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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Whenever I hit the tiniest little bump in stop and go traffic, I hear something very loose underneath the car. It is quite pronounced. Sounds like it is in the front end but sometimes it seems like it is in a different place. Struts all seem fine, springs are all fine. Seems more apparent when I turn in one direction (left) over the other but I'm not entirely sure about that. Also makes a lot of loose noise heading straight--only on bumps. There's no clicking to make me think it would be CV joints and no loose steering or play in wheel to make me think it would be tie-rods. This car does have a lot of engine vibration issues so maybe a bolt or something is working itself loose. Crossmembers seem to be tight when I try to move them. Anybody have a similar issue? Just traveled over 1500 miles without any problems...problem existed before I left.
 

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You actually jack the car up to truely check for play in the wheel bearign/hub assembly and tie rod ends? I would start there to make sure the front end is tight instead of judging by steering wheel play(not exactly an acurate way to check). That and check the strut mounts and sway bar links.
 

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Dont forget the ball joints and control Arm movement. also check all nuts and bolts using a tool not your hands.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I will take a look at some of the items mentioned in the replies. I still can not really pinpoint where the sound is coming from. Sounds like the front end, sometimes right under the passenger side, and sometimes from the rear. It's pretty adamant about wanting to be heard and only after hitting bumps. The only other thing I notice is when I swing a hard left, something grinds or rubs (metal on metal) from the back. It only seems to do it on a turn. I'm still getting really bad vibration when I'm driving and a really loud engine. Now that it is cold again, the vibrations and noise are much worse than during the summer.
 

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As for the engine vibration, have you checked your motor mounts? Transmission mounts? Get under it and wiggle all the heat shields (while it's cold, of course) to see if there is any play. Like I said before, I have a loose one in the middle that I can move by hand, but the bolt is rusty so I haven't fixed it yet (afraid I'll snap it off). Makes kind of a grrrrrr.. metallic noise at certain RPM.

For the noise in back.. have you touched your drums lately? I bent the backing plate on my left one and it rubbed a little until it wore down (I bent it back the best I could but it still rubbed). Also in the back, might want to check sway bar links (as has been said), jack it up and see if the wheels have any side-side play (bad wheel bearings?) Plus obvious stuff like making sure the lug nuts are tight. Aside from the backing plate on the drums, the only thing I can think of that would potentially rub a rear tire during a turn is maybe the plastic cover over the gas filler tube. You could check to see if maybe a clip broke on it, and pull the back left wheel to see if the cover has any rub marks on it from the tire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, I checked the engine mounts and two of them were replaced to see if the problem would resolve and it didn't. I wrote about this a while back and still do not know what the cause of it is. It creates a very loud humming and is worse the faster I drive. I noticed when I bought the car, the corner of the rear heat shield had rusted off of the bolt. But the vibration makes the front bumper vibrate quite noisily when I'm stopped at a light. I doubt the rear heat shield would cause the front bumper to rattle as noticibly as it does. It doesn't appear to be the wheel bearings. They were checked by the dealership when I bought the car and brought up the engine noise. I don't notice any humming noise on turns like I did with the other Escort I owned--when it's front bearing was shot. I'm getting the car serviced this week...perhaps I will have more info on the looseness underneath--but highly unlikely on the engine noise. That has posed a mystery for everyone who has looked at it.
 

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Can't you just turn up the radio? Easy fix :p

But yea, I feel your pain. Random vibrations are annoying as hell, especially when you can't find them. I had one going on the other night, until I realized the passenger seat was adjusted and didn't click in all the way. Was pushing and moving everything but it wouldn't go away, until I pushed the seat into place.
 

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Mine rattles

It's the metal ring on the exhaust sleeve. Drove me nuts for a while. Ran into someone last night with the same problem on their Taurus. They couldn't find the noise either until I showed them.
 

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Its part of the flex pipe that rusts off and ends up rattling around on the exhaust pipe. It happened on my mom's Taurus and I cut it off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The check yielded nothing wrong with ball joints, wheel bearings, suspension, tie-rods, or stabilizer links. Heat shields seem fine....though as I said before, the rear most shield has rusted off the bolt completely...yet doesn't really seem terribly loose. Whatever is loose clunks pretty good on rough streets. As for engine noise, I found one loose screw on the front heat shield in front of the fan but I doubt highly this was the issue. Not sure where those rings are. The exhaust front to back is in pretty good shape...not much rust with the exception of the one heat shield. I discovered where the clicking noise is in the engine that I heard early on in February. I watched the long black hose to the left of the cylinder head jump everytime it clicked. It's the hose that goes back to the fire wall and inserts into some large black cylinder there in the back.
 

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The hose you are describing sound like an A/C line.
 
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