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Common suspension noises and solutions

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C-Class (W203) 2001-2007, C160, C180, C200, C220, C230, C240, C270, C280, C300, C320, C230K, C350, Coupe
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Common suspension noises and solutions

 
Old 01-24-2011, 09:42 AM
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2002 Mercedes Benz C230 Coupe
Originally Posted by Johnsct View Post
I am now having a problem with my 03 coupe's front suspension. The front left wheel at times feels like it's hopping. When making left turns or applying the brakes. Going straight down the road, it feels fine. My front end has had no problems until this. The car has 134,000 miles. Any thoughts?
I had this exact same problem.

The bushings on your upper or lower control arms are probably shot. Grab a pry-bar and see if the control arms move about when you pry the bushing.
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Johnsct View Post
Hi Glyn, The tires look ok. This problem just started in the last 2 weeks and the snow tires I have on there now were put on the first week of December, so that might be why there is no cupping.

I jacked up the car to check the suspension. Everything feels solid. The lower control arm bushing has some minor cracking on the edges but no sign of a leak. You may be onto something with the damper strut.
Saw this post after posting my reply...

Did you check the outer (spindle) end of the control arms? This is the end near the wheel housing.

If you can move the spindle about or up and down by hand, its shot. It should take much, much more force than your hand can exert to move it.

An easier way to check this is the 12 and 6 o clock and 9 and 3 o clock check.
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jcnash View Post
Saw this post after posting my reply...

Did you check the outer (spindle) end of the control arms? This is the end near the wheel housing.

If you can move the spindle about or up and down by hand, its shot. It should take much, much more force than your hand can exert to move it.

An easier way to check this is the 12 and 6 o clock and 9 and 3 o clock check.
You have me thinking now. When I was under the car, checking the suspension, I could ever so slightly move both upper and lower control arms by hand. I had to yank at it, but they moved a slight amount.

I did push down on the front left of the car and it rebounded once as it should. The bushings look ok and there is no leaking that I can see, but that doesn't mean they are good. I just might not be able to tell.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:29 PM
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05.C230K.SS
Thanks Tru...

got my stut tower bearings replaced this past weekend cuz TWS didn't do a good job installing my h&r's perfectly last year...

so on top of that, i had to replace the bolt that holds the knuckle in place. the bolt apparently came loose this whole time and was actually bent when i pulled it out.

10,000 miles after my install of the h&r's and finally the wear and tear shows. now i have to wait until my springs settle again to the proper height since i took the struts and springs out to replace the towers.
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Old 02-24-2011, 04:56 PM
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My sway bar end links were replaced and took all the clunk away. I used the DuPont teflon Silicone spray on other bushings but that seems to make the squeeks more pronouncable. Is there a different grease (brand name) I should be using on sway bar bushing, control arm busings, etc??

great thread. thanks.
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Old 06-13-2012, 03:49 AM
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I have made a stupid mistake of using the wrong lugs on my spare, i experienced loud clunk and now theres a squeaky rattling noise coming from my rear right wheel. I took out my E Brake as i thought that would fix the problem, but its still there and its driving me insane. Any suggestions?!
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:27 PM
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2004 S430
Hello, not sure if im in the correct thread, but I have a 2004 S430 4-Matic. The car drive pretty smooth but when I go over bumps, like on the expressway or driving over sewers or pronounced cracks in the streets, it feels like the front in rattles and the driver side wheel make a clunking noise (only over bumps) and also its starting to feel like a grinding feeling in the front driver side wheel. The alignment is definitely off. Reading these threads, it sounds like either a control arm, ball joint, or sway bar end link. I'm not a mechanical person so please keep things in lamest terms for me. Its at the dealership now and they are saying that the lower front control arms joints have "a little play" and costs like $2100 to fix parts and labor. They are saying "little play" but its like what does that mean, are they bad or not? I just want to be sure that they are pinpointing the "correct" cause of the noise so I will not waist $$ and have to take it back. Lower Ball joints were replaced a few months ago. Im in the Chicago area.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by MzTimbo View Post
Hello, not sure if im in the correct thread, but I have a 2004 S430 4-Matic. The car drive pretty smooth but when I go over bumps, like on the expressway or driving over sewers or pronounced cracks in the streets, it feels like the front in rattles and the driver side wheel make a clunking noise (only over bumps) and also its starting to feel like a grinding feeling in the front driver side wheel. The alignment is definitely off. Reading these threads, it sounds like either a control arm, ball joint, or sway bar end link. I'm not a mechanical person so please keep things in lamest terms for me. Its at the dealership now and they are saying that the lower front control arms joints have "a little play" and costs like $2100 to fix parts and labor. They are saying "little play" but its like what does that mean, are they bad or not? I just want to be sure that they are pinpointing the "correct" cause of the noise so I will not waist $$ and have to take it back. Lower Ball joints were replaced a few months ago. Im in the Chicago area.
I hope you didn't spend $2100 of control arms
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:13 AM
  #59  
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Hello all,

