When driving on a slightly rough road surface i experience a metalic noise coming from what sound like the left rearside of the car. This noise is not present when driving on a smooth surface. What could be the likely cause?
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Have a look under the rear end and see if the rear anti roll bar has 2 short struts with a small ball joint on each end. These wear out and give a knocking on certain surfaces. If so, any parts house will carry them. Before you spend out get it on a lift and have a good look at any and all suspension links, bushes etc. Sometimes its just a pull up on a spanner/wrench.
Been there done that with all front end noises on my Trailblazer. Took me 6 years to figure it out myself and had been into the dealer several times. If it's a rattle noise, like metal to metal, it's your sway bar end links, replace them with Moog brand ($37 each) as these are greasable unlike the stock ones. Boy if you live near Sacramento, I'll look at it for you. There are other noises that I can diagnose by hearing them. A squeaking noise is usually the hood stops and lock, grease them up. A crunching spring noise would be either be your upper or lower A-Arm bushings or your swaybar bushings.
The only real expensive thing here to replace out of all these is the lower A-arm bushings. They are not removable, must buy the whole bracket with the bushings installed...about $120 or less. The way to isolate the squeak is to spray some silicone lube on one bushing at a time.
Check or have service tech check rear diagonal arms, not the control arms. The tech will need to hit the bolt heads with a hammer, and you should hear the difference from left to right side. Another noise that can also be heard at times on some cars is the rear 1/4 window mounting rivets making a noise over bumps. Dealers should know about these...
Do not heat or bend any suspension parts. Big no-no. If it's all touching and out of whack, check for possible bent frame. Body-shop that did the past work might have overlooked the frame being bent. All measurements start with a straight frame.Then go after the individual hitch and sway bar.
On most toyotas and most vehicles in general there is usually a revised bearing and seal that sits differently on the axle to seal. You are only to do one switch, and after that you are to replace the axle. I would make sure that the next time you get it done you have the shop show you the axle and then housing to see if there is any pitting or roughness on either surface. Hope that helps fix the problem.
While you are driving, get up to roughly 40 MPH on a road with little or no traffic. Once at this speed, whip the steering wheel left and right as if you were making rapid lane changes. If you notice a change in the pitch or intensity of the sound, it is quite likely that you have a pending wheel bearing failure. The reason that the change will be noticed is because there is a rapid change in load placed on the bearings during lateral moves. Outside of the, the tires alone, can be quite noisy. I drive an old 1981 Mercedes 300TD wagon. I never realized how much road noise was coming from my tires until I replaced them with new ones!