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Old 03-15-2021, 10:44 PM   #1
G-Ma1
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Default Suspension Noise?

2003 Saturn LW300

Been hearing this noise, right rear, for about a month now.
been asking some questions on another forum and someone said it could be the suspension.

What do you think?
https://youtu.be/v6wK3_QaZlw
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Old 03-15-2021, 11:28 PM   #2
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Default Re: Suspension Noise?

Rear control arm bushings. Very common. .
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Old 03-16-2021, 08:51 AM   #3
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Default Re: Suspension Noise?

Quote:
Originally Posted by timl865 View Post
Rear control arm bushings. Very common. .
Thank you for the quick reply.
Is it a big job to repair - not for me, but for my mechanic?
Are parts available?
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Old 03-16-2021, 06:39 PM   #4
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
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Default Re: Suspension Noise?

First have a trust mech verify the issue before just replacing a well. Could be wheel bearing noise as well.
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Old 03-16-2021, 11:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Suspension Noise?

Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Ma1 View Post
2003 Saturn LW300

Been hearing this noise, right rear, for about a month now.
been asking some questions on another forum and someone said it could be the suspension.

What do you think?
https://youtu.be/v6wK3_QaZlw
Also been meaning to ask this question,
When I made a hard left in my L200, i heard a very audible brrrr like noise in the front passengerside wheel well. I think it could be the splashguard rubbing against the tire...
...
2002 L200 "Rattler" 67,765 - 5/12/2021 (Mileage As Of Date)
2006 Kia Sorento EX "Workhorse" 91,046 - February 2021 (Mileage As Of Memory)
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Old 03-17-2021, 01:21 AM   #6
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Default Re: Suspension Noise?

Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Ma1 View Post
2003 Saturn LW300

Been hearing this noise, right rear, for about a month now.
been asking some questions on another forum and someone said it could be the suspension.

What do you think?
https://youtu.be/v6wK3_QaZlw
It's very unlikely to be a wheel bearing issue. Wheel bearing failure is typically heard as a hum which rises or falls in pitch and volume as speed increases or decreases. The rear wheel bearings are sealed in a housing and are mounted in such a way as to hold the brake backing plate in place. Replacing one requires a complete removal of the rear brake down to the bare trailing arm. These bearings can last a very long time. I have not yet replaced them on my car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by timl865 View Post
Rear control arm bushings. Very common. .
If you're referring the the rear knuckle bushings directly behind the rear wheels, then yes, I agree that it's a possibility. Those can easily be seen if they're needing replacement.

I believe that another possibility may be with the rear shock absorber (or strut depending upon which repair source one reads). It may be weak. Have the struts and shocks ever been replaced? If so, when? When examining the shock look closely for anything that may appear to be a trail of liquid, how ever small, near the top of its body. Please note that it does not have to feel wet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SelfemploydL200 View Post
Also been meaning to ask this question,
When I made a hard left in my L200, i heard a very audible brrrr like noise in the front passengerside wheel well. I think it could be the splashguard rubbing against the tire...
This is too difficult to even guess at what this noise is or where it may be coming from. A visual inspection of the right front wheel well and the parts around it should show evidence of a problem if it is actually emanates from something in that area.
...
350K miles - Holy canolli!
Biden/Harris predictions, '21 -'25: weak economy; weakened military; increased terrorism; an emboldened RED CHINA. I fear that I will be correct. I'd rather be wrong.

Last edited by pierrot; 03-17-2021 at 01:32 AM.
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Old 03-17-2021, 08:30 AM   #7
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Default Re: Suspension Noise?

If you really want to know where the noise is coming from, use a DIY Stethoscope. Seeing it is so easy to recreate the noise. Get a length of 1/2" pvc and use it like a Stethoscope to locate the exact source of the noise. Have someone push on the car to cause the noise and use the pvc pipe as a stethoscope, moving it from part to part until you hear the noise the loudest. This will identify the exact location the noise is coming from.
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Old 03-17-2021, 06:13 PM   #8
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Default Re: Suspension Noise?

The L is a different config from the Ion, but on my Ion both rear springs were broken in the bottom coil close to the end of the spring. Since it's in a "pocket" you have to look closely.
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Old 03-17-2021, 07:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: Suspension Noise?