More so in the winter than the summer, I get nasty creaking noises in the rear suspension when going up a curb. Another forum member (I'm sorry that I forgot who it was) had mentioned that it was most likely the rear sway bars. However, when the winter months pass I will be putting in H&R lowering springs, should I be simply replacing the stock rear sway bar or will the lowering springs exaggerate the wear and I should be looking to an aftermarket sway bar?

I'm pretty noob at modding, anything helps.

Cheers!
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:36 AM
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its not the sway bar itself, its the components holding it like the endlinks and bushing. You just need to order new sway bar bushings and maybe the endlinks. the bushing are made of rubber so due to your cold winters it probably wore them out quicker. bushing are really cheap so you dont have to replace sway bar unless you plan on beefing your your suspension. if your a hard drive and take turns aggressively then I'd suggest getting upgraded sways. but if you're a conservative driver then i wouldnt get it because you wouldnt use its potential. You can also buy some lubrication spray and spray all the moving components of the suspension just to make sure its well lubricated and not having metal on metal contact.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:31 PM
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I agree w/ Phister.

Purchase some water resistant silicone lubricant.
Remove your sway bar bushings and liberally apply the lubricant.
If the creaking stops, then replace your sway bar bushings.
If the creaking persists, you likely have another joint making the noise.

In my experience, this noise came from a worn lower control arm bushing. Part #80 on the diagram below, but I replaced the entire arm (part 70).

Common suspension noises and solutions-rearaxlesuspension1.gif

I am now creak free after chasing this creaking noise for a LONG time.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:51 PM
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2004 c230 kompressor coupe
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:42 AM
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05.C230K.SS
Re-up....

For the past couple weeks, I've been noticing a knocking sound coming from the right rear side towards the wheel area when turning slowly right goin up a parking structure or any kind of incline/decline. When I push down on the right corner of the rear, I hear a squeaky-ish kinda sound. Any ideas, guys?

Thanks.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by rocafel1a View Post
Re-up....

For the past couple weeks, I've been noticing a knocking sound coming from the right rear side towards the wheel area when turning slowly right goin up a parking structure or any kind of incline/decline. When I push down on the right corner of the rear, I hear a squeaky-ish kinda sound. Any ideas, guys?

Thanks.
If you hear squeaking from the rear, try applying some lubricant to your rear sway bar bushings (they are visible from under the car and easy to access). Go for a drive or push on the rear right corner again and listen after grease is applied.

If the squeak goes away, you might need to replace the sway bar bushings OR periodically grease the crap out of those bushings.

If the squeak doesnt go away. You may have bigger issues. In my experience, the bushing on the inside of the lower control arm had to be replaced to remove this sound permanently. Much more expensive, but itll work.

Please describe your knocking sound in greater detail. I am not sure if you're describing it from the front suspension or the rear.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:13 PM
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05.C230K.SS
Thanks for your help Tru...the knocking sound can be heard from the rear suspension on the right side when I turn the wheel to the right on an incline or a decline...its most noticeable when i go slow, especially in parking structures.

