Q: Very Loud Knocking noise from left rear wheel when turning left and braking

asked by on July 25, 2016

I have a 1999 Ford Explorer, I am almost positive that it is all wheel drive (I know it has 4-by capabilities but there is no control to turn on 4 wheel drive). About 8 months ago it started to make a quiet knocking noise from what sounds like the rear left wheel, but only when I was turning left sharply and at moderate speed. As time has gone on, the knocking has gotten much louder and more frequent. Now it does it anytime I turn left (sharp turns and wide turns) and it has started to do it when I'm braking too. If I'm going very slow, it won't make the noise but anytime I'm doing more than 20mph or so, it will knock. We had a mechanic look at it and they said they think it is transfer case going out, but he was unable to explain why he thought that and it seems wrong to me because it doesn't make the noise all the time or when I'm turning right. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you.

My car has 346000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The problem could be in the transfer case unit, but the device is mounted closer to the driver than the rear wheel so the noises or vibrations are generally a little more obvious. Especially during sharp turns the transfer case and rear end assemblies are working pretty hard with the wheels turning at different rates. I suggest hiring one of our mobile experts to diagnose the noise you’re hearing. Wheel bearings and worn out suspension components like sway bar links cause similar noises.

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