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'99 Es Front End Noise


bosox
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Hello:

My wife bought a '99 ES about three years ago. When the weather gets chilly/cold there is a pronounced rattle in the front end. It sounds concentrated in the wheel wells. The rattle goes away after the car warms up (5 minutes)....but it's pretty loud until that time. She had new struts put in last October and the sound is still there.

Friends of ours have a '00 ES and it does the same thing. Both of our service folks don't seen to have an answer.

Common issue? Fixes? Anyone's input would be appreciated

thanks

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Can you define the rattle a little better? Is it a light and tinny sound? A deep clunky sound? Does it just rattle all the time while driving, or does it rattle only when going over bumps and such?

It's a deeper clunckier sound that is exaserbated by bumps in the road...but again ... it goes away when the car warms up.

thanks

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I've been thinking about what this could be... if the noise goes away after the car warms up, then is that something where the thing that is rattling 'warms up' and perhaps expands and takes up the slop to where it doesn't rattle any more? ...I keep thinking of the concept of noisey lifter tappets that click upon start up, but as soon as they 'pump up' they become silent. Could it be something that 'pumps up' and takes up the rattle slack. If so, that would lead to the struts, for they are the only thing that is under dynamic positive load (that and the ball joints & suspension bushings). I don't think it's anything in the brakes... could be upper or lower ball joints. You can jack your vehicle up and pull back and forth on the top and bottom of the tire (while on the car) to see if there is slop. Hmm.... I keep going back to struts as the probably culprit.

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Thanks all for racking your brains on this. I was thinking struts all the way until she had them replaced and the noise is still there. Maybe strut mounts or ball joints...I just thought that at the time the struts were replaced ...any other issue would have been identified.

Go figure...

thanks again... if anyone has any other opinions...bring 'em on!!

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I know that a number of ES300s (97 to 99, I believe) have strut mounts that wear prematurely. On my car, the strut mounts make a sort of grinding noise when I go over small bumps/cracks in the road. Once temps get up to around 55 degrees or more, the noise starts going away. It's more of a cold weather issue for me.

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chadmg7 is correct. The strut mounts must be replaced. This problem was present in some 2000 models as well. Lexus has since redesigned the shape of the rubber in the mounts to corrct this probelm.

I'm curious to know where you had the struts replaced. Was it at the dealer? If so, the dealer should have known about the cause of this known problem.

Kauz

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chadmg7 is correct. The strut mounts must be replaced. This problem was present in some 2000 models as well. Lexus has since redesigned the shape of the rubber in the mounts to corrct this probelm.

I'm curious to know where you had the struts replaced. Was it at the dealer? If so, the dealer should have known about the cause of this known problem.

Kauz

Thanks all!! The struts were not replaced at the dealer. It will go to the dealer to have the mounts replaced though!! ;)

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chadmg7 is correct. The strut mounts must be replaced. This problem was present in some 2000 models as well. Lexus has since redesigned the shape of the rubber in the mounts to corrct this probelm.

I'm curious to know where you had the struts replaced. Was it at the dealer? If so, the dealer should have known about the cause of this known problem.

Kauz

chadmg7 is correct. The strut mounts must be replaced. This problem was present in some 2000 models as well. Lexus has since redesigned the shape of the rubber in the mounts to corrct this probelm.

I'm curious to know where you had the struts replaced. Was it at the dealer? If so, the dealer should have known about the cause of this known problem.

Kauz

Please let me know if the strut mounts fix the issue. The problem is definitely in the frame/wheelwell/suspension area versus engine or door. I have been all over mine looking for a loose bolt/nut without success. I read in an an earlier forum this might be the problem and you wanted to make sure you asked for polyurethane bushings versus the original rubber type.

I have a 97 ES300 with 98K on it. I am meticulous with my cars and started to hear the deep clunky sound at about 30K when we lived in southern Indiana. Moved to Pittsburgh 2 years ago at 85K and found the noise very especially bothersome when cold in the winter here. I have had my normal mechanic and an extra look at it three times to no avail. One replaced the steering stabilizer and it didn't change a thing. This thing sounds like a Ford in cold weather...unacceptable. I hope we both have luck!

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have a 2000 es300, with the same sound. I took it to the lexus dealership and they told me that the strut plates were worn out. I am not sure if this is the same thing as the strut mounts. He described it as the cushioning about the front struts. But how would they even figure this out with out taking apart the suspension? THEY WANT TO CHARGE ME $630.00. Wow. It just seems like it is such a minor problem... big price. I am frustrated. Is this really common????? Sould I bother repairing this problem?

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I have a 2000 es300, with the same sound. I took it to the lexus dealership and they told me that the strut plates were worn out. I am not sure if this is the same thing as the strut mounts. He described it as the cushioning about the front struts. But how would they even figure this out with out taking apart the suspension? THEY WANT TO CHARGE ME $630.00. Wow. It just seems like it is such a minor problem... big price. I am frustrated. Is this really common????? Sould I bother repairing this problem?

My 97 ES300 had similar problem. I was able to remove the noise by simply spraying silicone lubricant. Please see the link of my fix below for your reference.

http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/index...showtopic=35502

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Thanks, I just checked it out. Very nice suggestion. Just a few questions though.... Are "bump stops" the same as "strut plates" Also, why didnt Lexus reccommend this to me. They said that the plates are worn out and it will eventually ruin my struts... with the lubrication just mask this problem?

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Guys,

I lubricated the strut tops and cylinder rods and the rattle went away for 100 miles. When it gets very cold, like today, the noise is still there if I don't lubricate. I need a long term fix and am willing to spend a few bucks. It appears to be either the struts, strut mounts, or a combination of both. I have replaced the strut linkages and the stabilizer bushings and got no relief.

I have priced fully assembled struts/springs/mounts at Tirerack.com at $225 per wheel. My local mechanic is willing to put them on for $100 plus an alignment. Out the door at $600 and nearly the entire front suspension will be new. How does this sound?

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Actually, this is a good price. I went to Lexus for the same problem. They informed me that it was the strut plates and bushings. They quoted me at 630. This quote didnt even include new struts! So I'd say that your situation is decient price-wise. The unfortunate thing is... this vehicle is only a 2000!! Why am I having this problem!!

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Thanks, I just checked it out. Very nice suggestion. Just a few questions though.... Are "bump stops" the same as "strut plates" Also, why didnt Lexus reccommend this to me. They said that the plates are worn out and it will eventually ruin my struts... with the lubrication just mask this problem?

As far as I understand, bump stops are not strut plates (strut mounts?). You might want to download the factory service manual which shows a picture of almost everything of the car from the link in the text below that I copied from another post:

Program Name: 1997 Lexus ES 300 FSMs

File Link: http://www.turbotoyota.com/FSMs/1997%20Lex...20300%20FSM.zip

Category: FSM's

Description: 1997 Lexus ES 300 FSMs

Author's Name: LEXUS

Author's Email: Lexus@isreally.cool

Filesize: 40,315,130

Version: 1.0

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