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Steering wheel click/rattle noise

Discussion in 'Stock 2006 -2010 Explorers' started by matsavol, June 30, 2009.

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  1. matsavol

    matsavol Active Member

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    Hi,

    A new member here... I have been lurking around a while and finally registered so that I can post. :)

    I have 06 V8 Explorer and have just run out of factory warranty. Since late last summer I started to hear/feel a slight click/pop noise coming from the front, when driving over speed bump or other uneven surface. It sounds like it is coming from the driver side, and it can be felt on the steering wheel. I searched internet and come by this forum where there was a post somewhere describing "exactly" what I was experiencing. There was a TSB (don't remember now what number) that basically asked to replace the Lower Steering Shaft. I did go and purchase new steering shaft and replaced it, to find out that my problem did not go away. :(

    This issue is not noticeable during colder months and/or when car is still cold. Only at hot weather (Texas... yeah...), or after a longer drive the noise becomes easily noticeable and I can feel it in the steering wheel.

    I did look under the car, checked all bolts in suspension system that they are tight, and found nothing. The tie rod ends seem to be tight. At this point I'm starting to suspect the rack and pinion... What else there might be left? Would that part be very sensitive to a temperature as I have been experiencing?

    This truck has only 20K on it... so if the rack is worn out is a bit of surprise?
     
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  3. jessydog

    jessydog New Member

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    Me Too!

    Yup, that's the exact same thing. Mine is an '07 EB, and it started acting like that at about 34k miles. Same deal, won't do it when cold...only on hot days, after driving long enough to get all warmed up. I'm out of bumper-to-bumper warranty now, too...let me know if you track down the problem. I'll do the same. -JD
     
  4. Chris K.

    Chris K. Member

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    Sounds like it could be a broken sway bar end link? That's what it was in another car I had. I drove too fast over a hump while turning and broke the plastic bushing. It was still in-tact, but it cracked/popped when going over any bumps after that.

    Chris
     
  5. matsavol

    matsavol Active Member

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    Thanks for the tips

    I'll check the sway bar more carefully. Last time I looked under the car I didn't see anything wrong in it, other than one slightly loose nut that connect the sway bar end to a rod. I did tighten that a bit, but it didn't help. As a positive side, the problem seem haven't got any worse since last summer.

    At first I started noticing this issue when driving in/out of my garage which has about 1.5" "step" at the door. Whenever I drive in or out, I can hear the small "click". (This also can be heard when car is cold at the first time... if you back up and redo this again I can not hear this again until the car has warmed up.) In addition in the beginning (last summer) the clicks were noticeable when driving and when pressing brake rather hard and the releasing. (I heard click when starting to brake, and then another when released.) Anyway, at this time I do not hear this with the "brake method" any more.

    Nowadays, if the car is hot after driving long distance (100miles or so), and if driving slow speed at uneven road, it is almost like constant rattle coming from the front end. At the same time it can be felt on the steering wheel. Even when driving on smooth surface at highway speeds I can feel that something is not "tight" there and gives little kicks to steering wheel. I'd say that if the rack was a bit loose I'd expect this kind of feeling.

    One more thing: When staying at stop and engine running and turning steering wheel from side to side (+/-20 degrees or so), I can hear a slight clicking noise. I'm not sure if this is caused by the same reason? Maybe someone can confirm if yours (not having any issues) is doing that as well. If the engine is not running and you do that I can hear pretty loud clicking, but I think this is normal since my previous Mustang did the same thing and did not have any issues. (I'm thinking this noise is caused by the power steering valves opening/closing... Or am I mistaken?)
     
  6. matsavol

    matsavol Active Member

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    Bump..

    Waking up this old thread... I'm still having this problem, but it hasn't got any worse. In fact the sound is not as loud or noticeable any more. (Maybe because something has become more worn/loosened there?)

    Anyone anything like this and know what it might be?
     
  7. Arkie-Phil

    Arkie-Phil New Member

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    City, State:
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    98 Ranger XLT 4x4
    Steering Rattle

    I have a 98 Ranger 4.0 4x4 and have same issue. I have replaced tie rods and also ball joints and still have issue. Also have lubricated the sway bar bushings (dealer said this fixed it)and still have problem. Dealer can't hear it since car needs to be driven awhile and warmed up before you hear it. By the time I get home after about 7 miles it is doing it again. I hear it most at slow speed after letting off accelerator.
     
