strange sound in front wheel well area

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Old 28 Feb 2006, 07:24 pm   #1 (permalink)
onehappymadman@yahoo.com
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Default strange sound in front wheel well area

In my '99 camry, if I listen carefully while driving, I can hear a
strange noise occasionally in the front right side wheel well area.

To describe the sound - sounds like a mouse is living in the wheel well
and is moving around. Doesn't happen continuously, happens whether or
not I hit a small bump/pothole in the road.

What could this be? Loose brakes? Loose struts?

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Old 28 Feb 2006, 07:52 pm   #2 (permalink)
johngdole@hotmail.com
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Default Re: strange sound in front wheel well area

Is it more noticeable when cold? Have you ever had the strut mounts
replaced? That generation came with defective mounts. Don't think the
updated ones fixed them for long before crapping out. Bad struts or
bushings can also make noise.

It's more cost effective to get Monroe Quick-struts with all new
components then buying parts individually. Change at least a pair
(axle) at a time. (www.monroe.com)


onehappymadman@yahoo.com wrote:
> In my '99 camry, if I listen carefully while driving, I can hear a
> strange noise occasionally in the front right side wheel well area.
>
> To describe the sound - sounds like a mouse is living in the wheel well
> and is moving around. Doesn't happen continuously, happens whether or
> not I hit a small bump/pothole in the road.
>
> What could this be? Loose brakes? Loose struts?


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Old 28 Feb 2006, 08:27 pm   #3 (permalink)
timbirr@mailcity.com
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Default Re: strange sound in front wheel well area


onehappymadman@yahoo.com wrote:
> In my '99 camry, if I listen carefully while driving, I can hear a
> strange noise occasionally in the front right side wheel well area.
>
> To describe the sound - sounds like a mouse is living in the wheel well
> and is moving around. Doesn't happen continuously, happens whether or
> not I hit a small bump/pothole in the road.
>
> What could this be? Loose brakes? Loose struts?


Different rig, but....I had a similar sound. Drove me crazy. Finally
took it to the stealership.

Diagnosis, loose wheel cover. To prove, removed it for a few weeks.
sound disappeared.

Odds are, not your problem. But you never know...

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Old 01 Mar 2006, 11:58 am   #4 (permalink)
Daniel
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Default Re: strange sound in front wheel well area

If by "mouse sound" you mean occasional squeaking, most likely culprit
is the stabilizer bar bushings.
Fairly simple and inexpensive to replace (though access is limited, you
have to remove the front wheels and be patient or buy some GearWrenches
because you can only turn one of the bolts a tiny bit at a time) - just
remove the two bolts holding the cover and install the part, which
comes split to fit around the bar.
Spread some silicone grease first to help eliminate the squeak. If you
can't find silicone grease, get a small tube of dielectric tune up
grease - same thing.
Stabilizer bar bushings isolate the bar from the frame. Stabilizer or
anti-sway bars limit body roll during turns. I noticed the squeaking
most on a gentle turn with a dip in it. Squeaking sounds (if this is
the cause) should be more pronounced when the stabilizer bar is under
load, ie., during a turn, or if a single wheel is going over a bump.

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Old 01 Mar 2006, 11:58 am   #5 (permalink)
Daniel
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Default Re: strange sound in front wheel well area

If by "mouse sound" you mean occasional squeaking, most likely culprit
is the stabilizer bar bushings.
Fairly simple and inexpensive to replace (though access is limited, you
have to remove the front wheels and be patient or buy some GearWrenches
because you can only turn one of the bolts a tiny bit at a time) - just
remove the two bolts holding the cover and install the part, which
comes split to fit around the bar.
Spread some silicone grease first to help eliminate the squeak. If you
can't find silicone grease, get a small tube of dielectric tune up
grease - same thing.
Stabilizer bar bushings isolate the bar from the frame. Stabilizer or
anti-sway bars limit body roll during turns. I noticed the squeaking
most on a gentle turn with a dip in it. Squeaking sounds (if this is
the cause) should be more pronounced when the stabilizer bar is under
load, ie., during a turn, or if a single wheel is going over a bump.

