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09 Camry
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243 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I replaced the front strut assemblies about 2 months ago. Prior to that, the front didn't make a sound. Now its making a creaking sound with the new assemblies, mostly on the passenger side when going at slow speeds (30 and under) and turning. Front sway bar links also replaced. Now, about 2 weeks ago I replaced my rear assemblies because the car had creaking noises going over bumps for a couple years now. I just thought it was worn shocks. Yet with the new ones the noise still persists as if nothing was replaced. Sway bar links on the rear also replaced. Everything torqued to spec. I inspected everything I could and did not notice any bushings or anything like that being badly worn, both on the front and rear. The sway bar bushings seem ok as well. I'm not sure at this point what to look for.

With the front assemblies, I first thought that the new assemblies may have been faulty since the noise started after the replacement. But now I think it may be something else since the noise in the rear did not go away after replacement of the rear assemblies.

The parts I used were Moog Problem Solvers for the front assemblies and KYB for the rear. ProForged sway bar links on both ends.

Any insight is much appreciated.
 

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01 Avalon XL, 03 Avalon XL
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You're going to have to find the source of the noises. I had a controversial noise in the rear suspension of our 01 Avalon (same rear suspension design as yours) and finally had to buy my own ChassisEar set to pinpoint it. It was a sway bar bushing. The $75 I paid for the ChassisEar on ebay saved me a $700 strut-replacement job at my shop, and the fix cost me $17.

If the creaking in the front is coming from down low and sounds like a hand rubbing a balloon, it could be a dry ball joint or tie rod end. If the creaking is at the top, your new strut might have come to you with a faulty strut top mount bearing. Anything manufactured by humans can have manufacturing defects, especially since automotive q.c. has to be statistical -- there's not enough time to check every part coming off the line.

At the rear, there are many spots where noise can begin. All the radius rods and trailing arms have rubber bushings at both ends. Most of these have a metal insert at the center and those can separate from the rubber, usually after the metal inserts rust-weld themselves to the connecting bolts. Everything can look OK but the insert rubbing on the bushing rubber can cause noises.
 

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If it is a creaking noise it is probably coming from a part that is rotating during turning. I would inspect the springs and strut mounts. The springs may not be seated properly with their rubber gasket or the strut may be missaligned in the mount or the nut is not tightened properly. As stated above try to determine if it ios high or low and work from there.
 

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Can't wait to see the input here. My 05 has been making noises like this in the front end for years. I have asked several shops to tell me why; nothing. I lubed the control arm bushings, because they look very worn to me, thinking it might quiet it down; no help. I asked shops to specifically look at them; nothing. On my car this is more pronounced in colder weather, say less than 30 degrees.
 

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01 Avalon XL, 03 Avalon XL
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My 05 has been making noises like this in the front end for years. I have asked several shops to tell me why; nothing.
Guess I should have detailed the ChassisEar I mentioned in post #2, above. It's a packaged set of 6 microphones mounted on clips that feed a 6-input amplifier and from there to headphones. As you drive along, or turn, or do whatever is causing your noise, you switch from mic to mic until it's clear which area the sound is coming from. The only commercial maker is Steelman and each of their models has problems. The wireless models have too much interference and/or drop the signal, and the wired set is too fragile for real pro use.

If you have an electronics background, you probably could easily make your own. One stopper for me is the fact that the microphones have to be the piezo type rather than the usual (air-borne) sound transducers. They require a specific kind of circuit.

Piezoelectric sensors turn physical vibration into electrical signals. Conventional mics would send you way too much ambient sound (like air rushing over the mic at speed, or engine noise or other rotating component noise) and turn the pinpointing into guesswork.
 

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09 Camry
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243 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
You're going to have to find the source of the noises. I had a controversial noise in the rear suspension of our 01 Avalon (same rear suspension design as yours) and finally had to buy my own ChassisEar set to pinpoint it. It was a sway bar bushing. The $75 I paid for the ChassisEar on ebay saved me a $700 strut-replacement job at my shop, and the fix cost me $17.

If the creaking in the front is coming from down low and sounds like a hand rubbing a balloon, it could be a dry ball joint or tie rod end. If the creaking is at the top, your new strut might have come to you with a faulty strut top mount bearing. Anything manufactured by humans can have manufacturing defects, especially since automotive q.c. has to be statistical -- there's not enough time to check every part coming off the line.

At the rear, there are many spots where noise can begin. All the radius rods and trailing arms have rubber bushings at both ends. Most of these have a metal insert at the center and those can separate from the rubber, usually after the metal inserts rust-weld themselves to the connecting bolts. Everything can look OK but the insert rubbing on the bushing rubber can cause noises.
thanks for the reply. so on the front, it sounds like its coming from the top (at least from the inside of the car) of the passenger side. sometimes there's also clunking noise as well and that is also usually from the passenger side, but sometimes i hear the clunking noise coming from driver side as well.

on the rear, it sounds like its coming from the bottom. when i go over a speed bump for example or something similar that will raise the car like that. as @george10 mentioned, it has been much more pronounced in cold weather than warm, but recently has even started doing it in warmer weather.

the creaking sound in the front does sound like a hand rubbing a balloon. what's interesting though is that this happened immediately after replacing the strut assemblies. would it be too much of a coincidence that at that same time either the ball joint or a tie rod end went bad? if so, how would i check that to be sure visually?

the noise in the rear kind of sounds like the hand rubbing the balloon as well, but i'd say much more pronounce with maybe a mix of clunk or something. can't really describe it properly.
 

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Solara 'Vert & ES350
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Some of it sounds like ball-joints (creaking).
The thunk (Front up high), had that once when the upper support for strut went bad.
Just because the part is brand new doesn't mean it's any good. Ask me how I know.
.
 

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09 Camry
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Discussion Starter #8
how would i check and determine for sure if the ball joint is bad? looked at it but didn't really see any deterioration there.

as far as the front struts, i guess i'm gonna have to call Moog and see if they can send me a new pair of assemblies and go from there.
 

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01 Avalon XL, 03 Avalon XL
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how would i check and determine for sure if the ball joint is bad? looked at it but didn't really see any deterioration there.
When you don't know how to do something, try google. In this case, I searched on "checking ball joints" without the quotation marks.

If you listen over the engine sound in the first one, you'll head the hand-rubbing-a-balloon creaking sounds.


 
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