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1999 toyota corolla
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
i think i may have a problem with my 99 corolla. first of all i have to say it's been a great car. really reliable. i bought it in july of 2007 for i think $5000. it had a little over 120k on it then, and now it just rolled to 170k the other night. it's been a very reliable car though. i use it mainly, because it's a good commuter car, and averages about 30 mpgs or maybe more with a combination of highway, and city driving. my commute to work is at least 130 miles a day round trip. some days even more with various stops i make. i use the car at least 3 days a week. i have a side business i do, and have an f350 i use for those nights that i have jobs to go on after work.


this car was never a smooth riding car. by smooth riding i mean i have always felt movement in the floor. not exactly a vibration, but just more of a road feeling. some tell me it's because the car is small, and low to the ground. there is also a slight thudding noise. it's hard to explain, but sort of a thud or thump when making a left turn. usually only for sharp left turns. it's hard to tell where it's coming from. it almost sounds like it's coming from inside the car or in the steering box. i really can't tell. it's really killing me not being able to find it. oh and it only makes that thud when the car is moving. if i turn the wheel with the car at a stop i never hear it. sometimes i get a similar noise, but it's a little quiter, and sounds like it's just coming from the wheel. i've tried to turn the wheel while kneeling down to see if i hear it down under the wheels, and i don't think i can. i have heard ball joints pop, and make similar noises, but they are different noises then what i hear with my corolla. i have climbed under the car, and don't see anything out of order with the front end. also when going down some roads like certain ones paved in a particular way the wheel wobbles a bit, but i think thats normal. i've noticed that with all vehicles i've driven. no vibration in the wheel though whatsoever. no shaking, no real vibration in the floor, but it just feels close to the road if you know what i mean.


aside from that occasionally when i turn the wheel for example when pulling out of a parking spot, and turning the wheel all the way before i hit the throttle the car sounds like it's making sort of a grinding which doesn't sound like the thump at all i hear when turning left. a couple people have told me it's normal for the steering to make noises as long as the car is not in motion. a buddy of mine who knows about as much as front wheel drive cars as much as i do said it could be the steering shaft which is not dangerous to drive with just annoying. this is the first fwd car i have ever owned. always had trucks. used a company car that was fwd for works years ago, but this is the first i have owned myself.

now i know i will get some replies saying ''take it in to get it fixed, if it is the '' whatever'' then it's dangerous to drive with, and needs to be fixed right away. my problem with that is i don't have a lot of money. i really don't. i live paycheck to paycheck, and have a little over $500 in my bank account, and another $500-600 i use for taxes on my business when tax time comes. so i am really afraid to take this in, and think it's gonna cost $500 bucks, but it winds up costing $1200 bucks which i won't have. these bastards wanna charge so much money, and people really don't have that kinda money laying around! i remember when i needed to have the front end on my f350 fixed. it cost me over $1200 bucks, and i know from the days i worked on things myself. it's not nearly as hard to work on a rear wheel drive as a front wheel drive. so i can't afford to take it in, and have the mechanic tell me ''well it's gonna cost $1200 bucks to fix it, and by the way when we were down there i noticed that this, this this, and that, and all this needs to be replaced too, and by the way you need new tires as well, so this might cost you in excess of 2 grand!''. i generally hate mechanics. i change my own oil, and do my own basic maintainance myself. so any help is greatly appreciated. any ideas? i have run out, and it's driving me crazy!
 

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If it's only when you make sharp left turns, that could be a CV joint. If you make a sharp right turn, does it not make the noise? Check the rubber boots on your axle for any cracks or grease spillage, which would indicate a CV joint failure.

It could also be a wheel bearing, but those usually make a high frequency noise that gets louder with velocity.
 

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1999 toyota corolla
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
If it's only when you make sharp left turns, that could be a CV joint. If you make a sharp right turn, does it not make the noise? Check the rubber boots on your axle for any cracks or grease spillage, which would indicate a CV joint failure.

It could also be a wheel bearing, but those usually make a high frequency noise that gets louder with velocity.
i've already checked the cv joints. no cracks or grease. it's been a few weeks since i checked them, but it's been making the noise long before the last time i checked. thanks though. any other thoughts? this really has me scratching my head! as far as the right turns no i don't think it does, but the noise it makes on the left side is so quiet only i can hear it. the passengers i ask say it's all in my head! if i turned up the stereo just a little i can't hear it. actually i can't hear it at all if the stereo is even on!
 

