Volvo reports that all of its 1999-2004 models can produce a knocking or clicking sound from the front of the vehicle. According to the car maker, the noise is most obvious at slow speeds while turning, and with the body undergoing some sort of flexing or twisting motion (such as when entering a parking lot or going over a speed bump).
A likely cause for the noise is the front bumper contacting the chassis side rails. The contact can occur on one or both sides of the vehicle.
To make the correct diagnosis, raise the vehicle on a lift and check the steering and suspension components for looseness or wear. If everything looks okay, remove the bumper cover and look for contact between the bumper beam and chassis. If you notice rubbing marks, use a long pry bar to carefully pull the bumper away from the side rails.
Once there's sufficient clearance, dab the scraped metal with anti-corrosion compound, reinstall the bumper cover, lower the vehicle and go on a road test to verify that the noise has been eliminated.
"Factory Fixes" is written by Jim DePalma, a 30-year veteran of the auto repair business who has served stints as a service manager, parts manager and ASE-certified technician. His column provides vehicle manufacturers' authentic factory technical service bulletins (TSBs) that have been condensed for easier reading. Mr. DePalma advises that techs always check with a dealer or repair information system for the latest revisions before starting to work on a vehicle. He can be reached via email at [email protected].