After my girlfriend came in from work one evening recently claiming that her car made a knocking noise whenever she turned left, I promptly took the little Clio around the block to see what the fuss was all about.
“As I thought, sounds like a knocking CV joint on the drivers side, I will jack it up later and see if the boot is split or whether we need a complete drive shaft”.
2 days later and I finally get around to putting the car in the air to check the boot for splits, secretly hoping that all I needed to do was get a new boot and repack with grease. Unfortunately it is clean as the day it was made….damn, new drive shaft looking like a possibility.
Whilst having a nose under the car (I was concentrating on the gearbox mount as there is some movement in the engine and ‘box when changing gears) I caught sight of something that didnt look *quite *right!
Spot the issue!
Yep, you are looking at it correctly, the front anti-roll bar is not attached the wishbone on the passenger side. This might explain some of the ‘wallowy-ness’ I felt when test driving it (I thought that was just the French way of doing things). Stuff worrying about the drive shaft for now, we need to get some new drop link bolts and get that ARB reattached!
Ebay to the rescue then, I picked up a set of droplinks for less than a fiver (wish they were that cheap on the MR2!).
So on went the new bolts after having to hacksaw off the old sheared passenger side fixings – the metal sleeve inside the rubber bush had rusted to the bolt thread meaning the only way off was through force.
Moral of the story time – regular checks of moving and perishable parts are essential on all cars. Proactive vehicle maintenance is a much more sensible plan than reactive – drop links are pretty important to a cars suspension system and waiting for a noise to develop or bits to fall off is a good way to go about driving an non-road worthy car!
Having thought about it, the Clio only had an MOT test done within the last few months….I don’t recall seeing any advisories regarding rusted suspension components. Perhaps this is a sign that the average car driver shouldn’t always rely on the professionals, get in there yourself and have a dig about, for your own piece of mind!