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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
Old 05-21-2015, 06:22 PM
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Common suspension noises and solutions

 
Old 08-02-2013, 09:11 PM
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2005 c230 Sport Sedan
Is it EITHER when going over a bump, or turning? Or do you have to be doing both at the same time?

Any difference if you do this while applying some braking?

Any difference if you are moving in reverse instead of forward?

And it does not happen when you turn left?

However about when turning the wheel and not moving?

Have you tried bouncing the front of the car up and down when it is in park? Try it both with the engine on and off to see if that makes a difference.

If you have access to a floor jack, jack up the front of the car so the wheels are hanging, then with the engine off but the steering unlocked, turn the steering wheel from side to side to see if you hear it then. If so, then have a friend turn it while you listen and look underneath for the source of the noise, and anything that is moving that shouldn't, or anything that looks out of place.

Also while the car is jacked up, rotate the front wheels. Smooth?

I can think of several possibilities ... and this is not a complete list:
- broken spring (at bottom)
- torn or hardened top strut mount
- worn strut bearing (at top, hidden in between mount plate and top mount)
- play in control arm ball joints
- worn control arm bushings
- sway bar links
- sway bar bushings
- wheel bearings
- power steering pump / serpentine belt
- foreign material (plastic bag?) wrapped up in suspension

Fyi, I have a slight creaking noise from my right top strut mount, which I replaced several months ago but did not grease well enough. The strut orientation/angle changes slightly with steering, and it twists the mount very slightly, but enough to cause rubber to rub against the cup that it sits in if it's not greased. Supposedly a common problem with these cars.

Anxious to hear your further troubleshooting diagnosis ...
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:30 PM
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2001 MB C240 2006 Chevorelt Aveo
First of all thanks for all the information.

As for the noise it's either, usually starts when I suddenly accelerate or brake, doesn't happend when I'm reversing or turning left.....

I was doing some more research and I ran into this old thread..

https://mbworld.org/forums/c-class-w203/244666-front-end-rubber-cruching-noise-over-bumps.html

What do you think?
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:57 AM
  #103  
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2005 c230 Sport Sedan
You car is eleven years old, which means if the rubber sway bar bushings or strut mounts are still the originals, they are likely hardened and susceptible to creaking.

When braking, your upper control arm (also castor arm or torque strut) bushing takes a load. But I don't know these to creak ... I thought they just knock.

The strut upper mount would also take some load on braking. It can creak. Let us know if you have a floor jack to lift up the front end. You can inspect the top strut mounts as well when the car is lifted.

For both acceleration and braking though? Since it's rear wheel drive, the front suspension components shouldn't take any sort of load on acceleration. The front of the car will lift on acceleration and dive on braking, however, which points to the sway bar bushings. Have you tried going over a speed bump around 5 mph so the front of the car oscillates significantly up and down? Do you hear the noise then?

If the upper strut mount were creaking I would expect to hear it creak when turning sharply in either direction, not just one way. And this would also be most noticable at slow speeds, such as getting in and out of a parking space.

A wheel bearing can make noise when turning in one direction at speed. Since there are two bearings, one on the inside and one on the outside of the wheel hub, the bearing undergoing pressure from the turn would make noise if it were going bad.

Is it really a crunching sound ... or a heavy creaking? Is it possible to post a recording?
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Old 03-16-2014, 12:24 AM
  #104  
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92 SL500, 16 C250D Wagon, 16 A200 (wife)
I suspect I have sway bar bushing squeak, but when I was under the car with it on the hoist, I could feel vibration in the spring itself when it squeaked, so I was wondering about the connect between spring and its seat.

Also I THOUGHT I had seen somewhere a post about an anti-noise pad under the spring at the bottom, and someone saying that they do wear out and its best to get some of a particular material that lasts and doesn't squeak. But on re-looking in history and researching I cannot find such a post and think I may be confusing things?

Anyone know what the actual interface between spring is at the bottom, does it sit metal to metal of what? Cannot get a finger in to feel it even. May be able to get wifes makeup mirror for a look I guess.
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Old 03-16-2014, 01:01 AM
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2005 c230 Sport Sedan
My struts have a metal seat for the bottom of the spring to slide into. The metal seat is 2-3" long ... then the spring is on it's own until the other side of the turn where there is a rubber seat.
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Old 03-16-2014, 07:15 AM
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Rear suqeak

Hi, sorry I just noticed I've missed out crucial fact that it is rear left that squeaks, not front. Was your comment for rear or front?
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Old 03-16-2014, 12:37 PM
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My comment was for front springs ... sorry!

