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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

Started noticing a new problem with my less than 2 week old Ascent. There is an occasional clunking sound coming from the right front when going over some bumps while driving straight. Doesn't happen all the time, but some bumps cause the problem. I have read others having issues with clunking but not much in the way of resolutions. I am still piecing together the pattern of what might cause it. This is going to be one of those problems that will be intermittent and never reproducible by the dealer I just know it.

Anyone else have anything similar to this issue?
 

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Hey, i might as well be Mr. Clunk by now. I have written in a few places about our clunk. It is always in the right front. It happens only when turning left or when slowing down around 17-25mph.

The dealership was able to reproduce the noise, they replaced the left front strut even though the noise is always coming from the right side. Makes sense that if turning left we are putting more pressure on the left strut but not sure how the noise traveling works.

So, it helped for a few days. Clunk then started to come back and just gets worse. It is the worst is has been right now. The dealer will definitely be able to reproduce it. They would have had the car in awhile ago to try to fix it, but i have been delaying bringing it in cus of family health reasons.

Anyway, we are going to bring it in this coming Monday. They said they might have it for awhile cus they want to get to the bottom of it. And they told me to call SOA to let them know. I called today and SOA started a file and will be in touch with the dealership service manager.

What is it? Umm, the dealership says now that it obviously seems not to be a strut issue since they replaced the whole thing.

But maybe 9 out of 10 times when a mechanic hears "makes clunk when turn left" it is a problem with the left strut so the dealership jumped to this conclusion. Maybe the problem is with the right strut, and it clunks when turning left because the right strut is being stretched. So the clunk could be because the right strut is being stretched rather than the left strut being compressed. (now really just making stuff up) - maybe the clunk went away when replaced the left strut because the left strut being new compressed less (was not broken in yet - does that even happen?) so for a few days the right strut did not get stretched as much turning left. Why does it clunk slowing down though?

Real mystery no one has figure out yet as far as i know.
 

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Hey, i might as well be Mr. Clunk by now. I have written in a few places about our clunk. It is always in the right front. It happens only when turning left or when slowing down around 17-25mph.

The dealership was able to reproduce the noise, they replaced the left front strut even though the noise is always coming from the right side. Makes sense that if turning left we are putting more pressure on the left strut but not sure how the noise traveling works.

So, it helped for a few days. Clunk then started to come back and just gets worse. It is the worst is has been right now. The dealer will definitely be able to reproduce it. They would have had the car in awhile ago to try to fix it, but i have been delaying bringing it in cus of family health reasons.

Anyway, we are going to bring it in this coming Monday. They said they might have it for awhile cus they want to get to the bottom of it. And they told me to call SOA to let them know. I called today and SOA started a file and will be in touch with the dealership service manager.

What is it? Umm, the dealership says now that it obviously seems not to be a strut issue since they replaced the whole thing.

But maybe 9 out of 10 times when a mechanic hears "makes clunk when turn left" it is a problem with the left strut so the dealership jumped to this conclusion. Maybe the problem is with the right strut, and it clunks when turning left because the right strut is being stretched. So the clunk could be because the right strut is being stretched rather than the left strut being compressed. (now really just making stuff up) - maybe the clunk went away when replaced the left strut because the left strut being new compressed less (was not broken in yet - does that even happen?) so for a few days the right strut did not get stretched as much turning left. Why does it clunk slowing down though?

Real mystery no one has figure out yet as far as i know.
Ahh, you were the one I was reading about. I admit my problem has not risen to this level...yet. I am starting to isolate it down to when going over a bump and the suspension is recovering when the vehicle's weight is compressing the front right strut the sound happens, not on the return which I initially thought. Need more time to determine the exact conditions it happens under.

Please keep us posted on how your resolution comes along.
 

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Struts have their own seals and bushings. There is also a bearing in the top mount. If the noise is indeed the strut assembly. (and not something else) The dealer is not really going have the equipment to test a defective strut. All they an really do is disassemble it and check for shaft play and the can also evaluate a top hat bearing. There should be no movement at all other than rotational. However, if the clunk is coming from an internal problem as the strut compresses, the dealer will have little means to evaluate that. Other than by hand.
 

