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1 11th March 16:01
External User
Posts: 1
Default front suspension noise, Ford Ka

Hello all, just bought a 2'nd hand Ka, 4 year old, 60,000 miles, from a
dealer,,, paid cash, 3K full MOT, some history.

On the drive home it started to make a noise, as I drove over some sleeping
policemen's bumps. A clunk and squeak, comes from the near side.
It also increases engine speed on full steering lock on slow manoeuvres,
only on full lock it revs higher, and sort of clunck's the last 1/16 turn,
either way. It sounds like a door closing, and feels like two things being
pushed against each other to hard, so I don't use full lock at the mo in
case I break something.
Its a fine car in every other respect?!?
I took it back, two hours later, he said don't worry the warranty will cover
it, I explained I didn't think this should be a warranty job, as it must
have been unfit on collection, he said, you had a test drive, it was an ok
test drive, it had the MOT passed that morning.

I drove it around a smooth compound,,, but where I live its road bumps in
and out, 6 times a day...
After a condescending look a reluctant fitter chap was called, he elevated
it on ramps swung on the wheel, nodded then squirted WD 40 / oil, all over
the suspension and anything else that looked squeaky. It still makes a
noise, still revs higher on full lock, any advice?
Only owned it 3 days. The garage seem to think road bumps are NOT normal
motoring, and the car works fine in their opinion for 'normal' motoring
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2 11th March 16:01
External User
Posts: 1
Default front suspension noise, Ford Ka

Revving a bit higher on flull lock i would say is normal, i presume its
power steering, when your full lock the pas pump cant pump anymore because
the fluid and presure has done its job to get it to full lock, so the
presure in the system increases and the pump will labour with that increase,
this will put strain on the engine, so the management system will compensate
with extra revvs, the car might stall if it didnt do that, same as if you
put on air con, the engine will increase revvs slightly if the car is at
The clonk sounds very much like a worn drive shaft, these can wear and
"click" when on full lock, the bearings within move around in the carrier
and make this noise, this wouldnt be picked up on an mot because it
generally only happens when the car is laiden, unlaiden the noise will not
be very noticable.
If this isnt done the drive shaft could break up and shatter, get a mechanic
to look at it and diagnose, if he says what ever, take it back to the garage
and tell them you will contact trading standards they have sold a car in a
dangerous condition.
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3 11th March 16:38
External User
Posts: 1
Default front suspension noise, Ford Ka

This sounds like the lower suspension arm bushes.

That sounds dodgy. The lower suspension arm bushes should be covered in the MOT.

That sounds like something completely different. The PAS requires power
from the engine and the ECU increases engine speed to help things along. If
you're holding the steering on full lock, it's usual for it to squeak,
murmur, purr or grind. One shouldn't hold the Ka on full lock, best bet is
to relax the steering a little.

What they've done is lube up the lower suspension arms (any anything else
down there, heh), which will make the noise go away for a little bit. But
it's a bit like when it rains and you don't have wiper rubbers, stopping,
wiping over the windscreen with your hands, then driving off...

First off, don't ever use that garage again unless they sort it out.
Claiming that speed bumps are not normal motoring is crass dumb stupidity in
my humble opinion. It's not unlike you bringing it in the summer and
telling them that the headlights don't work, they look outside and say,
"it's not a problem, it's not dark or raining."
Grrrr! <Dervy's getting irate, heh>

Second, get a second opinion. From a Ford dealership. My approach would be
to drop by and say, "hey guys, I've just bought this Ka and I want you chaps
to service it. However, it's making a clunking noise. I think it might be
the lower suspension bushes. Could you check it over for me?" That should

As for the parts, if you pay full main Ford dealership prices it'll be
around 125 a side. Roughly. It's false economy to have one done and not
the other because they _usually_ go in pairs. If the bushes are shot,
you'll notice the ride noticeably smoother after the work. If the garage
try to lube up the bushes, that's not good enough, they need replacing.

You can get copy lower suspension arms, but they are often false economy and
don't last as long. They may cost half as much, last half as long, but will
always require the same amount of labour to replace - so in the longer run
they cost more.

Just a note on the bushes. Usually, the arms and bushes are replaced since
this is easier and quicker, so works out as cheaper, than just replacing the
bushes. The arms are then sent to be reconditioned.

As to how long they last, it depends on how you drive it. If you bounce the
Ka over speed bumps, you'll break them in short order. Dead slow is the
answer. There should be no rebounce when you come off, as a tip to how fast
you go. Hard cornering on rough, uneven roads also causes a problem.
Lowering the Ka increases the potential wear rate on them too. Kermit's
first pair lasted almost 40,000 miles, his second pair are still fine at
73,000 mile point but we've since had him lowered so I'm expecting them to
need replacing at the 80,000 mile point, more or less. Some people manage
to get them to last for 50,000 miles, others ruin them inside a service
(clone parts, no mechanical sympathy attacked to speed bumps, lowered,
driven hard, so on and so forth).

Quite a long response. We've recently discussed this in the
forums that I help run and I may have it covered in my website (I have one
or two Ka articles on there, so even if I write this myself, worth a look at heh).

The DervMan
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4 11th March 20:23
External User
Posts: 1
Default front suspension noise, Ford Ka

thanks for the reply's and the link, I will take the Ka for a 2'nd opinion,
done 300 miles now and its creaking most small lumps never mind speed bumps.
its daft this, I thought if I paid a few quid and got a car from a bigger
supplier, I would get my moneys worth. I thought these kind of problems were
a thing of the past with trading standard / heath and safety laws that
govern our every move! Silly me, I trusted the salesman!
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5 11th March 20:24
External User
Posts: 1
Default front suspension noise, Ford Ka

Have you told the salesman what's up?

You can try doing so in front of another customer.

That often gets stuff resolved.

The DervMan
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