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i've already checked the cv joints. no cracks or grease. it's been a few weeks since i checked them, but it's been making the noise long before the last time i checked. thanks though. any other thoughts? this really has me scratching my head! as far as the right turns no i don't think it does, but the noise it makes on the left side is so quiet only i can hear it. the passengers i ask say it's all in my head! if i turned up the stereo just a little i can't hear it. actually i can't hear it at all if the stereo is even on!
Just because the cv joint boots are not cracked and there is no grease leaking, does not necessarily mean the cv joint is still good. I am stating this based on personal experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just because the cv joint boots are not cracked and there is no grease leaking, does not necessarily mean the cv joint is still good. I am stating this based on personal experience.
yeah i have heard of that before. how could i find out though if the joint is bad with no leaks or cracks in the boot? i have heard bad cv joints before. the clicking noise they make. my car doesn't make a clicking noise at all though. still puzzled. just did 150 miles today with it.
 

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yeah i have heard of that before. how could i find out though if the joint is bad with no leaks or cracks in the boot? i have heard bad cv joints before. the clicking noise they make. my car doesn't make a clicking noise at all though. still puzzled. just did 150 miles today with it.
It's really tough to tell other than just relying on diagnosing the symptoms. Bitter's suggestion above is great and well worth a try, but sometimes the CV joints perform as intended until there is a load on them.

I had a Corolla in the shop that would develop a moderarte front end vibration only when accellerating around a left turn. It was especially noticable if you were going up a hill, accellerating and rounding a left turn at the same time. Both axles and CV joints looked like new and the boots looked perfect. The CV joints did not click when the steering was turned to full lock in either direction, going either forward or backwards. Based on this, I was changing worn motor mounts and trying some other things and nothing solved it, until I changed the axles with new CV joints. Its been fine for the last 4 years. This can be very frustrating. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
well the other night i had the ex wife drive it for me while i sat in the passenger side. told her to take it down the road so we could get highway speeds. it's smoother on the passenger side, but it is smoother on the passenger side in most vehicles. it's hardly giving me any noise yet though. in fact she heard it on one turn, and said it sounded like it was coming from the steering box or behind the wheel, and thats what it sounds like to me also. if the stereo is on at all it's not even audible. thats how quiet it is. personally i am not gonna take it to get fixed, because i don't wanna risk being robbed. i'll see if it gets any noisier or if the steering becomes sloppy. it's not sloppy yet at all. it's a lot tighter than my f350 which got a whole new front end two years ago. the owner before me who was the second owner of the car gave me the receipts. she had the cv joints, and i think ball joints, and control arms done on this corolla before i had it. don't know what the mileage was, but according to the title she bought this car in march of 01, and it had i think 56k miles then. the cv joints were done in january of 05, and ball joints, and control arms were done in november 06 which was 8 months before i bought it. don't know the mileage at those times, but that doesn't mean they can't be bad now. thanks for all the help though guys! i really appreciate it, and i know it's hard to give a diagnosis online or anywhere without seeing it or driving it first hand!
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
alright i hate to bring this one back, but i keep scratching the shit out of my head on this one. i need to take this car to atlantic city this weekend to spend with a female friend of mine. this car has already made it there before not even two months ago, and as of the last week it's been doing fine on a 188 mile commute round trip ever since this job i have been put on. this problem is annoying the ever loving shit out of me, and i don't know what the hell it is. i don't think it's the cv joints, and the car is PERFECTLY alligned.


the car is just making a weird noise when turning left, and it could just be plastic or the metal in the fender for all i know. the sound is actually very similar to the sound it makes if you were to knock on the fender or the outter wheel well. let me make this point clear. if i turned the wheel all the way when the car was not in motion it won't do it. if i turn the wheel to the left at a stop the noise is not there. it is only when making a sharp left hand turn while the car is actually in motion.


the only other vehicle i got to depend on is a 2000 f350 diesel, and that would cost twice as much to take on this trip. it would cost more than twice what it would take for the corolla to make it there. i rely on that truck for my business i have on the side. i literally have $600 bucks to my name to spend right now without going into money i need to take pay my bills, and i don't know how to work on a front wheel drive car especially nothing in the front end. i do the oil changes, brakes, and tire rotations myself, and thats about all on the corolla. i couldn't even do the belt myself it's such a pain in the ass.

now one more time i need to stress. the car only makes the noise on a sharp left turn. it does not do it at all if i turn the wheel all the way when the car is stopped or idling. only when it's driving. anyone ever had this problem? i know i mentioned it last month when i started this thread, but it's a 99 corolla with 172k miles. i'm happy, because i have not put much money into it. if i had needed to put a lot into it my house probably would have foreclosed, and my phone, electric would be turned off as well as my car insurance most likely dropped as well. atlantic city is anout 400 miles round trip from me.
 