I had that happened on both front springs, but on the back if the last coil breaks, the spring jumps beyond the ledge on the "shock". Our Saturn only had 3" of clearance before I discovered both front springs were missing several inches of spring. I replaced both front and rear components. The subframe was junk, both front struts and springs were junk, and one back spring broke. The Saturn was minutes away from so-called, "driving it into the ground". It should be advised that every Saturday owner take a good look at these components periodically.
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Old 03-18-2021, 02:09 AM   #10
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Default Re: Suspension Noise?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rj 2000 LS2 View Post
If you really want to know where the noise is coming from, use a DIY Stethoscope. Seeing it is so easy to recreate the noise. Get a length of 1/2" pvc and use it like a Stethoscope to locate the exact source of the noise. Have someone push on the car to cause the noise and use the pvc pipe as a stethoscope, moving it from part to part until you hear the noise the loudest. This will identify the exact location the noise is coming from.
Not sure what you mean by this, but I took a look under the front passenger's side wheel well and saw some material rubbed out by what I guess is the tire...
...
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2006 Kia Sorento EX "Workhorse" 91,046 - February 2021 (Mileage As Of Memory)
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Old 03-18-2021, 03:18 AM   #11
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Default Re: Suspension Noise?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SelfemploydL200 View Post
Not sure what you mean by this, but I took a look under the front passenger's side wheel well and saw some material rubbed out by what I guess is the tire...
While I own an automotive stethoscope I have used a long shank screw driver (28") to act in that way. Placing the tip of the screw driver against an alternator or water pump, for example, and placing my ear against the handle I would listen for a bad bearing. Similarly, it can be done to listen for other noises. Regardless, Rj 2000 LS2's comments are only relating to the noise at the rear axle.

I am curious about what you saw that was "rubbed out by what I guess is the tire." Where was this rubbed out location? Was it towards the front,
rear, or top of the wheel well? My experience has been that the wheel assemblies (rim and tire) on our L's won't strike the wheel well liner unless there is some unidentified underlying problem which is the root cause of such a thing.

Lastly, since your next post will be your 15th you will be allowed to upload photographs to SaturnFans! You must be aware that photos uploaded have a size limit: 150kb for .jpeg, or 201.5kb for .jpg. Whether there is already a program on your computer or one you'll need to download, such alteration isn't particularly difficult.
...
350K miles - Holy canolli!
Biden/Harris predictions, '21 -'25: weak economy; weakened military; increased terrorism; an emboldened RED CHINA. I fear that I will be correct. I'd rather be wrong.

Last edited by pierrot; 03-18-2021 at 03:23 AM.
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Old 03-18-2021, 10:03 PM   #12
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Default Re: Suspension Noise?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pierrot View Post


Lastly, since your next post will be your 15th you will be allowed to upload photographs to SaturnFans! You must be aware that photos uploaded have a size limit: 150kb for .jpeg, or 201.5kb for .jpg. Whether there is already a program on your computer or one you'll need to download, such alteration isn't particularly difficult.
Neat!
...
2002 L200 "Rattler" 67,765 - 5/12/2021 (Mileage As Of Date)
2006 Kia Sorento EX "Workhorse" 91,046 - February 2021 (Mileage As Of Memory)
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Old 03-19-2021, 09:06 AM   #13
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Default Re: Suspension Noise? - the old unobtainium trick

hi rj- my o1 L100 now has 189k. curious about your findings on suspension noise. last year replaced the front spring struts with monroe quick struts since original struts were stinko. front suspension now good. rear springs look ok and make no noise but worried about finding these rear springs since they appear to be gone from about 10 suppliers i have tried. about 10 years ago i did replace the rear shock originals with gabriels and they still work well. how did you get the rear springs which you replaced? even tried possible interchanges with other gm vehicles(ie malibu, ) of similar size and vintage and their springs are all different. thanks tons bob f
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Old 03-19-2021, 09:32 AM   #14
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Default Re: Suspension Noise?

I wasn't missing any coils from the springs on the rear. The coils jumped over the strut flange. I removed the rear coils and cleaned them up. I purchased two identical struts that have the largest flanges where the coil sits.

