Ford F250 front end noise

Y’all have GOT to hear this.

The backstory: There has been a pop or thud from my F250 when I turn hard left for a while. I took it to the Ford dealer for that and brakes. They said it didn’t need brakes, they couldn’t reproduce the noise, and nothing was wrong with it.

Fine. I kept driving it, it kept making the noise. I drove it 100 miles to Atlanta and back. It doesn’t feel unsafe, as in the steering and brakes work okay and it’s not really doing anything wrong other than making a noise. It’s a 2012, it’s allowed I guess.

DH has been doing some research and found a theory that perhaps one of the axles was locked. So this morning he put it in 4WD and turned a hard half circle, letting the wheels bind and skip. Then put it back in 2WD and we went off to town for breakfast. It maybe was a little improved? I can still feel it through the floorboard even if I can’t hear it.

After breakfast we headed to the parking lot exit and heard OMG WHAT IS THAT NOISE? We made another loop of the (busy) parking lot. It sounded to me like a lug nut had come off and was plinking around inside the hubcap. We decamped to the parking lot of the BBQ place next door that wasn’t open yet and popped off all the wheel caps. Nope, nothing in there, and it still happens. Witness:

What the heck?! I’ve never heard THAT before, have you?

It’s going to the heavy duty suspension place next week to get checked out.

My husband asked if it could it be the splash shield behind the brake rotors. It came loose once on his truck and sounded similar.
Good luck and hope you get it figured out soon.

I bet it’s one of your hubs.
Let us know what they find.
What year is the truck?

Humor me. Did you check the torque on the lug nuts? I had an '08 that I had chased death wobble on for several months, so the wheel was off and on several times. Well I would suspect that when my friend tightened the lug nuts with an impact, he went one (or several) ugga duggas too far and fatigued the lugs. I noticed one day when hauling a few horses that every time I braked, something in the front end was popping. I got out and looked under the front end, couldn’t see anything. Thought maybe a rock in the brakes? Didn’t know. But it was handling fine.

I kept trying to figure it out on my own but to no avail. Shortly later, I was hauling a skid steer on my flat bed through town, luckily only 40 mph and the density of population was declining as I headed out of town. There was a loud pop in the front end as I saw my hub cap and shrapnel fly across 4 lanes of traffic. As I said above, the lugs was fatigued and finally hit failure. 5 of the 8 lugs snapped off. Thank God, Allah, and whatever you may believe in that that did not happen at highway speeds with horses on the trailer.

Just throw a tire tool on it and check thet they’re tight. If they’re tight, it might be worth backing them off one at a time and re-torquing to ensure that they aren’t over torqued. That was terrifying enough that I only put my tires on now with a torque wrench and torque check after 50 miles. An impact is not allowed near my wheels.

Otherwise, I’ve had shot track bars and tie rods cause an audible knock, but not quite a pop like this. Do come back and update when you figure it out!

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Can I share this thread? I have a Subaru Forester that the front passenger wheel infrequently sounds and shutters like I am running the side of the highway rumble bar. It happens at 60mph and I am no where near the said rumble bar. I also wondered if it was something about the road itself that was setting it off but that same side rear wheel isn’t affected. I took it in for the timed tire rotation and the tire shop guy took a hard look at it,didn’t find anything with the tire itself, test drove, but just in town and he did some tire turns and said that he feels like it is something mechanical. I’m clueless.

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Sure, the forum is public. I believe you can just copy the url and anyone can read without being logged in.

About your issue, search for “death wobble” and see if that matches what is happening? I think there was a recent thread here about it that had a video.

Holy smokes I goggled that! TY wsmoak!! I’m scheduling right now! Absolutely what I’ve experienced!

Wow! I hope that helps you get it fixed!

For the record, what’s in my video is NOT the death wobble. There’s something going on behind that right front wheel, but the whole truck doesn’t vibrate. It just makes that noise.

The shield behind the rotors is one of DH’s theories for THIS noise, but it doesn’t really explain the pop/thump (unclear if these two things are related.)

I am really trying to discourage DIY’ing this one. While DH is very knowledgeable about our trucks and could probably fix it, we are really at the point that we need to outsource this kind of thing.

So we will be up early tomorrow morning dropping it off, and we’ll see what they say!

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Gramps thinks it is the knuckle in the axle assembly.

Could yours be a wheel bearing?

The truck is spending the night at the clinic. :wink:

230307_1417 by Wendy, on Flickr

The tech’s first impression was tie rods for the pop/thump. If you turn the steering wheel while parked it makes inappropriate noises.