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Hey, i might as well be Mr. Clunk by now. I have written in a few places about our clunk. It is always in the right front. It happens only when turning left or when slowing down around 17-25mph.

The dealership was able to reproduce the noise, they replaced the left front strut even though the noise is always coming from the right side. Makes sense that if turning left we are putting more pressure on the left strut but not sure how the noise traveling works.

So, it helped for a few days. Clunk then started to come back and just gets worse. It is the worst is has been right now. The dealer will definitely be able to reproduce it. They would have had the car in awhile ago to try to fix it, but i have been delaying bringing it in cus of family health reasons.

Anyway, we are going to bring it in this coming Monday. They said they might have it for awhile cus they want to get to the bottom of it. And they told me to call SOA to let them know. I called today and SOA started a file and will be in touch with the dealership service manager.

What is it? Umm, the dealership says now that it obviously seems not to be a strut issue since they replaced the whole thing.

But maybe 9 out of 10 times when a mechanic hears "makes clunk when turn left" it is a problem with the left strut so the dealership jumped to this conclusion. Maybe the problem is with the right strut, and it clunks when turning left because the right strut is being stretched. So the clunk could be because the right strut is being stretched rather than the left strut being compressed. (now really just making stuff up) - maybe the clunk went away when replaced the left strut because the left strut being new compressed less (was not broken in yet - does that even happen?) so for a few days the right strut did not get stretched as much turning left. Why does it clunk slowing down though?

Real mystery no one has figure out yet as far as i know.
Their is a TSB out relating to steering box and noise it makes over rough pavement. That could be your issue and mine.
 
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Their is a TSB out relating to steering box and noise it makes over rough pavement. That could be your issue and mine.
This has been an off and on issue with the newer electric assist gear boxes. They put in a stronger spring that holds the spindle gear against the rack. At least with the Outbacks and Legacys this was my understanding.
 

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went to the service dept today but could not leave our ascent because the loaner that was going to be there was gone already. but got to talk to them some more. They definitely do not trust me when i say the sound is coming from the same spot as before they replaced the left front strut. They think something was wrong with both struts, but SOA only wanted one strut replaced at first to be able to know which one was the problem.

I suppose since the noise went away for a few days after they replaced it, it makes sense that the left strut did need to be replaced.

And since a noise came back it means the other strut (if it is a strut issue) developed a problem. Maybe there was a batch of bad struts in the assembly line (who knows).

I would think if the right strut suddenly started to clunk that i would be hearing the clunk when turning right and hear it from the left. They did say, which i believe, that the suspension is all connected so a sound can travel... actually maybe i really believe this, there could be a general clunk from the middle of the car, but there is less sound barriers in the right side of the cabin so we hear it in the cabin coming from the right front.

But my big problem with the logic is the left turn vs right turn. The sound has always come when making left turns.

they are saying two struts have developed clunking noises when turning left.

that is what does not make sense.
 

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Just to clarify, when you turn left, your right strut will be compressed and the pressure on the left strut will be relaxed. The weight goes to the outside of the turn.


Turning right it will obviously be reversed.


You could see if you can reproduce it when someone is outside the car, so can better hear the direction. Does it happen at slow speeds or only at a medium speed turn? Or even hold a phone out of the window doing video while turning. See if it comes in louder on the left vs the right?
 
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thanks for the clarification. so since it still only happens when going left (not once turning right, so on a curved downhill road where i turn left then right then left etc... it will happen every time i turn left and then stop during the immediate right turn...), it is happening when the right strut gets compressed.

i do have to take left turns at some speed to hear the clunk, but it is normal driving speed, the normal speed to go around a curve, so above 20 mph, the faster the louder the clunk it seems.

if i put brakes on and go softly around a curve there will be no clunk, and if i take a left turn from a stop at an intersection there is never a clunk.

it happens oddly enough also sometimes when i slow down my taking the foot of the accelerator and the car get down to 18 mph or so. this one is harder to replicate, less consistent, but sounds like the left turn clunk.

i wish i knew enough why slowing down at 18mph would cause it, even in theory. In theory i can understand that going left compresses the right strut (thanks for the clarification) but i dont know what happens under the front of the car when slowing down to 18 or 17 mph.
i also worry the dealership will not be able to replicate the slowing down clunk and disregard it.

maybe slowing down releases some of the pressure on the struts..
 

