1A Auto Video Library
Our how-to videos have helped repair over 100 million vehicles.

Wheel Clunking Over Bumps How to Diagnose Front End and Ball Joints

Share on:

Created on: 2021-01-15

Got clunking or rattling noises coming from a wheel, especially when going over bumps? Check out this video, and Andy will show you how to check it out, and find the problem!

This car has some clunking noise when going over bumps. We hear it mostly on the passenger side right front. Let's check it out.

Before I raise the vehicle up, I just want to bounce the vehicle, push down on the fender, and see if you can duplicate the noise. We raised up the vehicle. What we want to do is take a look under the vehicle. We know it's somewhere on the passenger side. We want to look at the spring, the coil spring, see if anything looks broken, or if anything looks bent. Also, check the strut and see if anything is obvious. If anything is leaking.

Now, I'm going to check the front end and see if anything is loose. Just grab the tire at the top and the bottom, and give it a shake. And everything seems tight there. And then grab the tire on the sides. And the same, and I can actually feel play there. And you can hear it. What we want to look at is the lower ball joint, and see if there's any play there, and also the tie rod ends over here. The outer tie rod end or inner tie rod end.

This happens to be a non-load carrying ball joint, and what that means is there's no weight of the vehicle on that ball joint when the tires are on the ground. If it's a load-carrying ball joint, you would need to support the lower control arm in order to check it. If you'd like to know how to check a load-carrying ball joint, there's a link in the description on how to do that.

There's a couple other things I want to check before concluding that the ball joint is the only thing wrong with the vehicle. The sway bar link. You can grab the sway bar, and just try to shake it up and down, see if there's any play there. Also, check the bushings for the lower control arm. If you see that the bushing is separated, or you can take a pry bar and just pry in between here, anything that's contacting the frame is going to cause a rattle or some type of noise.

Just because the noise was on the right side doesn't mean I shouldn't check everything out on the left side. Sometimes sway bar links could be bad on one side, and it sounds like it's coming from the right.

So, everything else checked out, so we're going to replace that lower ball joint, which is actually part of the control arm. If you enjoyed this video, make sure you subscribe to our channel, ring that bell, turn on all notifications so you don't miss any of our videos.

Top 5 Problems 2000-06 GMC Yukon Sierra Chevy Suburban Tahoe Silverado Avalanche Cadillac Escalade

This video covers the top problems you may find on many of the GM full size truck and SUV vehicles!

Go To Top

Same Day Shipping

Need your part faster? Choose expedited shipping at checkout.

Guaranteed To Fit

Highest quality, direct fit replacement auto parts enforced to the strictest product standards.

USA Customer Support

Exceeding customers' expectations, our team of passionate auto enthusiasts are here to help.

Instructional Video Library

Thousands of how-to auto repair videos to guide you step-by-step through your repair.