Rumbling, rattle on rough road

Hi, I have a 2006 Micra with 70k on the clock. Nothing replaced apart from tyres and an O2 sensor.

On anything other than a smooth road, there is a rumbling and a non-metallic rattle from the offside front (drivers side). I've had the car up on wheel ramps and poked around and can't see anything loose. My first guess would be shocks, but it passes the bounce test with no issues. It also recently passed an MOT with no advisories despite having this issue.

Any ideas what to look for and what/how to test?

thanks in advance

If I move the steering wheel side to side, I have a knocking noise. Is this normal when the car is stationary and engine turned off?

Sorry about the vertical video :)

I have some more progress, but not an answer yet:

I checked the UJ on the steering, it wasn't that.

I've narrowed it down to the drivers side front wheel. If I jack the car up and tap the wheel with a rubber mallet, there is a metallic clonk. The wheel will also move side to side a little whilst also making a metallic noise. It maybe moves an inch side to side. By way of a comparison, the passenger side maybe moves 1 or 2 millimeters side to side and there is no metallic knocking noise. So there is definitely a difference in play between the 2 wheels.

Whilst under the car, I listened to the sound as I tapped the wheel and it isn't coming from the suspension or steering or any bushes, it is coming from the wheel. I even tapped all bushes, rods, arms etc and none make the noise.

I'm left with thinking that it is one of two things: Something in the steering system, but at the wheel end. Or the wheel bearing.

Considering the bearing, I took the wheel off and nipped the nut up with my 400nm impact wrench and it didn't budge. But also, on perfectly smooth roads, there is no noise whereas a failing bearing would rumble all the time wouldn't it?

But there is play in the wheel, more play than the other wheel.

Any thoughts?


The middle bearing nut rarely comes loose but makes the wheel rock from side to side like you are showing since you have tightened this up (has to be super tight).
Have seen that happen on one occasion and the bearing was fine but wheel felt wobbly.
Not really sure what else could cause the wheel to have play in it.
A mechanic said (I've never seen one of these to become loose before in all his years of working on cars..)

Sent from my ASUS_T00P using Micra Sports Club mobile app
My car started creaking over rough surfaces, also did it when reversing slowly. It turned out to be a snapped coil spring. Upon inspection it looked fine yet the arch gap on the front passenger side was an inch or so less than the drivers side, removing the spring showed it had snapped right down the bottom where it sits.

Check for play in the following,

1, drop links
2, lower wishbone arms. (each arm has two bushes plus a ball joint)
3, any weeping signs from shocks?
4, open bonnet and have someone full lock the steering from side to side and look at the top of the shockers from the engine bay. There will be some movement, however as with mine the passenger side was excessive in comparison to the drivers side so i changed both springs over.
5, any play in track rod end

keep us updated with how you get on.
Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, but as I've been looking to replace my Micra, I've been looking at a lot of them, and looking at MOT histories on all of them. Broken front coil springs is VERY common on K12s it would seem. Around 70% of the ones I have looked at, have failed for this at some point in their lives, and I'm only looking at N-Tecs... so that's a 2009 onwards car. Must be a weak point... So much so I'm tempted to look for ones that HAVE failed on this item already, as you know they've been replaced.
It's not an old thread as I still haven't fixed it. I did take the wheel off and notice there was play in the track rod end and replaced that, but the noise is still there. I have examined the springs and they seem fine, so I'm back to thinking it's a failed/failing shock. I assume a spring can't fail in a non-obvious way? I've looked for a break in the coils and looked for cracks and can't see anything.

At this point, I'm tempted to wait for its next MOT and mention it voluntarily to see what they think.

i had a creak when slowly reversing, passed mot no advisories. Six months later spring gave way, replaced and no more squeak squeak when slowly reversing.

Failing springs are not always obvious / easy to diagnose.
I had one on mine too. RIght at the bottom... where it seats into the shock. Definitely a Micra thing. Fortunately, it's not as they snap in the middle and collapse your suspension while driving or anything... but mine did sit about a half inch lower when it failed.