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Ross, Diagnostic and repair technician
Category: UK Car
Satisfied Customers: 1180
Experience:  Licensed diagnostic and repair technician
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I have a 08 Ford FiestaStyle. It has developed a loud

Customer Question

I have a 08 Ford FiestaStyle. It has developed a loud rattle/ clunking noise on the front passenger side in the wheel area when going over uneven surfaces & speed humps . Most noticeable at low speeds. Have had the anti roll bar changed but no improvement. The mechanic found it was doing the same when reversing.
Could you tell me the solution to this problem ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Car
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have been told this a common problem with ford fiestas but no one seems to come up with a solution.
I am concerned about finding I have to pay for help on this site - I thought this was an official Fords website !
Expert:  Eric Gardner replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thanks for using Just Answer.

This is a common issue with the Fords. I read that the anti roll bar was replaced, but were the anti roll bar links replaced at the same time?

The anti roll bar links connect the anti roll bar to the suspension. When these become worn they will make the same noise you are describing. These are about 15 US dollars per link. There are 2 links, one on the right and one on the left.

I hope this helps and if you need any more help, please let me know.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your suggestion. I will ask my mechanic if the links were replaced & will get back to you. Obviously if they have been changed I shall need more advice . I hope I can leave rating you until Iater .
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have spoken to my mechanic & he says the anti roll bar links have been changed & the noise is still there. So what now ? Any ideas ?
Expert:  Eric Gardner replied 1 year ago.

So, the next thing I would check would be the strut mounts.

This allows the strut to pivot and move with the unevenness in the road.

If the bearings go bad or if the bushing inside goes bad, there will be a rattling noise heard in the wheel area, when going over bumps, especially at slow speeds.

Generally, you can open the bonnet or hood and bounce the car up and down and you will be able to hear the noise at the top of the strut.

Let me know if this helps?

See the attached picture.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the strut mount idea. These have already been checked & found to be ok.
I will try to list things mechanic has done/ checked . I know nothing about car terminology so may repeat some things.
Coil springs, suspension mounts, wishbone bushes, upper strut mounts & all related hardware. All elements of suspension checked. Brakes stripped , checked , pads ok . Exhaust inspected, all fine. Wheel removed & checked. Gears, clutch checked all fine . Steering checked , again ok.
All MOT elements passed. Car declared in A1 condition.
My highly experienced mechanic is puzzled as to what to try next. He has checked all the usual things & is reluctant to keep changing parts just on the off chance . Could get v expensive !Drive shaft replaced to see if that would solve problem. Noise still there - low speed forwards over slightly uneven surfaces. Mechanic also says noise occurs when reversing.Have you any further ideas ?
Expert:  Eric Gardner replied 1 year ago.

Wow, looks like the front end has been fully rebuilt. Sorry you have spent so much money trying to hunt down this noise.

The only other thing I can think of would be engine mounts. The rubber isolator in the mount may be gone and this would cause a rattling noise as well, in both reverse and driving forward.

Let me know if he has checked the motor mounts. If he has and has found them to be working correctly, then I may have to opt out of this question and see if we can get someone else to respond. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the engine mount has been checked. I think this going to remain an unsolved mystery.
Thanks for your thoughts.
Expert:  Eric Gardner replied 1 year ago.

Well, I am plumb out of Ideas. Let me open this up to other to try and help you.

Expert:  Ross replied 1 year ago.

Hi my name is***** am a diagnostic technician and will try my best to help get to the bottom of this noise.

First I will try to get a better idea of the noise. Is this a heavy clunk that you feel through the car? And does it also happen on uneven roads or mostly just noticeable over speed bumps?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Occasionally a heavyish clunk dropping off speed hump , doesn't always do it though. Sound seems to come front left side of car. Over uneven surfaces it is more like a rapid reverberating rattle again mainly from front left . Also seems to happen at low speeds. My mechanic says it is also rattling in reverse over rough surfaces.
Expert:  Ross replied 1 year ago.

Sorry for the delay, There is one more thing that I see on these that i would almost class as a "common issue" although not as common as drop link etc... The shock absorbers have a tendency to wear out which causes this noise, it is not something that can usually be seen visually, the best way to check them is to remove the strut, remove the spring and check for lateral movement in the ram. it only takes a small amount to cause a rattle/clunk like you describe so I would certainly make these the next think to check. Due to the relatively low cost of a pair of shocks I would be inclined to replace them while they are out as there is a fair bot of labor involved to remove and check, and not more would be required to replace them.

At this point, i would also be inclined to replace the strut top mounts, you say the mechanic has checked them as well as the struts but its highly unlikely he has done more than a visual check which wont necessarily show up movement in the inner mount of the strut top (if its broken) And certainly wont show movement in the shock absorber rams.

Ultimately your mechanic is checking for visual problems, sometimes things don't show up a visual problem until it is dismantled and inspected, from my experience these are usually very simple problems, just very hard to find so many mechanics begin to throw parts at the car in the hope that it will fix it based on most common problems.