Toyota Nation Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Thank you for reading my thread and I appreciate any help y'all can provide!

I have a 2002 Toyota Camry LE 4 cylinder. For the past 4 years (or more) I have had a hard thud sound that comes from the front right tire portion while I am driving and when the car goes over uneven surface, pot holes, ridges on roads etc.

I ignored it for the longest time and finally decided to get it checked out and a local mechanic shop said I needed new struts, another said I needed new sway bar link.

So anyway my tires were getting worn out and it was time for new tires, as well as struts (still had the original struts since I bought the car new in 2002, currently has 95,000 miles on it).

So I got the struts changed on both sides (fitted the monroe sensa tracs) + got new tires (all 4) and got wheel balancing done. The noise still didn't go away.

So then I went ahead and got the sway bar link also replaced (both sides). The noise still is the same. I got the tie rod ends examined and they look fine.

The noise is a hard thud, if I drive at very low speeds say at 5-15 miles per hour, you cant hear it, if I go over 20 miles an hour and even if it is a small ditch, a pothole, a crack in the road, I hear the thud and some rattling (like some thing is loose).

I have got everything examined and no one can seem to find anything wrong. The mud flaps or any other portion is not loose nor is it hitting the inside of the tire.

I am dejected, frustrated and lost.

Any pointers, help, advise would be appreciated.

Should I take it to a Toyota dealership and have them check it out?

Thanks much!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,415 Posts
Did u get the strut mounts replaced as well? Try greasing/lubricating your springs.
 

·
Cruisin' along
2019 Camry LE
Joined
·
858 Posts
i have had a similar noise, and it was found to be the INNER tie rod end. there is an outer tie rod end, and an inner tie rod end on one side. the other side, has these as well. the proper way to diagnose this is to have the wheel removed, the outer tie rod MUST be disconnected from the steering arm (strut) and then the mechanic can move around (up and down motions) of the inner tie rod. they have to separate the outer tie rod end, from that steering arm (strut) in order to isolate the inner tie rod. other wise, the mechanic is only testing the outer tie rod end for free play (looseness). now if found to be the inner tie rod end, have both sides replaced then a 4 wheel alignment.

the inner tie rod ends are moving up and down constantly (each time over a bump, pothole, etc,etc), and the outer tie rod ends move left and right(making turns). usually the outer tie rod ends wear out first, but i personally have had my inner tie rods go kaput first.....!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Did u get the strut mounts replaced as well? Try greasing/lubricating your springs.
No, even though I was prepared to do this, when the old struts were removed and the mounts examined, they were found to be in good condition, so we didn't put new mounts on.

I believe the springs were greased and lubricated, but I can try that again.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
i have had a similar noise, and it was found to be the INNER tie rod end. there is an outer tie rod end, and an inner tie rod end on one side. the other side, has these as well. the proper way to diagnose this is to have the wheel removed, the outer tie rod MUST be disconnected from the steering arm (strut) and then the mechanic can move around (up and down motions) of the inner tie rod. they have to separate the outer tie rod end, from that steering arm (strut) in order to isolate the inner tie rod. other wise, the mechanic is only testing the outer tie rod end for free play (looseness). now if found to be the inner tie rod end, have both sides replaced then a 4 wheel alignment.

the inner tie rod ends are moving up and down constantly (each time over a bump, pothole, etc,etc), and the outer tie rod ends move left and right(making turns). usually the outer tie rod ends wear out first, but i personally have had my inner tie rods go kaput first.....!!!
Hi Glenn, you know what, that is a great lead!

We never examined the inner tie rod end in the manner that you describe it above. We just examined the outer one and of course it was still connected to the inner steering arm so all we tested was the outer end for free play and we didn't find any.

Given how you describe the inner tie rod ends moves (up and down) versus the outter one (side to side), it is more than likely that a bad inner tie rod end may be the culprit. I will schedule some time right away to have it checked.

Thank you very much for replying to me!
 

·
Cruisin' along
2019 Camry LE
Joined
·
858 Posts
Hi Glenn, you know what, that is a great lead!

We never examined the inner tie rod end in the manner that you describe it above. We just examined the outer one and of course it was still connected to the inner steering arm so all we tested was the outer end for free play and we didn't find any.

Given how you describe the inner tie rod ends moves (up and down) versus the outter one (side to side), it is more than likely that a bad inner tie rod end may be the culprit. I will schedule some time right away to have it checked.

Thank you very much for replying to me!
Missy, just to take another note on this, once the car has been disassembled the way i explained it, the inner tie rod end should move up and down rather easily. if it takes "brute force" to get that inner tie rod end to move up/down, then that is the bad one. it should take just a slight amount of pressure to move it, as it should be "stiff" but not rock hard. now, also, once the tie rod end is exposed for testing, it should stay "level" for a good deal of time. if it falls from "level position" to a downward position all on its own,right away, that is a bad inner tie rod end as well.

another way to test the inner tie rod for play (but not the thumping) is to have the tires on the car, jack it up slightly to remove some pressure off the front end, then grasp the tire at a 3 and 9 o'clock position, and with a helper, have him watch for for any in/out movement of the inner tie rod. usually ANY free play, more than 1/8th an inch i believe, the inner tie rod is bad. as stated, replace both sides, cuz you know, if one goes now, the other will soon follow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Missy, just to take another note on this, once the car has been disassembled the way i explained it, the inner tie rod end should move up and down rather easily. if it takes "brute force" to get that inner tie rod end to move up/down, then that is the bad one. it should take just a slight amount of pressure to move it, as it should be "stiff" but not rock hard. now, also, once the tie rod end is exposed for testing, it should stay "level" for a good deal of time. if it falls from "level position" to a downward position all on its own,right away, that is a bad inner tie rod end as well.

