99Toyota corolla front end rattle

I have a grinding or rattle noise in the front right of my corolla. It only happens after the car is warmed up from a few miles of driving, then the noise can be triggered even when stopped. That rules out suspension, brakes, cv joints, wheels, clutch (replaced last week). Everything I can see and grab hold of on the front end is well attached. Noise occurs between low to middle RPMs in any gear or neutral.

What it doesn’t rule out about the brakes is a loose/broken splash shield for the rotors (if so equipped), so if you ignored the brakes in the “everything you can see and grab hold of” look again. Everything you can see and grab hold of with the car on the ground? On ramps? On a lift? Its time to get it up in the air. Check the heat shields on the exhaust system.

Thanks for the response. The car has been on the ground and on ramps when I have investigated. All rotor shields, splash guards, exhaust heat shields are solid. My Haynes manual gave me one hint, Input shaft bearing. The noise could be internal, but if it is an internal bearing why would it only make noise when warm and limited to lower rpms? just an idea. I’m going to bounce ideas off of our fleet mechanics at work. Thanks again!

Mystery solved; I was amazed to hear from my mechanic that he found a kidney bean sized piece of wood between a heat shield and the rack and pinion unit. It seriously sounded like a part of the car was trying to leave on its own terms! The noise has stopped, I’m glad but still feel kinda dumb.

No not dumb. The mechanic just had more experience and maybe a little luck.

There are a lot of dumb things you could have done and you did none of them.

I once had a floor jack where the clip ring broke and the top plate slipped and went flying. I looked all over for it but could not find it. Next time I drove it, there was a rattle. It kept up for a few months, and then one day when I was going around a corner, it flew out from the under carriage and rolled down a hill. I have not idea where it had been, but when I stopped to look for it on the hillside, I still could not find it. so dont feel bad, it could happen to anyone.

And the mechanic had a lift. You can see SO much more with the car on a lift!