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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm stumped. I've owned this particular 2002 9-3 for about 500 miles now, and for the past 3000 miles or so I've been hearing this intermittent sort of clicking sound coming from somewhere towards the right front side of the car (someplace behind the firewall or close to the front right wheel well). It almost sounds like a frayed belt slapping against something, but the belt looks fine, though! The water pump was replaced shortly before I got the car (and this sound doesn't sound like failing water pump bearings). The belt appears to be in decent shape (I imagine it was replaced with the water pump). The sound seems way too loud for accessory belt pulleys failing, and the sound is very intermittent. Sometimes it comes on for 5 seconds, sometimes for 5 minutes. It usually develops whenever I get past ~50 mph, but even that's not set in stone.

Car is manual transmission 2002 9-3SE.

Thanks for all suggestions!
 

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Is it influenced by steering wheel position i.e. a slight turn vs. straight ahead?

Does it vary frequency with engine RPM or speed? Does it go away if you coast in neutral?

EDIT: Is it affected by braking lightly?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Is it influenced by steering wheel position i.e. a slight turn vs. straight ahead?

Does it vary frequency with engine RPM or speed? Does it go away if you coast in neutral?

EDIT: Is it affected by braking lightly?
All good questions:

It usually comes on when going in a straight line, and at speeds around 40-50 mph. I haven't noticed it at speeds slow enough for major steering input (taking a turn on a city street, e.g.), but small steering corrections (changing lanes on the highway) don't make it go away.

When the sound comes on, it does vary with engine speed. Putting the transmission into neutral, or changing gears does not seem to have an effect.

Braking (light or hard) does not seem to have an effect...but I'm curious what you're thinking here because my inclination is that it might be coming from the wheel hub or CV joint area...maybe?

I can sometimes make it go away if I "shake" the car a bit (give it a jerky steering input, or go over a decent bump).

Thanks for putting some thought into this. I'm struggling just describing the issue!
 

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Mine does something like that and it turned out to be the dust plate behind the passenger front rotor is loose and sometimes it rattles or makes clicking sounds. I'm not about to pull the rotor just yet to fix it though.


Dave
 

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dogs: So, when you hear it, you could put the car in neutral, vary the RPM, and it would change? Or is it also tied to speed in a gear and you're saying it varies with both simultaneously?

Dave: If it's just hitting the rotor, you can just stick a 3/8" ish screwdriver in through the wheel and push the backing plate back a big in a few places around the rotor. It usually only needs a minor tweak to stop.

Unless you had those plates off, it's highly unlikely one would ever come loose since the screws rust in place, so you might have a broken one if it seems loose (unless you were in there previously.

dogs: You might try the backing plate "adjustment" above just to be sure it's not that.
 

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Bob - It seems there are no screws holding it at all and its just hanging there. It just flops around if you touch it, The screws must have rusted off or the last person that worked on it forgot to tighten them and they fell out. The brakes look pretty recent.
 

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Bob - It seems there are no screws holding it at all and its just hanging there. It just flops around if you touch it, The screws must have rusted off or the last person that worked on it forgot to tighten them and they fell out. The brakes look pretty recent.
If it spins, I'd guess it's rusted out. I don't think there's enough room for the screws to actually come out without you knowing about it. I think you can still buy new ones for the front very cheap for the standard brakes. There were $22 or so the last I looked.
 
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