Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Anyone know what some suspension-related "rattling" at lower speeds could mean?

asked by on

When driving at lower speeds, there's some subtle rattling when driving over some bumpy roads. The sound isn't detectable at higher speeds. If I had to guess, it's occurring in the front.

My car has 55655 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Just to be certain, I would ensure your spa...

Just to be certain, I would ensure your spare tire is tight. Weird rattles transfer throughout the car. If the spare tire is not loose, I would look towards the front suspension.

With the hood open and secured, I would bounce the vehicle by putting a knee on the bumper and have an assistant listen inside to duplicate the noise. Then the front wheels need to be raised off the ground and a firm shake vertically and horizontally may result in movement which would be an indication of a problem. There shouldn't be movement in the front suspension with the steering wheel locked.

Inspect the sway/stabilizer bar links by grabbing the sway bar firmly with your hands and applying horizontal and vertical force. Any movement in the sway bar would cause a noise meaning the sway bar links should be replaced. The sway bar runs across the vehicle from driver to passenger and is mounted in 4 points.

The lower control arm bushings could be worn. The lower control arm mounts the lower side of the wheel to the frame. It is connected by two rubber type bushing which could crack and cause the arm to shift. Check all four bushings for wear and cracking.

Visually inspect the strut assemblies for leaks around the shiny shaft in the spring housings. Leaks would indicate you have worn struts and require replacement.

Finally, the strut mounts under the hood should be inspected for any signs of cracking of wear.

The most common cause would be the sway bar links or struts. If you want to have this diagnosed, consider YourMechanic. They can come to your home or office to inspect the noise and determine the cause of the sound.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Installing an external horn because the original horn is not working

Hello. There are several types of aftermarket horns that you can purchase and install. There are a few aspects you will want to consider before you look to purchase one. Different styles of horns are designed to have toggles switches,...

Q: Oil burning, window, and alignment issues

Hi there. Oil consumption can vary and is vehicle specific. If you're having to add a quart of oil every week, this means that there is an oil leak or abnormal oil consumption. The wire in the vehicle's door panel...

Q: Car won't move forward

Usually, if the car will not go forward it mean the transmission is shot. This depends on if it is an automatic or manual transmission. I'm just assuming that it is an automatic and there is something wrong with the...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...