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Discussion Starter #1
My car has lots of road noise coming from the tires. I have yokohama aegis ls4's with only 10,000 miles on them and they are in very good shape. Also, my steering wheel feels rather loose when turned left. Last year when I got my car inspected my right ball joints failed and they said my left barely passed, but yet this year my car passed with no mention of my left ball joints being bad. Could my loose steering be accounted for by bad ball joints? I do hear a clunk sometimes when turning left when at a stop. Also, what could be causing my unusually high amount of road noise, everyone that rides with me notices it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So is it my ball joints? And if so would that account for the awful road noise, or might that be bad alignment.
 

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CA18DET Wizard
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Nasty old wheel bearings would could be the noises you're hearing. I would get that whole car checked thoroughly by a competent mechanic as soon as possible because you sound like you're cruising for troublesville.
 

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Get the balljoints replaced pronto. Those are bad things to have break.
 

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The "clunking" steering wheel problem was a problem with my car for a while. Even after all having the ball joints replaced, the steering wheel still had a "disconnected" feeling with the road and made a clunking noise. After some searching, my mechanic found where the play was at. If you open your hood and look down your firewall where the steering column comes out, there is a very small universal joint that is probably worn. Mine was worn to the point of being dangerous. The part has to be ordered through Nissan and costs around $95. My car steers like a new one.
 

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ill just type this because i dont know how mechanically inclined you are, so dont feel insulted...lol


Raise the front tires off the ground, make sure the key is off and the steering is locked, then try and move the wheel with your hands, you might have to shake it kinda hard.

if you can move the wheel up and down at all, the ball joints are bad, if you can move the wheel side to side at all, most likely the outer tie rod is bad.


most people dont know, on a front wheel drive vehicle, the top strut mount acts at the upper ball jont, your problem may be in there too.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah, I found the universal joint and it looks rather old and somewhat rusted. What suprises is that when car passed inspection without any mention of bad suspension components. I would think they would jump on the chance to make a few extra dollars even if the ball joints were close to being bad. How do you determine how bad the universal joint is and how hard is it to replace by yourself? I have very little mechanical experience myself but I have people who can help me.
 

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I would have a friend stand outside the car and watch the universal joint and see the degree of movement compared to that of the steering wheel. You should be able to see the amount of movement it takes from the top half of the universal joint before the slack is taken up and the bottom of the universal joint actually moves.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I can turn the wheel in either direction, left or right, with a little play before the wheels start to turn, but I was never sure if this was just due to the fact that I don't have power steering. Also, turning the wheel left seems to be a little looser than turning it right, would this suggest something wrong with the tie rods or ball joints on the left side?
 

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youre suppose to have about 5-8 degree lose on each side before wheel actully turn if it isnt into specs, it is surely a bad inner tie rod/tie rod end... or a wheel bearing...

wheel bearing usually get your car pulling sometime to left.. than its ok than to right... it is kindo erratic...

tierod will set lose on steering, will pulling a bit erratic on 1 side...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So would a bad tie rod or wheel bearing cause road noise? It's hard to explain, but it sounds kinda like the engine at higher rpms but deeper. Dunno if that helps at all....
 

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CA18DET Wizard
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Bad wheel bearings and that's my final answer!:p
 

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CA18DET Wizard
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Jack up the car, put one hand one the top of the tire and the other on the bottom and carefully rock it back and forth. If the wheel bearing is bad, play will be noticeable. Not too hard to do if you're ggod with hand tools and should cost about $50.00 if you do it yourself. It will cost about anywhere from $130-200 per axle for a reputable shop to do it.
 
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