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Old 12-25-2009, 03:33 PM   #1
keonato
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Default Blasted clicking noise when turning

This annoying little thing started about a week and a half ago, right when the weather started getting really cold so I'm tempted to chalk up the problem to that -- but not entirely.

Basically, whenever I turn things to the right -- clockwise -- there's a dull click. I can maybe make it happen three times if I make a full rotation. It seems to be coming from the steering column itself, not from the suspension or anywhere else.

So it might be a bearing, but I'm also worried that it might be a harbinger of something more serious -- something that could fail in the coming weeks and cost me hundreds of dollars instead of a hundred.

Anyone have any thoughts? Thanks for the help. Oh and a merry Christmas, too.
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Old 12-25-2009, 03:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: Blasted clicking noise when turning

There is a bolt at the end of the steering column that holds it to the rack. Check the tension on that- other than that, S cars have few problems in this area- L cars are a different story.
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Old 12-25-2009, 03:56 PM   #3
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Default Re: Blasted clicking noise when turning

It might help to post some car info otherwise we're guessing what you're driving. Mileage, manual/auto, maintenance, recent repairs, etc.. You may have the beginnings of a cv-joint failure on either the right or left side.

And Merry Xmas to you!
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Old 12-25-2009, 05:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: Blasted clicking noise when turning

Apologies, fdryer -- I was in a bit of a hurry when posting earlier.

93 SL2. 137k on it. Automatic. Had the tensioner replaced a few months back after it failed. Temp sensor also swapped out back in September. Been having my share of issues with the car and I'm trying not to sink too much money into it seeing as how I'm moving to NYC in May and going to be selling it before I do.
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Old 12-26-2009, 12:45 AM   #5
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Default Re: Blasted clicking noise when turning

Does it make the noise when you steer while the car is not moving? Or only when rolling?
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Old 12-26-2009, 11:56 AM   #6
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Default Re: Blasted clicking noise when turning

Only noticed it when parking. But then again, most turns I take when driving aren't extreme enough to get it to the point on the rotation where it should "click." I'll try to do some wild u-turns in the parking lot before work today. Kind of resigned to it being a bad cv joint at this point though.
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Old 12-26-2009, 03:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: Blasted clicking noise when turning

My only experience with worn cv joints was kind of obvious; when I bought a Mercury Sable wagon some years ago, I neglected to look at the cv joints carefully - each of the two joints had blown boots. Well, one only made soft clicking noises when the wheel was locked in a tight turn but disappeared with normal steering. Knowing this was the beginning of a worn cv joint I carefully rebuilt each cv joint with the help of my brother-in-law and reused them with new boots, grease, and clamps. Never had either of them blow out in the 10yrs I used the wagon. One still made clicking noises but only in tight turns so the wear was at the extremes of cv joint angles. In normal every day driving they were perfect. I wouldn't suggest short cuts but sometimes rebuilds works. I did clean each joint thoroughly for examination of any extreme wear but only noticed minimal scoring of the wear surfaces.

Worn cv joints don't need "wild turns" in a parking lot. Just normal driving while trying to assess which joint is worn out. Experiment in both directions and progressively turn tighter until the clicking is heard then try in the other direction. Slow speed will expose a worn joint just as easily as faster speeds. A blown boot would be the obvious answer as to which joint is worn; the grease will be slung everywhere in a 360 degree circle where the boot is cracked, leaving grease all over the underpinnings. Nasty synthetic grease that's hard to remove. Great stuff as long as it remains inside the boots.........
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Old 12-27-2009, 12:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: Blasted clicking noise when turning

Thanks for the help, fdryer. For what it's worth -- I got nothing this morning, either by trying it while moving or stationary. Popped up again as I was coming back from work just now, but only when parked.

I don't really have the time/resources/knowledge to try a rebuild myself so I'll be taking it in. I just like to know what I'm up against before I hand it off to someone else.
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