CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Knocking creaking noise no one can figure out!

I have a 2003 Toyota Echo. About 6 months ago it starting making a knocking noise when I applied the brakes. I thought it was my differential (it isn’t) because it is a used transmission. That’s not it. My mechanics were stumped, of course it never seems to make the noise when they have my car. They also checked the rotors, and I maintain my brakes.They replaced a wheel bearing on the left front wheel, the noise stopped for two weeks then started up again. Only when I use the brakes do I hear it, and I hear it more often than not. There also seems to be a bit of a creaking noise with it. It does it more in stop and go traffic, and the car usually has to be a little warm before it gets noisy. They ended up replacing a rear drum thinking the noise transferred to the front, didn’t help. What could this be? it’s pretty loud and disconcerting when I’m driving. It only happens when I use the brake (more so slower speeds) so what is left besides the wheel and the brakes? My mechanic said the noise stopped when they replaced the wheel bearing because they took the wheels off, and that somehow fixed it temporarily. I don’t get it, I would love to get this fixed, I drive a lot and it’s making me crazy!

It could be any of a whole list of bushings. The most likely IMHO are the swaybar bushings, but someone will have to get under the car and start shaking (by hand) all the parts whose load changes when the weight shifts forward.

At this point since unfairly you are paying anyway, it might be time for an analysis by an independent mechanic, find the cause, then try to get your money back and a warranty fix. My last ford was an 03, with extended warranty, and I never paid a cent and never had a problem covering any repairs.

Wow this was meant for a different post, Apologies.

Yeah I think you’ve got to take a good hard look. After replacing a wheel bearing/hub, I developed a knock. Turned out that one of the bolts to the hub worked itself loose and was hitting the wheel. I use locktite now. I think on the same car, I was replacing the front caliper and the thing actually would hit the wheel. No idea what the problem was with the replacement since it looked the same. Hopefully you can see someplace on the wheel or somewhere that provides some evidence of being hit.

Yeah I would think they would have seen it by now, knocking started before wheel bearing replacement-thanks!

ps the noise slows down when the car does

Are you certain the pads are within their wear limits? The disc brakes have a thing in them that purposely makes noise when the pads are getting too thing. It’s a safety feature. In most cars it makes a sort of ticking noise at first, proceding to a sort of grinding noise as the pads wear further.

Motor mounts should be checked also.