work your way from the bottom up if that makes sence.
Thank you!
I'll see if I can record the sound and post it. I'll try to get a picture up under there, too. I can't jack it up and it sits pretty low to the ground.
It's definitely a loud clunking sound, no whining or squeaking. Only hear it when going slow.
 
trains
Joined
Feb 23, 2015
Messages
1,319
Location
Australia
when you said it sounded like old bed springs, I thought you were describing a squeak.
wow, lots of replies, nobody had replied when I was writing my response.

So its more of a clunk ? and not a squeak
could be worn strut/ shock assy, top or lower mount of shock, or lower control arms, or worn sway bar bushes.

Google testing control arm bushes, and get someone to help you move them with a larger pry bar when your looking etc.
Again, safety first, dont put your head under an unsupported vehicle etc if you remove the wheel, put it under the chassis, so if the jack/ and jack stand fail, it lands on the wheel, not you.

my money is on either lower control arm bushes, or sway bar bushes worn, or shock mounts etc
does the car move about when you drive over bumps, ie the rear suspention track is changing causing the car to loose directional stability ?

you will learn the most by checking those components for wear and movement.
 
lone wolf
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
61,113
Location
Prowling The Pine Barrens
Rear bushings? Maybe my mechanic said "bushings" and not bearings? IDk, don't think so.

"When you hit bumps, it thumps and bangs and clunks." That's what it sounds like to me. :yes:
Sounds about right from what you say, bushing maybe, hard to say from here. A good shop should be able to tell easily.
 
TNTreeHugger

TNTreeHugger

Looking for the Light in the Darkness
Joined
May 17, 2016
Messages
10,397
Location
Everywhere.
when you said it sounded like old bed springs, I thought you were describing a squeak.
wow, lots of replies, nobody had replied when I was writing my response.

So its more of a clunk ? and not a squeak
could be worn strut/ shock assy, top or lower mount of shock, or lower control arms, or worn sway bar bushes.

Google testing control arm bushes, and get someone to help you move them with a larger pry bar when your looking etc.
Again, safety first, dont put your head under an unsupported vehicle etc if you remove the wheel, put it under the chassis, so if the jack/ and jack stand fail, it lands on the wheel, not you.

my money is on either lower control arm bushes, or sway bar bushes worn, or shock mounts etc
does the car move about when you drive over bumps, ie the rear suspention track is changing causing the car to loose directional stability ?

you will learn the most by checking those components for wear and movement.
Thanks for the safety tips.
It drives and handles perfectly.
 

tfp

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Sep 29, 2019
Messages
102
Location
Australia
My Ute (“truck”) did a wheel bearing recently. Total collapse that left the brake disk jammed in the calliper. I was trying to diagnose it the whole time before it failed. Sounded like a piece of wire was wrapped around the driveshaft and was hitting the tray in the rear. Only happened for 20 seconds 10 minutes after starting a trip, then went away. It ended up being a wheel bearing in the front. I tried what is suggested here - lubricating various suspension bushings and parts, even jacked it up and tried wiggling wheels to check for movement in bearings. I only tried the wheels in the rear as that’s where I thought the sound was coming from. I’ve caught a few bad bearings before this and got them before failure. Live and learn.
Spray wd40 on the parts where it looks like a bolt is going in through a rubber part. I can see several in your pics. Make sure none gets on brake components.
 
Top