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Rattle from front wheel over small bumps

I have a 2006 Scion tC, 109k miles. I have a rattle coming from the front-right wheel area. It’s only over small bumps (I mean SMALL, like little dips), and I can’t really re-produce it on a jack. It happens more frequently when I turn to the left. The frequency of the rattle sounds similar to a paint can ball, but if it were a lower pitch.

I’m thinking of checking the the strut mount, or maybe the end link? Would anyone have any other ideas?

I had a noise like that after I had new brake pads on the front wheels of a 2000 Ford Windstar. There is some clip that was allowing the pad to hit the face of the caliper. I had the shop that did the brake job do the repair on their dime.

A couple of thoughts. I had a rattle in the front end of my 2000 Blazer. It turned out to be the hood hinges, the hinge bolts needed conical washers and tightened to remove the play. Also if you have a roof rack make sure the cross bars are tightened down.

Ed B.

Sway bar bushings. My car sounded and felt like a covered wagon going 10 mph on a few little bumps and cracks on my street! Got those fixed and it felt like a freakin space ship afterward!! It’s a slow progression, but all of a sudden you realize the car is a shaky mess. I think it’s a reasonable repair, cost wise, too.

That kind of noise could be caused by an assortment things. All good comments above and a good place to start. I’ll add, one time I had a noise similar to that on my Corolla and it was the under-engine shield, a couple of the fasteners had come loose, and it would flap up against the underbody when I’d go over a small bump.

Yeah all the others, plus I had a little rattle too and it was the ball joint which required the control arm (and both sides). Also likely is the strut or strut mount, wheel cover if it has one, sway bar link, etc. You do need to get it checked out though. Front end noises are never good to ignore.

My 99 Camry had this problem, they called it washboard surfaces. It is the upper strut causing it. Bulletin Number:

had a thin metallic noise front end driver side wheel, I was sure it was from the brake pads or caliper, made my mechanic go crazy, so he took apart all the front wheel and suspension, it was the top mount bad ball bearings and it threw the noise lower