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2000 Honda Odyssey mystery clunk

Within the last year, our Odyssey has developed a strange clunk, or thud, which may happen when we brake, or turn the steering wheel, or take off when stopped, from a stationary position, or when we hit bumps in the road. Been to the Honda dealer twice, our local mechanic once. Because the problem 1st appeared when braking, everyone focuses on that. They talk about the unibody design; calipers were replaced in the front, front and back brakes cleaned, etc., but noise continues, and more frequently–and NOT just when braking. Frustrating! A relative suggests it may be suspension problems, but Honda dealer and local mechanic don’t mention this, say other things are O.K. BUT–clunk/thud continues, scarily. Thoughts?–Thanks!

Has anyone bothered to check for things like a spare tire that is not firmly secured, or a jack that is moving around when you brake, or swerve, or when you hit bumps in the road?
Unsecured objects can do exactly what you describe.

Thanks. A friend reported once finding a tool that a mechanic had lost inside a van door, while doing bodywork, but I hadn’t thought about something beyond that (and we haven’t had bodywork done since 2004, so we knew it couldn’t be that). Will check this out.

Has this van had its transmission out? if yes check that the sub-frame is correctly secured(check it in any case) Lots of problems with noisy sway-bar links on the Oddysey.

I was going to suggest checking the motor mounts. They can cause that sort of clunk.

I’m back, me with the 2000 Odyssey that clunks. Since last I posted, we checked for a loose tool. Nothing. Took van into the Honda dealer, where a road test revealed (surprise!) the noise, and the diagnosis was, and I quote: front stabilizer bar links popping and front struts need [to be] replaced. So we had the front struts and the stabilizer bar links replaced. Still made the noise. Back we go. Another road test revealed all three engine mounts to be worn out and transmission mounts, likewise. Got those taken care of. Every time, the sound disappears when we drive it home, and then…it comes back. The van, after all the work noted, plus new calipers in the front, drives like a new vehicle. Beautiful and smooth. But accelerate away from a stop, or brake (quickly or very slowly), or turn left or right, and more often than not, we get the clunk. Doesn’t matter who drives it, my wife or I: it happens to both of us. We have our quirks, but we’re not crazy, though we may go crazy if we can’t get this noise to go away. Any other suggestions out there? Thanks.

See my note posted farther down. Are sway-bars the same as stabilizer bars? Sorry to show my ignorance. I’ve been checking online for definitions, and sometimes is seems as if some sources use the two terms interchangeably. But I could be wrong.

Yes sway bar links and stabilizer bar links are the same. I can’t imagine that the cradel that holds the engine and is attached to the body has not been checked for correct mounting by now but has it?

Is anyone saying that this clunk could be a torque converter or internal transmission problem? The reputation on the Odyssey transmission is not good.I had a brand new one destroy its self on a test drive. Perhaps check torque converter bolts for tightness. Has this transmission been out of the mini-van at any time?

We have a 2000 Odyssey with the what sounds like the same symptoms – a dull clunking or thudding from the front end on accelerating, decelerating, and turning. We just had the right engine mount and two transmission mounts replaced after a dealer and a second mechanic’s recommendation, but there was no change in the sound. It’s loudest when doing a slow left-hand turn out of our driveway. The fact that we also get it when stopped and turning the wheel back and forth makes me wonder if it’s related to whatever moves the wheels when you turn the steering column. The sound is louder from the right front wheel well than from the left wheel well if you listen to it from the outside. Did you have any luck fixing yours?

I can only presume that the ball joints have been checked and rechecked.

I had a mystery clunk also. I took it to the body shop’s mechanic who had recently replaced the front bumper on my 2002 Odyssey. We took it for a drive; slowly, over some minor bumps in the road and after he heard it, we took it back to the shop. They lifted it and lifted the hood. While the gas pedal was pressed, the whole left of the engine raised up.
I then took it to the dealership to have 2 engine mounts replaced to the tune of about $775.
I was told that this is a common occurrance. HHHHMMMM!

I had a Miata that did this and it was driving me crazy. I kept searching for the cause and finally found a golf ball in an fender well that was accessible from the trunk. Every time I started off, clunk, stopped, clunk, and clunk clunk clunk on bumps. So try putting your family along the sides of the van, outside it, and then lurch it forward and stop and see if anyone hears a clunk. Then reverse it and do it again and again until you see agreement what area of the van is the source of the noise. Then start searching.

I have a 2002 Odyssey with the same clunk. It has been some time since you posted your situation, have you been able to resolve your Mystery Clunk?

I’m struggling with the same problem on a 2002 Odyssey with 80K miles. We had all the recall work done including the transmission several years ago. The military just relocated us to Belgium and our van began acting up a month after we arrived. I had a bunch of work done before we left the States. The shocks, struts, strut mounts, front engine mount, the hoses and drive belt, tires, and all the fluids were replaced in June. Now we hear and feel a loud popping/banging noise when turning or accelerating. Also, the steering wheel has been submitting quite a bit to depressions in the road, holes, or bumps. The steering is smooth and tight on nice roads but rough roads cause dramatic steering wheel movements. Everything appears to be tightened down and I made sure the spare is in snug in its place. The CV boots look fine. The brakes are about a year old. The exhaust looks good. The transmission shifts as smooth as silk and is very quiet. The bushings that I looked at seem good too so I?m not sure where to go from here. Help!