Suspension help



Help me guys…

I’ve spoken with 3 different places and have gotten three different answers. Here is the deal - on the drivers side there is a clanging noise, and it is something by the tire, so I’m assuming it is suspension issues. First place I talked to said it was struts, both need to be fixed at a cost of $550. Second place said no, it is a control arm, and for them to be replaced it is $520. Third guy said no, it is the bushings (I hope that is the right word) and it will be $450, and the car has to have an alignment. As a single mom I’m really leery about going in and not getting a fair price. Can I please have your thoughts…and do you have a place here in Manchester NH that I can take my car to? Oh, 2007 Saturn ION has 40K miles.


Have you had the alignment checked yet?

I would get an alignment done on it, and see if the suspension is actually out of spec, and if they can bring it back in. If they can’t bring it back into spec, then I would look at the control arm, bushings, or ball joints being the cause. If its not out of spec in the first place, then there probably isn’t anything physical causing the issue.

If it is the strut that has failed, there should be a sign of a leak, or the suspension alignment being out of spec to go along with it.

Sometimes, however, noise can be made by a part of the strut assembly, like the bearing plate, and that part can be replaced without needing to replace the strut, too. That would save money on parts, but not on labor.

If you have any friends, coworkers, or loved ones of those people that are good with cars, maybe one of them might be able to take a look at your car for you.




Haven’t had the alignment checked yet. The car doesn’t pull but based on the last mechanics recommendation it would have to be aligned if work was done in this area.

I appreciate your response :slight_smile:



You need to find a mechanic you can trust - this isn’t rocket science, a good mechanic should be able to examine you car and figure out what is wrong. I’ve used the mechanic finder with good results:

40k is pretty low for needing struts. Have you banged any curbs with the car?


The Noise Could Be Caused By Interference Between The Front Stabilizer Shaft, Front Stabilizer Shaft Insulators (Bushings) And Front Stabilizer Mounting Clamp.

This problem has been found on some 2003 - 2007 Saturn Ions.




No, the car has been very well taken care of (well with the exception of a 12 year old washing part of it with a wire brush)… The noise started about a month ago, and has gotten progressively worse.


It almost sounds like two out of three ain’t wrong. The bushings are on the control arm. So we’re narrowing it down a bit. Common sense answer seems to be directing you to the dealer, where the shop may be most familiar with the problem.


I Didn’t Come Out And Say It, But Sometimes A Dealer Is The Best (And Not Most Expensive) Route. I’d Be Sure That They Checked All Of The GM Technical Service Bulletins Pertaining To This Particular Vehicle.

You could get into a situation where you pay an independent to fix several things before landing on the culprit.

Kathy should have whoever diagnoses this noise put their money where their mouth is. Explain that you will pay for the repair required by the diagnosis if it fixes the problem, but not if it still exists after the repair. Prior to the repair, be sure to ride with the technician so that you both can hear the noise you’re chasing down.



Thank you so much for your response, it is very much appreciated!