I ordered two struts. What was odd, the struts were slightly different (flange location and size of flange). The Part Number was the identical, but strut for strut did not match. I made no friends at the auto store, because I would not accept non-standard struts. There were three variants with the same part number.
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Old 03-19-2021, 10:24 PM   #15
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Default Re: Suspension Noise?

hi rj- what would you do if a rear coil broke? dont think welding is an option. have heard that they do break with age.thanks bob f
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Old 03-21-2021, 10:06 AM   #16
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Default Re: Suspension Noise?

Our rear springs were fully intact, but the paint had fallen off. They were very rusty in spots where the paint had fallen off. I sanded the rust and painted the coils.

There are other vehicles with the same type of rear suspension. It is rather common. I can't remember which brands, but I suspect it would be possible to find a spring in a junk yard.
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Old 03-21-2021, 12:12 PM   #17
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Default Re: Suspension Noise?

Our cars are a GM Europe designed car, really an Opel/Vauxhall Vectra B. They sold many times more of these cars across Europe for more years than they were available here. If you look on ebayuk you can find almost anything chassis wise for our cars including springs and suspension bushings. The freight from across the pond can add up but it looks like parts will be available for some time. The Saab 9-5 is also closely related.
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Last edited by 02 LW300; 03-21-2021 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 03-21-2021, 01:36 PM   #18
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Default Re: Suspension Noise?

^Yes, that's entirely correct.

FWIW, I sent a 7lbs. package to Canada this past Friday via DHL. While preparing the shipping documents through a computer at their customer shipping office I saw that the cost was slightly over $115.00. With that in mind, one could expect even higher costs when things are being shipped from Europe to the U.S.. Fellow Canadian Saturn owners can order Vauxhall parts from England without customs issues as they're part of the British Commonwealth.

(Fortunately for the receiver, in my example, the DHL charges will be less since it was paid through their business account.)
...
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Biden/Harris predictions, '21 -'25: weak economy; weakened military; increased terrorism; an emboldened RED CHINA. I fear that I will be correct. I'd rather be wrong.
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Old 03-21-2021, 03:22 PM   #19
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Default Re: Suspension Noise?

a couple of years ago I replaced all the suspension bushes (2 each side) and the big donuit bushes on the trailing arms of my son;s 2003 L300. I got all the parts from the UK. The only thing I did buy from the US (off Ebay) was the bushing kit that enables you to push out and push in the old and new suspension bushings. The donut bushings were another issue and I replaced them with a mixture of sawzall and propane torch to prep the bsuhing for pushing out. I also borrowed from O' Reillys the bushing kit they had and between my kit and their kit was able to complete that job. PITA job all the lot, but will never revisit that part of the car again.

So to keep Sattys on the road, you have to be creative and a little lateral thinking. If you think that you can simply pop down to the GM Dealer and get parts, think again.
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Old 03-23-2021, 11:50 PM   #20
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Default Re: Suspension Noise?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pierrot View Post
While I own an automotive stethoscope I have used a long shank screw driver (28") to act in that way. Placing the tip of the screw driver against an alternator or water pump, for example, and placing my ear against the handle I would listen for a bad bearing. Similarly, it can be done to listen for other noises. Regardless, Rj 2000 LS2's comments are only relating to the noise at the rear axle.

I am curious about what you saw that was "rubbed out by what I guess is the tire." Where was this rubbed out location? Was it towards the front,
rear, or top of the wheel well? My experience has been that the wheel assemblies (rim and tire) on our L's won't strike the wheel well liner unless there is some unidentified underlying problem which is the root cause of such a thing.

Lastly, since your next post will be your 15th you will be allowed to upload photographs to SaturnFans! You must be aware that photos uploaded have a size limit: 150kb for .jpeg, or 201.5kb for .jpg. Whether there is already a program on your computer or one you'll need to download, such alteration isn't particularly difficult.
Sorry for radio silence couple days
The lower-left frontmost portion of the passenger wheelwell splashguard was rubbed up halfway by something. I'll see if i can get a picture of it when it's right out.
...
2002 L200 "Rattler" 67,765 - 5/12/2021 (Mileage As Of Date)
2006 Kia Sorento EX "Workhorse" 91,046 - February 2021 (Mileage As Of Memory)
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