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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I just bought this 2003 ford taurus se, when I test drove it there was a squeek in the steering but just when you turned it slightly not the whole time, don't know if this is common like its just plastic rubbing on plastic or something, it is coming from steering column i'm pretty sure, but now I just heard when I slightly turn the wheel one way then back the other really quick almost like a echoing clunk noise....don't know if anyone else has had this problem before? kind of sounds like a loose tie rod end maybe but its a echoing sound so maybe the echoing sound I am hearing is just the noise traveling through everything and in the car. I've had loose tie rod ends before on different vehicles and they made the clunk noise when you barely turn the wheel one way then back the other but never made a noise like this before. After reading all these other peoples threads im kind of regretting buying this car... lol hopefully don't have all these problem 114,000 on her
 

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This 'clunk' when turning could be a number of things or a combination.

I've had this before and it was the inner tie rod ends.

The entire suspension needs to be checked:

-Outer tie rod ends. These are fairly easy to check and inexpensive.
-Inner tie rod ends. If there is free play in the tie rod and it's not the outer, then it's the inner. The inner are more difficult to get to and more expensive and takes a special tool.
-Ball joints in lower control arms (check control arm bushings, also). The ball joints are replaced as an assembly with the control arm and is not that hard to do, and not too expensive.
-Front struts could be badly worn. This is expensive. Front end would bounce a lot over bumps.
-Worn out bushings in suspension. Replace as needed.
-Of course, make sure other things are okay: Tire pressure, lug nuts properly torqued, etc.
-Check for P/S leaks around the rack in the area of the inner tie rod ends.

With the relatively low miles you have, I'd look at the inner and outer tie rod ends first. Then go from there.
 

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Lift up a wheel and grab the wheel at 3 and 9 o'clock and shake the wheel back and forth. If there is excessive movement then it is the tie rod. Make sure you do not confuse normal steering rack movement for free play.
 

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If the sound youre hearing is like rubbing an inflated balloon with your hand when turning, my guess would be outer tie rod ends.
 

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-Ball joints in lower control arms (check control arm bushings, also). The ball joints are replaced as an assembly with the control arm and is not that hard to do, and not too expensive.
Ball joints are pressed into the steering knuckle, not the lower control arm. They can be replaced without replacing the knuckle. They aren't expensive, but they are a pain in the a**. You need specific tools to press it out of the knuckle.
 

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If the sound youre hearing is like rubbing an inflated balloon with your hand when turning, my guess would be outer tie rod ends.

^^ This is the BEST description of the problem I'm having Guess I'll check mine this weekend when I'm doing the Front CV Axle boots and Rear brakes. Thanks.:thumb:
 

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rdh2:

You are correct. I made a categorical mistake, forgot this was a 2003 and not a Gen 1.

Gen 1 control arms come with a new lower ball joint installed. Gen 4's are different from Gen 1's.

Sorry about the technical error.
 

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Could it be the upper strut bearing that is squeaking? If you pop the hood and have someone turn the wheels back and forth see if you can listen where it's coming from and that might help you narrow it down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks everyone for the advice, I'm going to do a tune up to it this weekend. I will check struts and springs and all the steering components this weekend as well, and report back to what I find.
 
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