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I have been hearing an occasional clunking noise from my 2012 Smart Car when going over bumps. Not sure which model it is because it didn't come with any paperwork but I think it's the Pure. I thought it might be the struts but when I had it looked at the mechanic couldn't find anything wrong. And now today I was out in it and the traction light on the dash lit up permanently and the car became completely uncontrollable at any speed above 30 mph. Every time I hit the brake there would be a rubbing/grinding noise and the car would serve sharply to either side.

When I pulled over I saw that the passenger wheel well was rubbing against the side of the wheel well as can be seen in the pictures. I think the rectangular piece of plastic shown in the pictures was the thing causing the noise. I don't know what it is but it doesn't look terribly important. Anyone have any idea what it is?

What could be wrong with the car to make the passenger wheel so off? I am in the St Louis area, roughly how much do you think it will cost to repair?

All pictures are from the front passenger side of the vehicle.

Pictures: https://imgur.com/a/OJQny
 

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The base of the lower control arm does not look right. Photos from the right side of the car with the wheel off would be helpful. The plastic item looks like it might be the radiator fan. What did you run over to cause that to break free?
 

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I can't see the picture. Can someone repost in the thread, please?

I got the pictures to work. The control knuckle looks ok to me (I just finished replacing both from bearings). Can you jack the car up and grab the tire and rock it back and forth? If yes, the wheel bearing is in VERY bad shape. You should check both sides.

The lower control arm and shock absorber look ok, but I agree, photos with the tire off would help.

I'm not sure what the loose plastic part is, but I'll the to loom in the morning.

If you are losing control of the car, you should drive it until it's fixed.
 
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