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Old 07-31-2019, 01:43 PM
carlb is offline
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What might be wrong with my car?


2009 Volvo C30 R-Design with ~78,300 miles on it. No recent accidents, unusual events, etc. Regularly maintained at Volvo dealer, garage-kept.

Back in February I noticed a "thunk" noise that seemed to come from the front end. It was most noticeable at low speeds, seemed related to the suspension (more frequent on rougher roads), and would increase in frequency as the steering wheel was turned. Does not seem dependent on engine speed. A single, "thunk," would happen just after moving from a full stop. It would also often happen right when coming to a complete stop.

I took it to my regular Volvo shop. They replaced both front struts, support bearings, and supports. Drove the car away from the shop and all seemed well.

Last week, I noticed the noise again. Exactly the same. Still seems to be coming from the front end of the car, maybe on the driver's side. I heard one "thunk," as I got out of the car on Monday, lending credence to the idea that it is suspension-related. I made an appointment to take it to the shop yesterday.

Driving to the shop, I thought, "great - it's not making the noise today." By the time I had driven 15 minutes or so it was back. When I dropped it off, my regular service guy could hear it. He told me later that he and one of the mechanics drove it around and could hear it clear as a bell.

He called yesterday afternoon and said it looked like one of the support bearings had failed; that maybe it was bad from the factory. They replaced the bearing (at no charge) and said they drove it around and there was no noise. Service guy called this morning and said he drove it again - no noise.

10-15 minutes after picking up the car, the noise was back, exactly the same as before. So, it appears to be something related to either temperature (the engine needs to be hot) or simply use; something works itself loose after driving and "resets" itself after sitting for a while. I can't think of how that latter scenario might work, but who knows?

Any ideas? Is it possible that one or more of the engine mounts could be the culprit? We're both scratching our heads. Headed out of town tomorrow, so I won't be able to get back to the shop until next week, so I thought I'd poll The Dope and see if anyone has any bright ideas.

Last edited by carlb; 07-31-2019 at 01:45 PM.
  #2  
Old 07-31-2019, 03:15 PM
jz78817 is offline
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front suspension thunks tend to make me think control arm bushings or stabilizer bar end links. upper strut plate bearings can do it as well, but I'm assuming those are what you referred to as support bearings and have already been replaced.

also, a broken coil spring can cause a thunking or rattling sound.
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Old 07-31-2019, 03:38 PM
jjakucyk is offline
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My 1993 Mercury Sable started making a clunk when I would come to a stop after hitting the brakes. This was back in the day of course. It was a bad tie rod bushing.
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Old 08-01-2019, 11:54 AM
Gbro is offline
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Possibly a bad motor mount???
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:03 AM
carlb is offline
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In case anybody is interested, it looks like it was the antiroll links. They were replaced two days ago, and the noise has not reappeared.

Fingers crossed.
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:38 PM
elfkin477 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlb View Post
In case anybody is interested, it looks like it was the antiroll links. They were replaced two days ago, and the noise has not reappeared.

Fingers crossed.
It's interesting, in an unpleasant way, that many problems cause similar sounds. Last time my car made a noise like that it was an motor mount. Before that an axle about to fail...
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