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you have to jack up the lower control arm out by the wheel then using a bar pry up on the wheel there should be very little if any play then grab the top and bottom of the wheel and try to move the wheel back and forth there should be no movement at all. the up and down movement is measured in thousands of an inch.
ball joint has gone or could even be the wheel bearing. jack up the front with wheel on and hand on wheel 9 to 3 and wiggle and then 12 to 6 do the same if there is alot of movement the bearing has gone. ball joint check all the connectors on that side steering etc if they move side to side easy then the ball joint has gone they should be stiff to move.
The most likely causes will be...
A worn ball joint on the front suspension.
A broken front spring.
A worn driveshaft.
Most mechanics will have a look for you at no cost.
But you can test as follows.
(Driveshaft=) in an EMPTY car park or similar area turn your steering as far as you can to the left. Drive in a circle at about 20mph and listen. If faulty you will hear a regular "clonk, clonk, clonk" noise. Repeat this with your steering hard over to the right as well. It might be louder in one direction than the other.
(Ball joint=) DO NOT DO THIS ON JUST THE JACK!! PUT IT ON AXLE STANDS!!
Make sure the steering lock is ON.
Jack the car up and PUT IT ON AXLE STANDS for stability. Using a bit of effort grab the top and bottom of the wheel and try to rock it. Grab the wheel at left and right and repeat. Other than some steering movement it should be solid. There will be movement if the joint is worn, there may even be a click or clonk noise.
(Spring=) As for the ball joint test PUT IT ON AXLE STANDS!!
With the car off the ground take off the front wheel. Using a torch get a good look at the spring from the top all the way down to the bottom. There should be no breaks, shiny or missing pieces. Gently, but firmly, try and move the spring. It should be straight and not move. Do this both sides.
It could be several things. First check your shocks by pushing down on the bumper with your knee 3 quick times to make it bounce. It should come up and down once, stopping in the middle of the second up. If it moves any more than that the shocks or struts need replacing.
Then check your tie rod ends and ball joints. There are 4 tie rod ends on your vehicle. They are attached to the front wheel and the steering box. There is an outer one on the wheel and an inner one at the steering rack. Try to move them side to side or up and down. Any movement means they need to be replaced.
To check the ball joints, you will have to jack the wheel up so it is clear of the ground. Grab the tire at 12 and 6 o'clock and try to move it in and out. If it moves, then have someone watch as you move it and see if the movement is at the bottom ball joint or the top one, if your car has an upper ball joint. Front wheel drive cars with spring/strut suspension don't have upper ball joints.
I would be inclined to suspect the tie rod ends as being your problem, but it could easily be multiple things so check them all. Hope this helps.
There are several components that could cause noise from the front when turning. I am assuming when you say the Front nearside you are saying the fromt left wheel is where the knocking is comming from when making a left turn. The components to be concerned about are, Wheel bearings, Ball Jionts, Tie rod Ends, CV joints and brake rotors.
Jack the car up under the control arm until the wheel is off the ground about 3 inches. Slide a pry bar ybder the tire and place the other hand on the top of the tire. As you lift and lowere the pry bar fell for loose movement in the tire. If there is such movement you have a bad wheel bearing.
Repeat the test above and watch the upper and lower ball joints for movement. Is there is movement replace the bad ball joint.
Tie Rod ends:
With the tire still off the ground grip the tire in the front and back and rey to move it as if your were trying to turn the tire. Watch the tie rod ends for loose movement. If they are loose replace them.
The Joint is housed in a rubber boot. If you can feel the joint inside the boot you can turn the tire forward and back and feel for play in the joint. If you are not able to feel the play you can loosen the clamp on the boot and push the boot out of the way. Then repeat the test.
Brake Rotors. Inspect the brakes for wear and any signs of pitting or grooves in the rotors.
You need to take this seriously because if you have a Ball joint or tie rod end break while driving, it will cause a wreck.
you should check the tie-rod ends. Depending on the model, it may have 2 or 4 ends. You can check them either by taking a large pair of chanel lock type pliers and try to compress them, or having the vehicle on the sitting on the ground, push on the sides of the tires to feel any play. If there's movement, the ends are worn. Also check the ball-joints when it's jacked up under the lower control arms, by taking a long pipe or bar and try forcing the wheel up, if you feel movement then the ball-joints may be worn out.
You could have a bad tie rod end, Idler arm, pitman arm, wheel bearing or ball joint. All of these will normally cause a vibration also. Check by jacking the front end one side at a time and moving the tire back and forth on front and back and in and out on top and bottom. Either watch or have someone else watch the steering assembly for movement and where it is. If there is no unusual movement, it is more than likely an alignment problem or tire problem.
If you make a hard right or left hand turn (with steering wheel turned until it stops) you'll hear and feel a pop sensation.When you drive over potholes you'll feel a slight pull to one side.If it is one of the upper balljoints,you can grab the tire with both hands near the top(11 and 1 o'clock) and pull the wheel back and forth.You will feel looseness if the upper balljoint is bad.
To check ball joints is relatively easy. There is a load carrying ball joint and a pivot ball joint. The pivot joint gets minimal wear. To check the load ball joint, jack up the wheel to be checked. With about an 1" of clearance off the ground, place your hand on top of the tire and wityh a long sturdy bar under the tire, move the bar up and down. Feel for lateral movement at the wheel. you want to make sure that the wheel bearings are good and the movement is slight if any.
Have the sway-bar end-links replaced. They will thunk and rattle over washboard or severe bumps, but will not when wheels are turned and sway-bar is loaded.Fairly cheap and easy repair, no alignment needed.