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Thread: Clunking Sound Left Front

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Clunking Sound Left Front

    My 03 with 14K miles has developed a clunking sound near the left front wheel. At first it sounded like something was rubbing against the tire. I stopped the car but did not find anything. The noise is intermittent, can be heard at speeds under about 40 and sounds like some part of the axle or wheel is loose or something. Other times I think it sounds again more like something rubbing or even grinding. BTW the sound can be heard when driving staight and does not seem to change if brakes are applied.

    My dealer could not figure it out. They thought there might be something wrong with the alignment (idiots!) but that did not fix it. Have you guys heard of this problem?

    Peter

  2. #2
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    Feb 2003
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    Default Clunking

    Our 03 has had two tie rod linkage replaced so far. It is a common occurance in this year. I have been told by the dealer that the replacement is from a different supply than was used when the car was built ... and should not reoccur. It's an easy fix ... and should be easy to spot if this is it.

    I think you'll find a string on this subject.


    Bouvier

  3. #3
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    Default

    Thanks, I'll mention that to my dealer. I read the other thread but no one has described the sound. Just curious if anyone knows what it sounds like if the linkage is worn.

    Peter

  4. #4
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    Feb 2003
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    Default

    I just had my '03 XC at the dealer for 22.5K service and mentioned to them that my car had a pull to the left. Upon inspection they informed that my tie rod linkage on the left front was broken and replaced it under warranty. When I got home and mentioned it to my wife she says "it that what was causing the clunking sound?" My response was "what clunking sound and why didn't you tell me you were hearing a clunking sound?" She drives the car everyday and I maybe drive it once a week. I never heard the clunking sound prior to the linkage being replaced and I haven't heard after the linkage was replaced, so I can't describe it to you, but I would ask your dealer to check these parts.
    Cheers, Gary

    2007 XC70/Rubyred (Hers)
    2003 XC70/Platinum Green (Daughter's)
    2001 V70/White (Son's)
    2009 Mercedes C300 Sport 4MATIC (Mine)

  5. #5
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    Dec 2002
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    Default my dealer is driving me nuts

    My dealer has looked at my car twice and cant figure out what the problem is. I have mentioned the issues you guys came up with regarding the tie rod linkage and my dealer pretty much dismisses it. Part of the problem is that I cant get the car to reliably make the noise when I have the service manager in the car. My position, however, is that even if they hear the noise that the still wont be sure where it is coming from until they start tearing into something. They respond that they have these microphones that they can place all over the car to narrow down where the noise is coming from. WEll, with an intermittent noise it's gonna be hard to narow it down. Besides, as far as I am concerned it is clearly coming from the front left wheel area.

    We know it is not related to the brakes, it occurs when the car is going straight, and it is not related to the AC. To me it has to be a suspension thing.

    Can any of you be more specific about the repair you had done. How hard is it to get to the offending part? Is it obvious that the part is broken?
    Any help would be appreciated. I am about to take the car to a non-dealer to have their opinion.

    Peter

  6. #6
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    Default clunk

    My 01XC had a "clunking sound" like the one that is being described. It drove me nuts! The dealer tried to tell me it was out of alingment. After the warranty ran out it turned out that the Front srut mounts had cracked, along with this the upper motor mount had broken. After a 500 dollar fix the noise was gone. Hope this helps.

  7. #7
    Art's Avatar
    Art is offline Super Moderator & VolvoXC.com Supporter
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    Default

    Peter,

    I had a similar encounter with a clunking noise that was finally diagnosed as the abs performing a self test. However, in my case, the noise occurs like clockwork at or around 20 kph and always at startup.

    Many of the front suspension related issues in the past have been tied to the front stabilizer links. The weak point of the links appears to be the pins/bushings that form the connection between the links and the struts/stabilizer bar, something that the techs may have overlooked. Quite a few members have had their links replaced on warranty.

    Last edited by Art; 11-12-2004 at 05:11 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default 2004 XC90 Clunking Sound Solved!

    I bought a used 2004 XC90 and really loved it... until a front end clunking sound started. So, I read what was on this forum and printed it out to take to my dealer which they promptly dimissed as "there is a lot of info on the internet and a lot of it not true and if there was a problem Volvo would issue a recall..."

    So, the problem was definitely intermittent. If it happened, it happened on stops/slowing down, sometimes turning slowly, or accelerating in a short burst. It seemed to do it more if I have been driving on hilly roads. The sound is like a rubber mallet being struck onto a metal beam and coming from the front end.

    My dealer is located in a rather flat part of town so when I tried to reproduce the noise, it happened once and mechanic didn't really hear it. I ended up leaving the car for 2 days for the mechanic to drive it home and see if he could get it to happen with an extended period of use by him. Well, they ended up replacing the driver side control arm. The noise was even less now but then one 90 degree day, it was clunking like crazy. BTW, I was at this point racing the clock as my factory warranty ended in 5 days!!! I scheduled up an appointment and luckily it clunked when they had it and they replaced the passenger side control arm. Presto, changeO, no more clunking sound!

    I have read that most of you have had the sway bar links changed and that did the trick but in my case it was the control arms. Perhaps the links got changed as part of the service? Anyways, I am happy now and the car runs GREAT! I hope this helps someone who runs into the same problems I did.

  9. #9
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    Mid-Coast Maine
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by peter24a View Post
    My 03 with 14K miles has developed a clunking sound near the left front wheel. At first it sounded like something was rubbing against the tire. I stopped the car but did not find anything. The noise is intermittent, can be heard at speeds under about 40 and sounds like some part of the axle or wheel is loose or something. Other times I think it sounds again more like something rubbing or even grinding. BTW the sound can be heard when driving staight and does not seem to change if brakes are applied.

    My dealer could not figure it out. They thought there might be something wrong with the alignment (idiots!) but that did not fix it. Have you guys heard of this problem?

    Peter

    There is one other possible source for clicking/clunking sounds from the front end on the early P2 XCs. I have had the 4 bolts that fasten the hub to the bottom of the strut come loose (on both sides!). No one could find the problem until the car GROUND to a halt pulling hard to the left - and would go no further. Luckily it was at low speed on a side street - at speed on the freeway would have been disastrous.

    Turned out that the bolts had backed out to the point that they jammed against the CV joint housing. As the CV joint tried to turn, it spun the bolts further out and jammed harder until the left front axle was locked up completely.

    On the right side the bolts came out as far, but on that side, the rotation tried to spin the bolts back in so it didn't jam.

    After it was fixed, I did a little research and found out that Volvo was on their 3rd design generation for these bolts and that it was a fairly common problem. I guess they were waiting for a multiple death freeway accident before they issued a recall to fix it.

    Anyway, I recommend that everyone check theirs. Mine was on a first year P2 chassis XC. I suspect that by 03 they had the problem fixed (mine was fixed in 03). After the repair I had no further problems with the front end.

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