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I have an intermittent crunching sound coming from the front drivers side suspension. I have brought it in for a suspension inspection and the shop diagnosed it as a worn inner tie rod that is moving back and forth under acceleration and deceleration (the noise happens when depressing and releasing the accelerator). I have linked a video in which I recorded the sound, you can see it corresponds with the depression and release of the accelerator https://youtu.be/-pUehZrCKuk.

Initially the noise was heard only going up and down a very steep hill in the summer in stop and go traffic when releasing the accelerator, but is has gotten worse and happens on flat ground as well.

I was told I could re-create inner tie rod noise by turning the key to accessory power to unlock the steering and moving the steering wheel slightly side to side, but I was unable to re-create the noise by doing this.

The noise has been happening for quite some time now, and with the cold temperatures it has worsened in the loudness and occurrence. Below is a list of other possible culprits that have been inspected and ruled out.

  • Engine /trans mounts: All in good condition, no tears, bolts tightened (https://youtu.be/G_3eNANqNVA)
  • Struts: All in good condition, no leaks, tears
  • Transmission: No hesitation in shifting gears, does not pop out of gear, no abnormal behavior
  • Tie rod ends: both are almost brand new, no play, no abnormal sounds when turning
  • Sway bar bushings: both present and intact, no tears
  • Sway bar endlinks: no play
  • Ball joints: inspected by shop, OK

In the mornings when it is colder and below zero the noise happens very frequently and is quite loud, it can be heard with the radio on. Once the car is warmed up the noise sometimes stops happening entirely or happens a lot less and is much more quieter, and hard to hear with the radio on. Or if it is warmer outside above 4-5 degrees the noise happens infrequently and is not loud even when the car is cold.

My question is would a torn inner tie rod noise reduce in occurrence and severity when the car is warm?

I would like to avoid paying for a repair that doesn't solve the issue. I am skeptical of this diagnosis as the shop that inspected the suspension also told me my brakes were worn to the caliper and needed replacement, but when I took of the wheels there was at least 30% left.

2008 Hyundai Tiburon GT V6 4 Speed Automatic Transmission

Thanks for your input.

  • If the inner tie rod is worn there should be play. What about the control arm bushings? How about the upper strut mount? What about the exhaust? Are all the hangers in place? – Ben Feb 16 '17 at 1:14
  • Hi Ben, thanks for your response. For play, do you mean at the wheel? (when I jacked the car up and tried to move the wheel at 12 and 6 and 9 and 3 it had little to no play)The control arm bushings are in good condition, no tears, both strut mounts were replaced recently and the exhaust hangers all in place and secure. – DT_30 Feb 16 '17 at 2:56
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Never heard of an inner or outer track rod causing a noise/knock like that, unless it was hitting the bulkhead etc following an accident etc.

I am going to assume that all the things you've ruled out are good.

In your video it does sound like perhaps something is knocking against the bulkhead although I maybe wrong in that assumption as I can't tell via the reproduction how heavy or light the sound is. As you say though It does coincide with the throw of the engine when you're on & off the throttle..

All transverse engines have a little forward and backwards motion/throw as they move on their mountings, and in turn everything attached to the engine moves with it, albeit to a lesser extent. So as the engine moves back & forth you'll have things like the exhaust, fuel lines, cables & pipes moving back and forth slightly too. Check all of them to make sure they're secured as they should be as even a slightly loose pipe, cable etc can cause a knock if its moving against the bulkhead, and it can sound rather loud.

You mention that the noise can be more or less frequent with temperature. Exhaust joints are also a common issue with regards to such noises, and noises here are normally temperature related as flanges and joints expand and contract with the vast temperature variations. Check any/all exhaust joints from the manifold onwards, and whilst you're in the area.. check that the exhaust is not contacting the vehicles body anywhere, and that all brackets are present & tight.

You don't mention the drive shafts CV joints in your checked items.. These also can be a cause of on/off throttle knock.

  • Thanks for your response. I did forget to include in my original question that he CV joints and axle shafts were inspected by the shop and were given an OK. I definitely will check the exhaust system. – DT_30 Feb 16 '17 at 14:02

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