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Old 01 Mar 2006, 12:06 pm   #6 (permalink)
onehappymadman@yahoo.com
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Default Re: strange sound in front wheel well area

Daniel wrote:
> If by "mouse sound" you mean occasional squeaking, most likely culprit
> is the stabilizer bar bushings.
> Fairly simple and inexpensive to replace (though access is limited, you
> have to remove the front wheels and be patient or buy some GearWrenches
> because you can only turn one of the bolts a tiny bit at a time) - just
> remove the two bolts holding the cover and install the part, which
> comes split to fit around the bar.
> Spread some silicone grease first to help eliminate the squeak. If you
> can't find silicone grease, get a small tube of dielectric tune up
> grease - same thing.
> Stabilizer bar bushings isolate the bar from the frame. Stabilizer or
> anti-sway bars limit body roll during turns. I noticed the squeaking
> most on a gentle turn with a dip in it. Squeaking sounds (if this is
> the cause) should be more pronounced when the stabilizer bar is under
> load, ie., during a turn, or if a single wheel is going over a bump.



Yes, occasional squeaking only, but not necessarily when I hit a bump
on the road. Would bad struts cause this squeaking too? Just to
eliminate variables, I went ahead and removed the wheel cover at work
in the parking lot. I'll see if there's still a sound when I drive
home for lunch.

So, the stabilizer bar is the same as the (anti-) sway-bar?

Just replace the bushings, or the whole sway bar?

Is this a safety issue that requires my immediate attention, or is this
just an annoyance that can be safely ignored for now?

Thanks,

Mike

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Old 01 Mar 2006, 07:58 pm   #7 (permalink)
johngdole@hotmail.com
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Default Re: strange sound in front wheel well area

Stabilizer bar = [old] antisway bar. Unless the bar is bent, you don't
need to replace it. Just use rubber bushings, not polyurethane --
they'll easily squeak like you have a giant mouse under there often
when properly lubricated.

If the bushings are the cause, then new ones should help. Don't use
petro lube that will harm the rubber. But if you have noise going
straight on a well surfaced road then the problems may be more with the
struts (and/or mounts) as struts compress and extend even on smooth
roads.

Work the stabilizer bars in turns or go over a bump one wheel first,
and work the struts/mounts going perpendicular over bumps and dips like
a roller coaster.

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Old 02 Mar 2006, 07:47 am   #8 (permalink)
m Ransley
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Default Re: strange sound in front wheel well area

Maybe your breaks are worn and sticking I had that issue , new brakes
fixed it maybe strut get it looked at.

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Old 02 Mar 2006, 11:25 am   #9 (permalink)
onehappymadman@yahoo.com
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Default Re: strange sound in front wheel well area


m Ransley wrote:
> Maybe your breaks are worn and sticking I had that issue , new brakes
> fixed it maybe strut get it looked at.


Yeah, I'll have the brakes inspected at the local Firestone... it's $20
for a brake inspection, good deal, they'll know what to look for better
than I would.

You know, I noticed the noise also comes if I hit a slight bump on the
road. So maybe the problem is caused by the struts after all... no
noise on turning, so does this eliminate the stabilizer bar?

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Old 02 Mar 2006, 10:34 pm   #10 (permalink)
Dick Byrd
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Default Re: strange sound in front wheel well area

The problem is most likely the bearing at the top of the strut tower. It is
a problem on '98-'99 Camrys. I've got to replace the struts on my '98 as
the clunking is getting real bad now.

Dick

<onehappymadman@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1141172660.987090.188960@e56g2000cwe.googlegr oups.com...
> In my '99 camry, if I listen carefully while driving, I can hear a
> strange noise occasionally in the front right side wheel well area.
>
> To describe the sound - sounds like a mouse is living in the wheel well
> and is moving around. Doesn't happen continuously, happens whether or
> not I hit a small bump/pothole in the road.
>
> What could this be? Loose brakes? Loose struts?
>



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