another way to test the inner tie rod for play (but not the thumping) is to have the tires on the car, jack it up slightly to remove some pressure off the front end, then grasp the tire at a 3 and 9 o'clock position, and with a helper, have him watch for for any in/out movement of the inner tie rod. usually ANY free play, more than 1/8th an inch i believe, the inner tie rod is bad. as stated, replace both sides, cuz you know, if one goes now, the other will soon follow.
Hi Glenn I was going to come back here to ask you how to detect a faulty inner tie rod, but you are already two steps ahead of me :)

Thank you for the excellent write up on this. I have found a good local mechanic (who doesn't charge an arm and a leg), I will relay this to him and have the car checked out ASAP.

If it is a bad inner tie rod, I will make sure I replace both the sides.

Is it worthwhile to replace the outer tie rods also? They look ok, but at $15-20 a piece might as well do it.

Thoughts?

I will certainly get a balancing done again even though I got one done one 2 months ago after the new tires and struts. bummer! Maybe I will get a free alignment check done first and if needed get an alignment done then.

Thanks again, much appreciated!!
 

·
Cruisin' along
2019 Camry LE
Joined
·
858 Posts
Hi Glenn I was going to come back here to ask you how to detect a faulty inner tie rod, but you are already two steps ahead of me :)

Thank you for the excellent write up on this. I have found a good local mechanic (who doesn't charge an arm and a leg), I will relay this to him and have the car checked out ASAP.

If it is a bad inner tie rod, I will make sure I replace both the sides.

Is it worthwhile to replace the outer tie rods also? They look ok, but at $15-20 a piece might as well do it.

Thoughts?

I will certainly get a balancing done again even though I got one done one 2 months ago after the new tires and struts. bummer! Maybe I will get a free alignment check done first and if needed get an alignment done then.

Thanks again, much appreciated!!
Missy, given that you have many miles on the car, and the factory original outer tie rod ends have NO grease fittings, i WOULD replace those as well, since the mechanic HAS to remove those to get at the inner tie rod ends. then the 4 wheel alignment. in my opinion, since you have to pay the labor charges, get it done and over with. now, you can pretty much say your front end is "rebuilt" and from that day on, you should not have any problems for a long, long time.......also, bear in mind, that now when you have the oil/filter changed, the garage can actually lube the outer tie rod ends, as those original outer ones are sealed at the factory for what they claim was for a "lifetime".......just BE SURE that when you DO GO for your oil/filter changes, you REMIND the shop to grease the outer tie rods.....!!!!

best of luck, this should all NOT cost way too much money. but i cannot give you an idea on price either.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Missy, given that you have many miles on the car, and the factory original outer tie rod ends have NO grease fittings, i WOULD replace those as well, since the mechanic HAS to remove those to get at the inner tie rod ends. then the 4 wheel alignment. in my opinion, since you have to pay the labor charges, get it done and over with. now, you can pretty much say your front end is "rebuilt" and from that day on, you should not have any problems for a long, long time.......also, bear in mind, that now when you have the oil/filter changed, the garage can actually lube the outer tie rod ends, as those original outer ones are sealed at the factory for what they claim was for a "lifetime".......just BE SURE that when you DO GO for your oil/filter changes, you REMIND the shop to grease the outer tie rods.....!!!!

best of luck, this should all NOT cost way too much money. but i cannot give you an idea on price either.....
Hi Glenn, hope your weekend is going well. Thanks again. Yeah I was also inclined to change the outer ones, so I will go ahead and do it also. Will put a reminder for myself to get the outer tie rods lubed during the oil change (or better yet when the tires are rotated perhaps?). I do it every 4-5K miles.

Pricing wise you can perhaps tell me how I have done so far.

For the 4 tires (50K mile warranty ones) installed + 4 wheel alignment I paid $325

For the struts - both front (monroe sensa tracs) - Parts + Labor I paid $200

For the sway bar links (both front ones) Parts + Labor I paid $60

All parts are brand new purchased from auto stores like advance auto, Napa etc by me.

For both the inner tie rods I am getting a price of $ 25 and for the two outer tie rods I am getting a pricing of about $35.

I need to check with my mechanic what the labor price will be for putting in new inner and outer tie rods. Should be within $50 I would think......so a total parts and labor price of around $100-110.

Any feedback on the parts or labor prices I have paid so far, did I do ok?

Enjoy your weekend and I appreciate the super detailed information you have provided!!
 

·
Cruisin' along
2019 Camry LE
Joined
·
858 Posts
the prices are probably good. its been a while since i had to buy those parts myself. be sure that the inner tie rod ends come with new "boots" or "bellows". if they do not come in the box, ask the parts guy about them. new "boots" or "bellows" is a good idea as the old ones take a beating from road debris and such. the boots/bellows should NOT be too much money.

if you take this to the same mechanic that already has dome the alignment, see if they can do this new alignment no charge, or at the very least, partial charge......just ask for the free first, see what he says. after all, you ARE keeping him busy.....!!!

good luck to you.

just MAKE sure he checks the inner tie rods first, before replacing them....
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top