For the rear there is a different set of issues ... I recall a thread going though them all.
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Old 03-17-2014, 03:49 PM
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'02 C320 Wagon, '78 308 GTS, '06 Highlander Hybrid
The rear springs should have a spring pad on the bottom...these come in 4 different thicknesses. If you can get it to squeek when it is in the air, try spraying some water in that area and see if the squeek goes away. If it does go away, you know what the problem is.
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:23 PM
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Noise from sway bar bushes

I had the dreaded noise, mainly on hot days? I replaced the factory rubber bushes with non-squeak polyurethane bushes that last much longer.
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:41 PM
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03 w203 ss
Just recently had a shop install Teins sport springs and am now experiencing rattling/clunks from both driver and passenger fronts when rolling over bumps/cracks/manhole covers etc. From Tru's diagrams it sounds like it may be #3 with the end links. I don't think i have adjustable end links or am i wrong? Or is it something else?

I could say i've done a lot of research and looking into prior to finally lowering vehicle and replacing oem wheels and I haven't read of anything to needing this end link to be replaced when lowering the vehicle. I'm starting to think the shop i chose to install the springs did not have enough knowledge on the installation because they are now just starting to name off all parts that supposedly might need to be replaced.

Anyways was hoping on feedback from fellow members while I try and get vehicle in my mechanic. Thanks in advance all..
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:49 PM
  #111  
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2005 c230 Sport Sedan
If you lowered your suspension, there are shorter sway bar links that go with the sport suspension. Check under the car and see what clearance the sway bar has now
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:36 AM
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W203 C320 & C230k, E36/E46/E90 darksiders
Greetings all. Been lurking for a while and used a lot of information here for my dad's W203 coupe and since I just picked up a 2001 W203 sedan with 100k miles, I'm tackling some suspension updates. I figured at 13 years old most of the bushings are hammered.

I replaced the front upper and lower control arms (silver and black arms) and a world of difference as expected. The silver arms had bushings that were hammered...

Onto the rear. With so many arms and bushings, which ones are best replaced as a whole vs. pressing in bushings. I'm about to pick up a hydraulic press since it seems worthwhile with the amount of older cars I have now. I don't have any squeaks but a faint hollow popping sound from the rear over bumps. Not enough to be annoying but probably warrants a lot of bushing replacement anyway.

From some searches, it looks like the rear wheel carrier bushing is definitely one to just press out with a home made tool. RE: https://mbworld.org/forums/5630155-post7.html

I believe the rear control arm (the one that supports the bottom of the spring) can just have a bushing pressed in too.

Now for the other 4 arms in the multilink suspension... What are your guys' thoughts on replacing bushings vs. arms? Has anyone done all the arms or all the bushings? I'm having a bit of a harder time finding bushing part numbers but I believe I've located all of the suspension arms as a whole.

The end goal for the car is somewhat comfortable commuter. No track / autoX as I already have another vehicle for all that. It'll probably get a set of coilovers and wheels but I wanted to get the worn parts replaced first before diving into suspension upgrades. Any input appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:19 AM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by jkowtko View Post
If you lowered your suspension, there are shorter sway bar links that go with the sport suspension. Check under the car and see what clearance the sway bar has now
Thank you JK.... somehow my Teins did not come with the links? But on the other hand the situation has been resolved mechanic claims it just needed to be tightened a little more.
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Old 04-07-2014, 01:04 PM
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This most likely has something to do with your Constant Velocity Joint or CV joint. About a $250 -$300 fix at a repair shop.

Originally Posted by daiso' View Post
What if the clunk is only coming from the driver side and only when I turn. I have a c230 ss with cut h&r. Thanks again

Last edited by Crash4dafun; 04-07-2014 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by TruTaing View Post
3: Strut bearings (115). This most commonly occurs when people have installed their suspension wrong after installing new parts. It has to be properly positioned in the strut tower otherwise it will make noises when turning and during driving. Additionally, this piece is known to wear down over time and compromise handling. Its a good item to replace and check if your car has noises from the front, but possibly the most difficult to deal with because it requires removing the entire strut/spring assembly.

I have just replaced my cross struts (lower control arms) and wonder if I may have done this wrong. What kind of noise should I look out for to know if I've done it wrong?
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:39 PM
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2005 C230K Sport Sedan
The bearings in question are for the front struts (i.e. shock+spring assemblies), so you should be fine since you replaced just the control arms.
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Old 09-01-2014, 10:48 AM
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C320 4MATIC WAGON
I would like to add that I had similar problem: a loud knocking or rattle coming from the front driver's side of my 2004 CR320 4MATIC wagon each time I would drive over the slightest bump. It sounded as if my car was going to fall to pieces at any moment! My mechanic diagnosed the problem as faulty sway/stabilizer bar end links. Once these were replaced my car was whisper-quiet again! The job cost $486.60 for both front left and right sway bar end links (front). That's in Upstate NY at a trusted independent shop.
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Old 09-23-2014, 02:37 PM
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2006 w203 C220CDI
puller sizes

Hi,

Does anyone know the size of the puller used to remove the lower control arm? The mercedes part number of the puller is: 203 589 00 33 00.
On the internet I found that the size of the upper control arm puller(171 589 00 33 00) is 28mm, please correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 09-23-2014, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Missykins View Post
I would like to add that I had similar problem: a loud knocking or rattle coming from the front driver's side of my 2004 CR320 4MATIC wagon each time I would drive over the slightest bump. It sounded as if my car was going to fall to pieces at any moment! My mechanic diagnosed the problem as faulty sway/stabilizer bar end links. Once these were replaced my car was whisper-quiet again! The job cost $486.60 for both front left and right sway bar end links (front). That's in Upstate NY at a trusted independent shop.

