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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.
I would look at replacing your ball joints and/or tie rod ends, either can cause those symptoms. The balls joints should be check by a professional.
To check your tie rods jack one front side of your car check it, then do the other;
Move the front wheels. Placing your hands on the tire at the 9 and 3
o'clock positions, move the tire back and forth rapidly. A properly
tightened front end will give no signs of excess movement and should
give you the feeling of the entire wheel moving back and forth tight to
the hub. If there is a movement, ask a friend or partner to ascertain
where the movement is coming from. There could be many places that
excess movement in a front end could be coming from. The tie rod ends
are the easiest to check. Generally, if there is movement in the outer
tie rod end, you will see it moving near the ball area where is sits
down into the knuckle of the control arm. Excess movement there will
require replacement of the outer tie rod. As far as movement on the
inner tie rod, place your hand on that while your helper is moving the
tire in the same motion described above. Determine how excessive the
movement is, if any, for an inner tie rod. Some vehicles will give off a
little movement in the rack and pinion. Some vehicles will have what
feels like excess movement, but have pitman arms and idler arms that
will also need to be checked. Those components should only be allowing
side-to-side movement. Take some time and make sure the lower ball joint is not moving. Place
your hands on the tire at 12 and 6 o'clock and try to move it up and
down. Many vehicles nowadays have wheel bearing hub assemblies, and
there should be absolutely no free-play whatsoever. If there is and
the lower ball joint is not moving in the knuckle, chances are there's
movement in the bearing. Some rear-wheel-drive vehicles have a bearing
seated rotor and this can be adjusted to tighten the looseness in a
bearing; however, a little movement in that type of application is
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.