Hey guys I hope you can point me in the right direction. I have a 1998 Buick Lesabre with just shy of 160,000 miles. I have been getting a creaking, popping noise from the front end and it seems to be getting worse. I will try my best to explain:
This started about 2 months ago, every now and then. I took it in for an alignment which it need desperately and asked them to see if everything was good under there. They said they did not notice anything that needed replacement except maybe the inner tie rod on the driver’s side (outers are brand new with around 7000 on them and why I took the car in for an alignment, but the noise was there before the tierods were repalced)… The noise persisted and then got worse… I put the car on a jack and noticed the guys who did the alignment had left the lower strut bolts (the bolts that attach the strut to the steering knuckle) loose. Took it back to the alignment shop they redid everything and the sound got better for about a week, then got worse again. While driving I hit a big pot hole very hard, and the sound went away for WEEKS !!! It starting coming back about a week or two ago and is now getting worse again, I have put the car back up on jacks and can’t find anything wrong or loose… I have near zero play in the wheel when pulling from the top and bottom as well as left and right sides. Everything seems tight. I even re-lubed the tie rods.
About the sound:
I only notice it at slow speeds (As in driving around a parking lot, or pulling into a parking space) while turning the wheel, its kind of a creaking noise with an occasional pop. The sound seems to be there in forward or reverse. IT IS NOT, CV joints, I know that sounds and this is not it. I don’t notice the sound at speed, and it does not make the sound 100% of the time but it does seem to be doing it much more often. Where should I look first?? I don’t want to rebuild the whole front end trying to figure this out, and I hope that the fact the sound went away for so long after the pot hole is a clue…
Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.