My car makes clanking noises

Thursday July 30 2020


By Paul Kaganzi

Hello Paul, my Toyota Harrier 2002’s steering is wobbly and makes a lot of loud clanking noise when I drive off tarmac. What could be the cause? Jeremy

Hello Jeremy, the inaccurate steering and clanking noise when you drive on uneven roads could be defective steering rack linkages also called tie rod ends.

Steering linkages or tie rods connect your steering to the wheels. When the tie rods are loose or worn out, your steering will not feel precise and will make clanking noise.

Worn out tie rods will adversely affect your front wheel alignment and make your steering feel loose. Your car front wheels will wear out unevenly. If you continue to drive with faulty or worn out tie rod ends, they can break and your steering will not be connected to the wheels.

The floppy wheel with a broken tie rod will face any direction and you will not be in control of where the vehicle goes with potentially disastrous consequences.

Why does my car show AFS off?
Hello Paul, my Toyota Harrier 240 shows AFS off on the dashboard. What could this mean and how can it be removed? Also, when I drive at speeds of say 120km/h and try to break, the car, especially the steering wheel start shaking. Why? Dickens


Hello Dickens, your Toyota Harrier has an automatic headlight adjusting system called the Adaptive Front head light System (AFS).

This system works with a vehicle level sensor at the rear right to monitor the car levelling and adjust head lights upwards or downwards to keep them level.

There is a switch below the instrument cluster and adjacent to the steering column on the right with AFS off. That switches the AFS system on or off.

Your front lateral suspension arm bushes need to be checked to confirm that they are not worn out. Loose or worn out bushes or steering linkage can cause steering shaking when you brake at high speeds.

Occasionally, badly worn out brake discs with uneven surface can also cause wheel judder when you brake at high speeds.