Ford Ka - Creaking noises - Jimborr99

Hi

I've a Ford Ka which is just over a year old with less than 7000 miles on the clock.

Recently (after it had its first service) I've begun noticing a noise.

It is most often heard when turning left, ie into a junction, but can be heard with just a smidgen of left turn on the wheel.

Depending on the road surface, it will vary between an obvious 'clunk' to a creaking, squeaking noise which seems to permeate the whole side of the car.

It seems to be triggered (and sound worse) depending on the road conditions; for instance, there is a road which I drive every day which involves a tight left turn, followed by turning right in to a junction.

If I take the left hander on the smoothest point of the road, there is no noise; if I use the rougher surface, the noise will be heard.

Turning right, it is hard to avoid a manhole cover and a couple of bumps in the road; here (at about 10mph) there will be a knocking noise IF I happen to get the wheels over any of these while turning.

I could drive over any surface in a straight line and there is no noise.

At the same time, the noise does not happen every time I turn left, but will always happen at the same corners, only being avoided if I drive very slowly (although even then there is no guarantee there won't be some 'creak').

Meanwhile I could literally drive all day and if the roads are OK there's no noise whatsoever. I could take, say, a medium left hander (even with slight rough surface) at speed and there will be no noise, while at the same time it could appear from the surface of a road which has the anti skid applied and has the 'ripples'.

On the other hand I can drive over a cobbled street and there is no noise. (apart from what you would expect).

I have looked as best I can without having the car on a ramp, and all the suspension components seem tight, there are no appareant leaks from any bushes I can see.

From what I have observed, the noise is 'clunkier' where there are obvious 'edges' in particular the cable trenches in roads (or manhole covers) where there is a distinct 'up/down' and the wheel obviously takes a clatter (although we are not talking massive height - perhaps half and inch would be enough) - the sound here, is akin to a banging drop link or the suspension topping out and what have you.

Where the road surface is 'rough' the noise sort of reacts to that and is more 'creaking' and will only 'clunk' depending on the depth of any defect in the road surface,

Thirdly, at times where the road isn't particularly rough, the noise appears as a creak (almost as if the entire car is creaking), especially if the road is not level, and the left hand side of the car is lower than the right; while turning. It seems to be worse if the road conditions induce a 'roll' in the car or that the individual wheels are at differing heights in the turn due to the road.

In general I can predict where and when the noise will occur; it is almost certainly caused by road surface conditions, yet it does not manifest all the time: and the best example I can perhaps give is this: the street adjacent to where I live is not potholed but it like driving over boulders as the cable pits are sunk (10-15mph is the maximum you can do in my Ka at any rate without doing damage, and I avoid the road) - but, I can travel that road with no unusual noises. My own street has a junction at both ends. I can turn left, at either end, leaving the street and there is no noise; I can turn left into the street at one end, and there is no noise, but, turning left into the street at the other end, the noise is there. If turn in on the next street down, no noise.

Obviously with the car having done so few miles, it's a bit concerning, and initially I though 'don't tell me a drop link is away' but I honestly don't think it's that - any advice on what to look for would be appreciated!

Edited by Jimborr99 on 28/10/2014 at 12:07

Ford Ka - Creaking noises - Railroad.
Check the front anti-roll bar drop links. If there's any play in them at all, and I mean at all then replace them. Even the tiniest amount of play in them will amplify all round the car.
Ford Ka - Creaking noises - Jimborr99
Check the front anti-roll bar drop links. If there's any play in them at all, and I mean at all then replace them. Even the tiniest amount of play in them will amplify all round the car.

Hi
Thanks for the suggestion: I have had a good grab and pull at both drop links (with the car on the ground and the wheels at full left or right lock) several times, and there is no play in them whatsoever - completely solid.
I've tried this at varying degrees of lock on the wheels on different days (just enough to be able to reach in and feel) and there's no detectable play at all;

Ford Ka - Creaking noises - The-Mechanic

Could be the inner 'D' shaped bushes where the anti roll bar clamps to the subframe ? Seen it a few times where the rubber bush and bar are dry / tight and when cornering, the creak can be quite severe and transfer into the cabin.

Try a bit of spray silicone grease or similar on and around the 'D' bushes and test drive it on the road that gives you the worst symptoms.

Another favourite for peculiar noises from the suspension is road dirt, grit / debris on the coil spring seat base. I've had some cars where a bit of road flint is stuck between the strut and coil spring and when the spring is compressed by cornering, it grates.

You could try these simple solutions yourself, but if they don't help get the dealership to check it over. It's still under warranty so if it's a mechanical defect, it won't cost you. There may also be a workshop bulletin that only Ford are aware of for this problem ?

Good luck with it.

Edited by The-Mechanic on 28/10/2014 at 13:29

Ford Ka - Creaking noises - Jimborr99

Thanks a lot. I do think the noise (when it happens more than for a split second or so) does amplify along the car and sounds far worse than it is, and dry bushes have crossed my mind so I quick squirt as you suggest sounds a good idea.

The frustrating bit is that I can take the same corner one night and if I am a couple of inches 'off line' next, that is the difference between hearing the noise and not despite half a dozen left handers beforehand.

If you run over a pebble in the Ka you feel (and hear) it too !

Ford Ka - Creaking noises - Jimborr99

What I have noticed is (I've yet to use any grease) is that on the OS coil spring there is evidence of rubbing on the inside face of the first coil above the strut (on the engine side of the strut) and also on the ouside face of the same coil on the wheel side of the strut - I am wondering is this is where the 'creaking' is coming from which is only on certain road surfaces

Ford Ka - Creaking noises - bathtub tom

Possible broken spring?

I had one that broke a couple of inches off the end. Nearly impossible to see.

Ford Ka - Creaking noises - Jimborr99

I wonder?

I haven't had any trips over craters or anything like that so if it's a spring away I'd be surprised - I'll need to have a look at the other side when it's dry just to compare first; I don;t notice any noise I've associated with broken springs before

Ford Ka - Creaking noises - Jimborr99

Well - bit of a nuisance as the dealer is booked to look at it in a couple of weeks (I don't have alternative transport, need car) so have it booked in when I'm on holiday

Having had another good look 'up' the spring on the offside, it appears that the upper suspension mount is broken over about a third of the circumference on the outside - it seems to have just shattered as I can see jagged edges and bare metal 'above' it.

Hopefully that is it (all bushes, drop links, gaiters seem OK visually to me - without having taken the wheels off).

Ford Ka - Creaking noises - Jimborr99

Drivers side balljoint replaced and appears to have been the culprit

Ford Ka - Creaking noises - The-Mechanic

Glad you got it sorted in the end, and took the time to update us all.

If only some other posters did the same when their problem was resolved huh ! ;-)

Ford Ka - Creaking noises - Andrew-T

Another favourite for peculiar noises from the suspension is road dirt, grit / debris on the coil spring seat base. I've had some cars where a bit of road flint is stuck between the strut and coil spring and when the spring is compressed by cornering, it grates.

My Pug 205 developed a creak a few months ago, which was most noticeable when pulling away in lower gears, but inaudible when rolling gently along in neutral - so probably not suspension as such. However since losing the car on a patch of diesel and hitting the crash barrier, the creak has been cured. Any suggestions? :-)

 

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