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Discussion Starter #1
We own a 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser with 70,000 miles.

Issue #1: At 55,000 miles the front end rattled like a box of rocks. The lower control arm bushings, axles, and wheel bearings were replaced and most of the noise disappeared. Still has a rattle when driving over bumps. An inspection of the suspension has found nothing loose.

Issue #2: Recently we'll hear a LOUD thump, thump, thump....just like a bad CV-joint. (which only has 15,000 miles). Then like you flip a switch...gone. Drive the car for months....nothing. Then it happened again a couple of days ago. Same thing...came and went.

Any idea?

Thanks,
Jay
 

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Welcome to Allpar. Is it a tinny rattle or heavier, like a knocking? Does the rattle go away on turns or when you apply the brakes? Does it come from the floor area near your feet or your passengers, or is it higher up like dash level?
If the car is jacked off the ground, this will put torsion on some front end components and you will not find any 'looseness'. It is sometimes better for diagnosis to keep the weight of the vehicle on the wheels with the suspension and steering components at the same angles that they would be going down the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Issue #2 Is like a "clunk" sound coming from somewhere in the front suspension and only occurs when driving over bumps. It's not the lower control arm bushings, as they have been replaced. They are a known problem with this car.

Issue #2 Sounds just like a VERY loud CV-joint and will occur with the rotation of the axle / wheels.....drive faster - the noise speeds up, drive slower - slows down. It has only occured twice, months apart, then goes away. I can not make the issue happen. I've inspected the axles and didn't find anything loose. They were installed 15,000 miles ago.

Thanks,
Jay
 

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Sway links and struts can clunk. They would be fully extended and seemingly 'tight' if play was checked with the front wheels off the ground.
If the 'thump, thump, thump...' is at wheel speed it may be a tire noise? Rotate front to back and see if it is that?
Loose lugs nuts can cause a thumping, but may be more consistent or get worse over time.
A pitting or blistered brake rotor can make a thumping every time the pad passes over the area. It may get worse hot.
The time to diagnose this is when the noise is present. See if anything that you can do by 'loading' the brakes or steering to see if the culprit part changes the noise that you hear. If the noise isn't present, there isn't much that you can do in the way of diagnosis.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I did forget to mention that I also replaced the struts at the same time everything else was replaced...as I was determined to remove the noise.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Still driving the car daily.....still not making the noise. It's not an issue that's always there, and it has only occured a couple of times. Then you can't make it happen.

Jay
 
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