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Still sounds like the left CV to me.

Assuming you've rotated the wheels to make sure the noise doesn't move, you're only down to a few likely causes: CV, bearings, strut, ball joint, tie rod. And if the noise is rotational (changes with speed), I'd bet either CV or bearings.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
my best friend has a 1994 oldsmobile brevada. he regularly buys junk so it's nothing out of the ordinary. in the 25 years he's been driving he's had to have had over 50 cars. i think 60 even. not all 60 of them ran, but he has owned 60. he's probably owned closer to 60 cars than anything. one night i was hanging out with him, and he took me to a buddy's house of his, and they were drinking. i wasn't so he had me drive his truck. the truck is all wheel drive. everytime you make a turn in that truck you can feel, and hear something in the floor clunking. there is so much play in the steering that he kept telling me to stop swerving cause it looked like i had been the one drinking! this truck has 226k miles. he claims it's just his body, and a bolt is missing. i think he's wrong. he's a likable and good hearted guy, but sometimes he really doesn't know what he's talking about. a lot of times he does. he knows everything about a small engine, and he's been working with them for years. dirtbikes, lawnmowers, tractors, any kind of motorcycle. he's helped me with some things on my cars over the years growing up, and as we've gotten older.


my corolla don't clunk like that. not at all. mine isn't really a clunking. it could be nothing, and that's what i'm hoping. i'm pretty sure it's been making the noise for a couple years, and it really hasn't gotten worse though i know in the colder weather it seems like it does it more than during the warmer months. when i have driven it with my best friend i spoke about earlier in the post it never makes the noise, and the couple times it did he couldn't hear it. ever since i got my license back in 1983 back when i would pick him up on my way to school when he wasn't yet able to drive he always had a mantra. he swore by the ''run it till she blows'' ethic. not always the smartest ethic. i really think if this was a big problem it would probably be clunking like his truck, or it would have more play in the steering. i was only worried about taking it on that long trip. i know my limits with this car though. i took a trip over 500 miles one way to west virginia to visit a friend a couple weeks ago. i rented a car for that, because i really don't wanna be broken down with this corolla somewhere in the middle of pennsylvania, maryland or west virginia. i don't trust it at this point to push it down there. there is probably 10 different check engine codes also as well as other things.


this noise is KILLING me it really is. i have gotten under the car, i've grabbed the cv joints, and don't hear it, i've tried everything. i can't even pinpoint where it's coming from. i really can't.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
well my buddy checked it out for me, and said they looked fine. i know this isn't a rule of thumb as we have already came to the conclusion that they could be bad without having any tears in the boots. there aren't many noises, but the floor of the car doesn't vibrate if you know what i mean. it just feels like a skateboard or a go cart better yet. it's never been the smoothest riding car. not since i bought it almost 3 and a half years ago.


lets say they did need to be replaced. what is a reasonable price for them? i don't wanna be swindled into paying a grand for the job. i am pretty sure the parts are only $200 bucks tops, and i would hope a good mechanic would not need to take anymore than 3 hours to do this job. so say labor is $90 bucks an hour they gotta be out of their mind to charge me over $700 bucks just in labor. thats like 8 hours, and i know there is no way it takes 8 hours for someone who knows what they're doing to do the cv joints.


what would a reasonable price be? i already paid $1200 bucks for my entire front end on my 2000 f350 over two years ago, and that don't even have cv joints on it. if i had more time, and was better educated i could pull this job off myself. i was able to pretty much do anything front end related to rear wheel drive vehicles i had when i was younger. this is the first front wheel drive i have ever owned. i just remember all the experiences with mechanics, and when they wanted to charge me $700 bucks to fix some bs sensor that made me check engine light come on that i told them to go screw themselves with.
 
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