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Toyota camry 03 rhythmical "kong, kong ... noise that occurs only when driving

About 3 months ago my Toyota Camry '03 lost control due to icy road and it turned around completely to the opposite direction of driving on a mild slope a few hundred meters away from my house on the community road. This occurred after I pressed the brake and the speed of the car is less than 5 mph. The rear driver side tire hurt the road curb and got flattened. The flattened tire was fixed the next day at Walmart and driving of the car (steering) appeared to be fine. However, I can now hear a rhythmical “kong, kong, kong…” noise when I drive the car and the noise become stronger the faster the car goes. In fact I can barely hear the sound when the speed is below 40 mph. And the noise occurs only when the car moves: no noise occurs when I step on the gas in the parking lot. What might the possible cause of this noise? Do I need to have a tire alignment? Thanks.

You need to have a competent mechanic check your front end suspension (and steering and brakes) for damage. I don’t consider Walmart competent.

And until that time, drive the car only slowly and carefully. You don’t want to be part of an accident.

edit: woops, missed that it was a rear tire. Get the rear suspension/brakes checked.

I agree with having it checked and not driving it for now. Might be that the bearing also went out when this happened, or the tire was beyond repair or some other suspension component is damaged.

You need to have someone remove the left rear tire that hit the curb and have the brakes inspected.

The noise might be coming from the parking brake assembly which comprises of a pair of brake shoes along with other hardware.

If any of these components comes loose, it can create that kind of sound each time the tire rotates.


Check “Mechanic Files” link above to find a competent mechanic in you are. You damaged the right rear and only a thorough inspection will determine what is bent or broken.

I’ve had similar sound experiences with my own vehicles. They turned out to be due to among wheel bearings, uneven tire wear, CV joints needing servicing, and brakes. Good posts above, you’ll need a good mechanic to test for each. No worries, this is a common symptom and is usually easily diagnosed. If you wanted to try something diagnostic, see if the noise changes when you coast rather than drive in gear, or when you turn one way vs the other.

Edit: Just remembered, I had a differential problem with this symptom too.

Thank you all for the suggestions. I took the car to a local mechanical store this morning and the store lifted my car and had a very brief look but could not find the exact cause of the sound and he suggested I had a tire alignment. I went to the store he suggested and had the alignment but unfortunately, the alignment did not fix the sound problem. The guy at TO Haas said he guess the sound might due to the wheel or the tire but he is not sure and he suggested I make another appointment with them to find out the causing factor of the problem.

“mechanical store” ? I suggest you find a good mechanic in your area. NOT a chain store.

Sorry for the typo. Should be a “Auto repair shop”.

My vote is still the wheel bearing. Find another shop.

When I tried to coast rather than drive in gear this afternoon, I can still hear the sound. However, I noticed lighter or even barely no sound when I turned the car at an intersection (of course the speed is slow, approximate 20 mph). Does this give any clue? Thanks.

How many times do we have to say “wheel bearing”?

Do I need to check the wheel bearing of all 4 wheels or only the one that hit the curb?

Then have the tires removed and inspected for any object puncturing any of the tires.


The turning could be a big clue. But the key question is whether there’s a difference depending on which way you turn.


Where does the OP mention anything about turning?




I found it!


@Tester it’s just a guess, but this is where OP might have mentioned turning is a factor

OP writes

"I noticed lighter or even barely no sound when I turned the car at an intersection"

starting to sound more and more like a wheel bearing :smiley:

If you find a shop where one of the mechanics has a drivers license that person may drive the vehicle and determine the source of the noise. To speculate that an alignment is needed to cure the noise seems odd to me.