Suspension Diagnostics: Where's That Noise Coming From?

Suspension Diagnostics: Where’s That Noise Coming From?

If you think there may be an issue with your customer’s suspension, one thing is for sure: we all HATE the unnatural noises that come from vehicles – mainly because it is hard to tell what they are initially.

In this Tire Review Continental Tire video, we talk about the source of suspension noises and diagnostics to fix the issue for your customers.

Diagnosing a suspension noise complaint can’t really be completed with any sort of technical diagnostic tools. We have to go way back and use the diagnostic tools of the past: our eyes and ears.

When a potential customer comes in with a suspension noise complaint, make sure to tell them to be detailed with what the noise sounded like and where it came from. If your technicians can replicate the noise, they can fix it. The next step then would be to perform an inspection.

Common diagnosis for suspension issues results from issues with the steering column, upper strut mounts and bushings (among many others).

A steering column issue can be the issue if a customer hears a rattle that varies a bit as the wheel is turned. To diagnose this issue, we suggest trying to turn the steering wheel with the engine off. The steering wheel should have zero play. Try moving the wheel in and out and press on the sides.

If the issue is coming from the upper struts, the customer may hear various knocking noises that go along with bumps in the road. Knocking or popping noises can also occur when the steering is turned. To diagnose this issue, look for separation between the rubber and metal. After you unload the suspension, move the wheels from lock to lock. This can isolate problems with the upper strut mount’s bearings. Any roughness or popping can indicate a problem.

Lastly, suspension issues may originate from bushings that may just be slightly stiff. The customer may hear a knocking noise that occurs when the suspension moves or the vehicle changes direction. We suggest inspecting the bushings for separation of the metal and rubber and look at the rubber for cracks when diagnosing.

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