  8. LanceH

    LanceH New Member

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    I have the exact same problem on my 05 Explorer. Dealer said its a bad rack and pinion but I hope not. Anyone found a fix yet?
     
  9. pbasin54

    pbasin54 New Member

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    Since things temporarily got better after I lubricated the sway bar bushings, I went and put on new sway bar bushings, this improved things considerably, although I can hear it still slightly when it is hot (90 plus). You might try that, not to expensive and not hard to put on. After replacing, tie rods, ball joints and sway bar bushings, the last change had the most significant effect.
     
  10. MustangP51

    MustangP51 Well-Known Member

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    Going to bring this thread back to life... Having the same click noise and extremely small clunk feeling in the steering wheel on my 09. Maybe someone has figured out what is causing this and can give some insight before I start tearing this thing apart...
     
  11. Themightyquinn

    Themightyquinn Active Member

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    Symtoms Chart- Noise, Vibration, and Harshness says for the condition of: steering gear clunk- occurs only when cornering over a bump (can be temperature sensitive), Possible source is steering gear. Action is inspect the steering gear for loose mounting bolts and torque to spec as necessary.

    Check all steering components from tie rod ends to the steering column shaft coupling. and torque check all hardware.
     
  12. Henders

    Henders Member

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    My 06 had a click in the steering when you turned the wheel to the left then back to center. When it hit center, you would hear a click. Ford found that the Steering Centerlink was causing the problem and replaced. Problem fixed.
     
  13. MustangP51

    MustangP51 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info guys... I checked the entire front end, everything was tight. I only get this clicking after it has been driven for a half hour or so. When I turn the wheel back and forth it feels perfectly fine, no play or clicks. It only happens over small bumps and ruts in the road... really scratching my head on this one.
     
  14. Philo3822

    Philo3822 New Member

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    Did anyone ever find a way to resolve the click/rattle in the stearing that seems to happen in warm weather....it is really annoying...3 times to the dealer, no satisfaction
     
  15. Themightyquinn

    Themightyquinn Active Member

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    This literally starting happening all at once a couple of days a go on my 07 Eddie Bauer. What is the part number for the centerlink? I can tell it is definitely coming from the steering column.
     
  16. Henders

    Henders Member

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    Bolt: 2 ea. SPO W715479 S439
    Intermediate Shaft: SPO 8L2Z-3B676-B
     
  17. Themightyquinn

    Themightyquinn Active Member

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    I found out why mine made the soft clunking noise when the steering whee was moved from left to right. If you look under the dash and look up at the steering shaft. you will she a funny looking u-joint. just up from that you will see a 10mm bolt that will separate the two steering shafts. Make sure you have the steering wheel straight ahead so you and see it easier. I tightened mine and the noise went away. Spec is 22 FT LBS. Hope this helps the rest of you guys.
     
  18. josephgreg

    josephgreg New Member

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    Today I was in the alignment shop for service of my explorer eddie bauer 2007 and the guy after check all front end he showed me the noise source. I could listen the noise with the truck mounted in a jack and he was moving the left wheel. The explanation was that there is wear at the steering gear and this issue occurs due the truck weight. He told me that sometimes the workshops fix the steering gear changing the seals to stop leakages but the internal wear remains. The best solution is the replacement of the steering gear.
     
  19. MustangP51

    MustangP51 Well-Known Member

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    I also have come to the same conclusion after checking EVERYTHING in the front end and the steering column, and still was unable to find the source of the click. The only thing left is the rack and pinion steering unit.
     
  20. zoomtoob

    zoomtoob New Member

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    been a while but I have to know... was it the rack and pinion?

    mine is making this noise. it is a low, softer duller clicking (sounds like a very early bad bearing but it's not - I replaced that hub) as you slow down from 10 to about 5 mph. also sometimes a high-pitched clicking when in 4wd or turning hard and accelerating. the noise goes away in 4wd on dry road.

    also sounds like it is coming from the rack... boots are fine and fluid is clean. no leaks.

    I don't think there is IWE on the 2006... if there was - might be the issue. can't see any vacuum tubes though... anyone know?

    Q - do the halfshafts on a 2006 4.0 w advancetrac RSC spin when in 2wd?

    Q - how do I know if this has vacuum IWE?
     
  21. Nuar

    Nuar New Member

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    Did anyone ever find a definitive solution to this?
     

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