Also, im lowered on h&r springs and on stock struts...car is around 45k miles too...dunno if it has anything to do with the stuts
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:24 PM
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Thanks for the great thread!

The only noise I get, is when my trunk is heavy and filled with stuff.
Rear tires will sometimes rubb on the rear fender covers. No noise coming from the coil overs.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by rocafel1a View Post
Thanks for your help Tru...the knocking sound can be heard from the rear suspension on the right side when I turn the wheel to the right on an incline or a decline...its most noticeable when i go slow, especially in parking structures.

Also, im lowered on h&r springs and on stock struts...car is around 45k miles too...dunno if it has anything to do with the stuts
A clunk from both sides could suggest that your rear sway bar endlinks are worn, but...

If you have a clunk ONLY from one side, I would get down there and make sure everything is properly tightened especially if your h&r springs were recently installed. Also, dont forge to check and make sure everything is tight inside your trunk on that side also.

Originally Posted by Glocker View Post
The only noise I get, is when my trunk is heavy and filled with stuff. Rear tires will sometimes rubb on the rear fender covers.
:doin' it right:
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:44 PM
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05.C230K.SS
Hmmm, I'll use the weekend to see whats going on. I'm pretty certain it has something to do with the suspension itself. But oh, h&r's have been on my car for almost 3 years now.

I hope it's nothing too serious, as I make a 45 mile drive out to work everyday...
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:20 AM
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05.C230K.SS
This is probably a poor description of the sound but here it is:

Last night, I pushed down the right rear corner, it seemed like the springy/squeaky sound the car is making sounded like air was getting compressed and released on each push..
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:28 PM
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if youre on H&R and stock struts/shocks they might be going out. since youre cars lowered on springs the OEM strut/shock stays compressed all the time causing faster wear because its not allowed to fully travel. If it sounds like air getting compressed I would check to see if the shock is going out. press down on the corner of the car to see if you get rebound from the shock/strut. when you press it down it should immediately rebound back to its position without any bouncing.

if its not the shock/strut then as Tru said check to see if everything is bolted down nice and tight and lube all the moving parts like the bushings to see if it goes away.
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:22 PM
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05.C230K.SS
Good information, phister. I'll do some work on it this weekend and let yall know whats up. thanks phister and tru
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Old 01-12-2013, 02:08 PM
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05.C230K.SS
I was able to grease up all the bushings,but sound hasn't gone away. I can tell that the lower control arm bushings and the other top bushings are starting to strip and wear. Reasoning? Poor installation of my h&r springs. I did a bit of research, and the apparent best way to install aftermarket springs is to install em with the tires hanging, and then loosen and re-tighten the bushings and control arms and all the links to adjust to the new ride height. Obviously when I did this mod 4-5 years back (when all i cared about was looks and nothing more), I had no knowledge of this. I jus slapped those springs on not knowing the lowered height would cause the bushings to uphold more load. Solution now is probably to either go stock height or get coilovers and do it right.
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:30 PM
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There's no way to install springs with the tires on. Doing all the loosening and retightening isn't going to help the bushing adjust to the ride height. Just tighten everything to spec and it'll be fine. The control arm has bushing which allows it adjust when it's placed back on the ground.

If it was required every shop manual would give this instruction when replacing springs and other suspension components.

Lowering shouldn't put more load on the control arms since most aftermarket springs are stiffer. The more concerning issue is when you install springs with OEM struts/shocks still because those wear out quicker. Just replace bushings.
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:57 PM
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05.C230K.SS
Yeah i see what you mean, and I agree wit you. I meant to say that after the springs have been installed, put the tires back on and keep the car up with the tires hanging. That itself is a good way for springs to settle in. I mean, i hear different things from different people. Others over at this forum say to drive 500 to 1000 so miles for the springs to settle.

Ive thought about either going back to stock (since i commute 100 miles for work every day), go with a coilover kit setup, or get aftermarket struts and replace the bushings.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:31 AM
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I say get koni yellows. It has 5 way dampening adjustment for ride comfort and they're rebuildable.
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