Mysterious rattling from right front end


Old 11-17-04, 05:30 PM
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Angry Mysterious rattling from right front end

I have a 1996 Infiniti I 30. Been pretty good until recently when I developed a loud rattling noise somewhere around the right front wheel. There have been a couple of bad potholes that were hit previously and I thought maybe it had damaged my struts. I changed my struts at Sears (Monroe brand) but noise was unaffected, probably worse. I went to the Infiniti dealer and they told me I had to change my insulators and maybe the lower control arms too. I changed the insulators improvement. I changed the lower control arms and bushing. Bill was almost $1500. I still have rattling! Infiniti dealer told me the new Sears struts were the problem and advised me to change them to Infiniti struts. Sears says they'll replace the Monroe struts and re-align at N/C but they want to put in another set of Monroe struts before going with the dealer advised Infiniti struts. I feel like I'm being scammed by someone. Please help.
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Old 11-18-04, 03:22 PM
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Pittsburgh,Pa
Posts: 2,417
Monroe struts are good quality and I doubt they are your rattle.Somebody is missing the actual problem causing the rattle in my opinion.It could be a loose or worn caliper making the noise.A broken sway bar underneath the bracket,you need to find someone who will back up their diagnosis.It could be a body component loose or with a broken spot weld.Call around and see if any shop in the area owns a set of chassis ears to pinpoint the problem for you.
Old 11-29-04, 11:24 AM
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Angry Much Thanks, Davo

You were right, my rattle was caused by a sway bar problem.

Do I have any recourse against my Infiniti dealer who charged me a diagnostic fee, had me change out the insulators and lower control arms without getting rid of the rattle? They told me that it must be the Monroe struts that I installed a Sears. They even claimed to have put in original equipment struts that got rid of the rattle. They sent me back to Sears to change the struts to original equipment struts.

Because of my complaining, Sears replaced the first Monroe struts with another set (also Monroe) because Infiniti didn't have my struts in stock. The Sears mechanic noticed a loose sway bar so I had them change that too.

I'm very upset that the dealer charged me so much and accomplished so little.
Old 11-30-04, 02:44 PM
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Pittsburgh,Pa
Posts: 2,417
You would have to call the dealer and ask the service manager or general manager but I doubt you will get far being they didn't perform the repairs to the car only a diagnostic.You might get lucky and get the diagnostic fee back but I doubt it.I'm glad it's fixed and I was able to diagnose it over the internet.Lol at that dealer.
Old 12-14-04, 11:40 AM
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Smile Dave, My thanks

Hi Dave,
I followed your advice and spoke to the general service manager at my Infiniti dealer. After reviewing my case, he agreed to refund me the $542 cost of the labor. They issued me an immediate credit to my charge card for $300, and will give me the remaining $242 as a credit toward future parts and service. I am amazed that your advice was so on target not only with the problem but helped me secure a refund from my dealer.

My thanks, J. Chun
Old 12-14-04, 02:38 PM
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Pittsburgh,Pa
Posts: 2,417
Good for you getting some money back,I hope you thanked the person for their understanding in the matter.They went further than most would have.
Old 12-26-04, 04:14 PM
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Question Do I have exactly the same problem???

My 1998 Toyota Camry (121,000 miles) had a bad rattling noise coming from the left front end. On smooth roads, it drove perfectly, but going over bumps or on rough roads I could hear it.

My mechanic (whom I trust) said he thought it was the struts and sent me off to find a better price than he could give me, which I appreciated. I found a local tire/alignment shop, who changed all four struts (to Monroe gas) and charged what I thought was a very reasonable $591. They were very pleasant and the car seemed to be much quieter afterwards.

I promptly left for Christmas in Las Vegas with the grandchildren, a drive of about 800 miles round trip. The rattling noise has now returned (if it ever left) and is now much louder.

What do I do now? My car probably needed struts after 121,000 miles (of nearly perfect behavior), but I still have this rattle and I'm worried. I will contact the tire shop tomorrow, but I don't think I want my original struts back....

If it is the sway bar (as the Infiniti owner describes), how much would it cost me? I'm worried.... By the way, I never go to the dealer for service and don't plan to, if at all possible.

Thank you to anyone with advice.
Old 12-26-04, 04:55 PM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,531

Most likely you noise is coming from the strut tops, very common source of rattling noise on your Camry. The part is revised to prevent the noise. Toyota has issued a TSB about it.

The only problem is it involves removing the strut to replace the tops.

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