<email@example.com> wrote in message
> 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
> policemen's bumps. A clunk and squeak, comes from the near side.
This sounds like the lower suspension arm bushes.
> 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
> 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.
That sounds dodgy. The lower suspension arm bushes should be covered in the
> 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?
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...
> 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
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 www.myka.org
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