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So it's only a lift off the accelerator that causes the slow down clunk and not actual braking?

When you slow down, the weight goes forward, so it would compress the front struts. But if you're not actually using the brakes the weight transfer would not be very significant.

It's almost like there's a hang-up point in the strut where the movement gets stuck, then enough pressure pushes it past that point. Possible the left turn and the slowing both get it past that point.
 

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i did just notice yesterday in this one spot, going downhill with a slight left curve it clunks when i put on the brakes coming up to an intersection. happened yesterday twice and today once at the same spot when braking, so i have to revise my observation to say that it can happen when i put on the brakes.

does not make much sense, but i can generally say when coming to an intersection and having to brake i do not expect to hear a clunk. i brake all the time in a city. but if i am going through a busy area with lots of walkers around, so i slow down by just taking my foot off the pedal, i can expect a clunk at the 17-18 mph mark.

just as an update, SOA called me again yesterday, same person i have talked with before, to see how my appt went etc... so i am still impressed by SOA's level of attention to this, and while i am on the forum "whining about clunking" (my description of myself), i feel appropriate help is being given... more of a mystery to me than a frustration.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think mine might have settled down and may have been normal suspension noise and is seating itself. Your issue is definitely something that needs to be fixed -- and it seems like that is happening.
 

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My Ascent made those noises at stop signs for the first few weeks. I've got 1800 miles on now. 800 on the trip up and back from Grand Marais, MN and 400 crawling around on forest roads in the Superior National Forest. Gave the suspension and xmode a good workout on both rocky climbs and mudholes. Fuel mileage was 26.1 on the way up, dropped to 23.4 on the in the woods driving, climbed back up to 24.7 on the trip home. Creaking noise is gone from the suspension. I crossed it off my list for the dealer to look at on my first oil change.
 

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Mine right strut is clunking too

Same issue as many of you I suspect. Right front strut is clunking at times, sharp parking lot entrance curb does the trick as well as manhole covers that are elevated. Dissapointing the dealer said the tech could not hear it! I hope Subaru owns up to this rather than slow dancing. Overall the suspension is unrefined and more like a 20 yr old model. Perhaps it is the strut. I have a forester 2016 which puts this suspension to shame, so not a non-Subaru owner misunderstanding.
 

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our right front started to warble again when going around 18mph and downhill on left turns, about two months ago or so.

and our left front started clunking two weeks ago over bumps. gotten steadily worse. now it is pretty constant cacophony of clunks and creaks. definitely sounds like a 20 year old suspension - just thought the same thought recently. maybe it is the sounds, but it also feels like it is running rough. if i drove it without knowing its age, i would say from the sound and feel that it is 20 years old.

no idea what is up since both front struts have been replaced already.
 

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My front right strut also has a clunk to it, but dealer said the technician could not repeat it. Low level parking lot curbs and manhole covers really send a shock and bump through the right front end. I know a strut problem when I hear one.... Dissapointed in the ride overall anyway, unrefined is the word I would use. Like a 18 year old model not 2019? Anyway, I am sure the front right struts are causing may people issues. Just wished the dealer would dance around this issue.
 

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Mine right strut is clunking too

Driveway curbs at low speed, front right or any sharp small dispalcement bump. Dealer said he would go with a test drive but later said your car is ready and the technician did not hear anything. I know a strut problem when I hear one. Scared to hit a bump now for the shock it will give me. Hope a TSB comes out which makes it easier to get fixed
 

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the clunking from the left front got worse over bumps, or just a rough road, so we brought our car in again. they are replacing the steering rack tomorrow. said they spent a lot of time with the car and could only find a problem with the steering rack (not the struts or strut mounts), but i am not sure what the problem was. Will see tomorrow if the clunking goes away.

Anyone else have a steering rack replaced on their Ascent?
 

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got the car back, all sounds great so far. went over bumps, no clunking. they replaced the steering rack. said there have been others with this known clunking caused by something in the steering rack (gear?). They also found a bolt that was not tight enough somewhere in the suspension, so fixed that as well.
 
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