The other noise in the video has stopped. It was probably a rock behind the brake rotor shield. They’re replacing the brakes so if anything is going on in there they will see it.

I will report back with the results.


Mine will do that too. It will make a terrible noise and then when you take it in, nothing.
I hope whatever it is it is not too expensive. Good luck!

I have 2011 F250 that made some squeak, pop, and bang noises that announced her presence long before I pulled up to pick up my kid in the car line at his school. It became kind of a running joke and a group of our son’s friends would be grinning at me when I pulled up. It was from the suspension, primarily, but it was time for brakes and pads, too. So. I took it to one of those discount tire joints. The morons didn’t use heavy duty parts for the suspension and brake pads. Fast forward a year to last March when I took it in for a pre-trip check up with a mechanic friend. The noises were coming back already and there was a squishy feeling. The alignment was also off. Everything had to be redone. Plus, it needed some additional front end work, most likely from wear and tear due to improperly replaced parts. Once it was properly re-fixed, I hauled a heavy horse trailer with our farm animals from Florida to the Midwest when we moved out here. Everything went fine.

Found out recently, according to the Ford service department here, the death wobble is seen most often in trucks with suspension, alignment, or other front end issues. They said they have never seen it in a truck with proper maintenance done. So, the point of this ramble is that I very well could have experienced a death wobble while driving cross country due to shoddy parts replacement, had I not had our mechanic friend check it out for me.

The moral of the story is that discount tire places should not be trusted with super duty type trucks. They’re like the Supercuts of the mechanic world. They are limited in training. They might replace stuff, but they’re most likely to use what they have on hand, rather than what your truck needs. And the wrong parts could set you up for the death wobble, and/or wear out other parts.


Yep. Even the dealer can’t get it right all the time. It really depends on who is working the day you take it in – they typically have a Certified Diesel Mechanic but he doesn’t work every day, so you have to get the service manager to figure out when is the best time to come when THAT guy can look at it.

Note that the truck is at an old warehouse looking building on a back street… that place has been around for years and they keep all the delivery trucks and busses in the area going. That’s why THEY are doing the brakes – they will choose the kind that can stop a big truck. They only work on suspension and related bits but if you add up the years of knowledge in that building it is epic. They can diagnose it and refer us out to someone else if it’s not something they can fix. Those guys have seen it allll.


I think repair services as well as automotive design is not at all like it used to be, when you could see daylight when you opened a hood. And parts manufacture is poor these days.

My axle problem (ended up being control arm bushings) at 85K miles and I had the wheel bearings done at 60K, illustrates the early failure of parts these days. My first time ever purchasing a new vehicle bc I needed reliability. I’m disappointed. I was better off driving the old beaters.

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Well, back in those old days in most trucks and cars there was no air conditioning, power steering, disk brakes, seat belts, air bags, power windows, FM radio, Sirius radio, , navigation system, LED headlights, turn signals, power seats, power door locks, fuel injection, radial tires, or infotainment system.

We did have roof drip rails, window cranks, vent windows, headlight dimmers on the floorboard, cigarette lighters, ash trays, carburetors, bias ply tires, and AM radios with one speaker and 5 pushbuttons.


Well, back in those old days in most trucks and cars there was no air conditioning, power steering, disk brakes, seat belts, air bags, power windows, FM radio, Sirius radio, , navigation system, LED headlights, turn signals, power seats, power door locks, fuel injection, radial tires, or infotainment system.

well for some those days are still here


The verdict is in. There is nothing wrong with the truck, at least nothing that is a safety issue. They agree that it does make a noise, but nothing is so wrong that they recommend replacing it. Grand total of $45 to pronounce their opinion.

They checked everything, including the cab bushings I had replaced recently. So I guess I will carry on and see how many more payment-free months I can get out of it.

(The alarming noise in the video was almost certainly some foreign object behind the brake rotor shield. After it happened DH took it out on the freeway and said he heard a thunk that was probably a rock coming out of there, after which the noise stopped. The service guys took it all apart and confirmed that it wasn’t any important part of the truck that had fallen off to rattle around in there.)

And it still doesn’t need brakes, at over 90,000 miles! Those must have been good ones from the factory. It’s had a lot of long trips though.


That is a great price to get piece of mind. I took mine to the dealership at my regular mechanic’s recommendation. I don’t remember what was wrong with it but they put a ziptie on to fix it. It was a lot more than $45.