Front end sound

As of late I am hearing a sound coming from the front end of my 2003 impala. It doesn’t occur all the time but sounds the same each time. The sound has the sound of what a bolt that is loose hitting against a piece of steel. At first I only heard it when I excelerate from a stop. It was a quick sound and didn’t always happen. Then yesterday I drove over a pair of rough train tracks and now itore often. However it continues to be a sound that does mot happen all the time.

Clearly you have something wearing out. Perhaps a bushing, perhaps an engine mount, maybe something more serious. But I can’t see it from here. You’ll have to stop by a reputable mechanic’s shop and let him take a look-see.

+1 to mountainbike’s comment.
And, to expand on his comment, the “something more serious” could include a ball joint or a tie rod end.

Bushings and engine mounts don’t usually require immediate attention, but worn-out or damaged ball joints and tie rod ends are a very serious safety issue, thus the need for a qualified mechanic to put the car up on a lift and check the front end a.s.a.p.

If it happens over washboard surfaces, it could be the upper strut bearing. As the others said, it’s best to have it checked out.

Took a 170 mile drive on it today and at no time could I find any repeating reason when I heard the sound. I could do certain things and never hear it. While drive at any set speed I didn’t hear it…while driving I could weave with not hearing it. If I hit a bump or something I would not hear it. However one time while sitting it a light I turned the wheel to the right and each time I hear it. Yet it I turned it to the left there was no sound. If I rotated the wheel slowly no sound only when I jerked it quickly to the right.

While braking slowly or having to stop quickly nothing… But on occasion reexcelerating I would it hear it. It’s a quick sound and doesn’t sound like grinding.

My plan is to get it in on Tuesday and see if they can find something…

I have had ball joints and bearings go out in other cars and this sound is nothing like those.

What are bushing? Motor mounts?

To reiterate what many have already said, ball joints are nothing to goof with. If allowed to go and get worse, you might have a tire fly off as you’re doing 55mph on an interstate. From the sound you’re describing, it reminds me of that metal “popping” sound I heard when I had a bad ball joint. It was a hard sound to replicate unless I was making sharp turns.

Bushings are donut/cylinder shaped things. They help reduce vibrations, among other things.

Whatever it is, it might be something minor or it could be something serious. Only time will tell. I’d prefer you not roll the dice on this one.

Besides, most good shops (except some dealerships) will diagnose and advise for free on stuff like this. If you take it in and find out what the score is, at least you’ll have that much more knowledge.

On the hall joint I had to replace on my privous car when you were turning you would hear the noise continuesly and would sound different if you excelerate or slowed down but was a continuous sound throughout the turn. This isn’t like that it is like “bonk” and that is it and can happen going straight and a few times on a turn.

It could very well be a spring hitting coil-to-coil or to the spring seat. Caused by several things; degraded rubber spring isolators, sagging or broken spring (just the last little pig-tail), a failing steer bearing or sagging strut mount. Or it could be any of the things the posters have listed above. Have it checked to make sure it isn’t one of the more serious things.

I am leaning towards tie rod. Two reasons why. While sitting at a stop light one time I swiftly turned the wheel to the right and as soon as I turned it I heard the sound. Now I didn’t hear it when did it to the left but figure with the car not moving and as soon as I moved the steering I heard it that one time it has to be something involved in the steering system and second I am cursed and it will be something dangerous and expensive which tie rod replacement is.

Well dropped off the car, hopefully for the $48 cost to road test and check out my car they will find that knock sound…i really should have become a mechanic…

Yes, but if you would have become a mechanic you’d be bombarded by people asking you for car advice.

Tie rods are cheap and easy to replace. Don’t get too wound up. The alignment is the hard part.