Almost $500 for some end link replacement? u can get some really good end links for under $100 and it doesnt take much longer than a half hour to replace them.. IMO your trusted shop robbed you
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Old 09-23-2014, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by cd-i View Post
Hi,

Does anyone know the size of the puller used to remove the lower control arm? The mercedes part number of the puller is: 203 589 00 33 00.
On the internet I found that the size of the upper control arm puller(171 589 00 33 00) is 28mm, please correct me if I'm wrong.
I ended up buying both the cup type puller http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Ball-Joint-Separator-Tool-19mm-Benz-VW-BMW-etc-/251638798955?pt=Motors_Automotive_Tools&hash=item3a96d75a6b and scissor type puller http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Mercedes-BMW-Ball-Joint-Tie-Rod-End-Separator-Remover-/151403731562?pt=Motors_Automotive_Tools&hash=item23405d9a6a off of eBay ... I think I paid $20-25 each for them. For the upper arm ball joint I think you need the scissor type since the other ball joint is directly below it.


Originally Posted by kanadian View Post
Almost $500 for some end link replacement? u can get some really good end links for under $100 and it doesnt take much longer than a half hour to replace them.. IMO your trusted shop robbed you
Ouch! My Lemfoerder links cost $31 each and those were for the sport model ... I think the non-sport was under $25 each. (I just checked Partsgeek and the prices are $37 sport and $22 non-sport). You should have been charged about an hour for labor, since in reality it should take them only a half hour to change them both. A "trusted NY shop"? Well, I "trust" they charged you full price for what they could get away with legally ...

Don't worry .. I've had to pay ridiculous prices in the past as well. Everyone has to make a living, including the auto mechanics ... I would just prefer it be off of people other than me!

At least make sure they put in a reputable brand of part. If they used Mercedes OEM parts then likely the parts cost was 2-3x what I just quoted.

Fyi it's not just Mercedes either -- for our Toyota Matrix the OEM front sway bar links (that look just like the Mercedes) are $100 each!

Last edited by jkowtko; 09-23-2014 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 09-23-2014, 05:15 PM
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i changed my own so they cost me about $60 and an hour.. hopefully MissyKins did get some Mercedes OEM from the dealership so the price matches the parts and labor.. and as if the MAtrix has $100 plus for a single end link.. thats ridiculous .. i think i should get in the game of selling end links
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Old 09-23-2014, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by kanadian View Post
and as if the MAtrix has $100 plus for a single end link.. thats ridiculous .. i think i should get in the game of selling end links
Most of the Toyota parts are reasonable ... and then there are a handful that are really expensive. Maybe having to do with whether the part was manufactured in the US or abroad?

Interestingly, Lemfoerder has sway bar links for the Matrix as well ... $37 each at RockAuto ... I'll get those in a heartbeat before spending more than double for OEM.
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Old 09-25-2014, 08:13 AM
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[QUOTE=jkowtko;6176350]I ended up buying both the cup type puller http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Ball-Joint-Separator-Tool-19mm-Benz-VW-BMW-etc-/251638798955?pt=Motors_Automotive_Tools&hash=item3a96d75a6b and scissor type puller http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Mercedes-BMW-Ball-Joint-Tie-Rod-End-Separator-Remover-/151403731562?pt=Motors_Automotive_Tools&hash=item23405d9a6a off of eBay ... I think I paid $20-25 each for them. For the upper arm ball joint I think you need the scissor type since the other ball joint is directly below it.


thank you jkowtko,

I wasn't sure about the size of the scissor type puller. I'll get both pullers to be sure. I don't wanna end up hammering the crap out of the front axle to get the ball joints out.
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Old 09-25-2014, 10:59 AM
  #124  
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They are saying on the listing it "for Mercedes". I just measure mine -- the "hole" is 19mm diameter. On the scissor type the gap tapers out to 22mm.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:52 PM
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Steering column play not suspension

I noticed a hollow rattling noise which can be felt through the steering wheel. I replaced pretty much every suspension component and had it checked over by 3 different shops. Feels a lot like a tie rod on the drivers side and is most noticeable going over multiple small sharp bumps in the road. Does not matter if I hit them straight or while turning.

I noticed though that I can force a similar sound but moving the steering wheel rapidly side to side about an inch while stationary. The hollow rattle seems to be coming through the steering column.

I've been told it's not entirely uncommon for the collapsible column to develop some play internally. I'm annoyed because I've spent so much on getting the suspension perfect and this just ruins it. My suspension place told me that they had an s class with similar noise (but also had free play) which they fixed by tightening some bolt in the steering column.

Anyone experienced this and have a fix?
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