2002 Honda Civic - clunking sound heard near front passenger side when making turn

Hi all.

I am posting about my girlfriend’s 2002 Honda Civic. Whenever she and I make a turn in it, a clunking sound is heard and felt on the front passenger side in the area of the floorboard, and it seems to come from an area between the seat and the wheel well and seems to be getting slowly but surely/progressively worse/more noticeable as time passes. I checked underneath the car earlier today, and there aren’t any observable leaks to report anywhere. Anyone have an idea about this? We are both clueless and hope its not a costly fix (any guesses about costs as well?).


You have to bear in mind that, with a unitized body/chassis, noises can be “telegraphed”, and can actually be coming from an area other than where you think they are originating. That being said, I would first check the strut mounting/strut bearing at the top of the strut tower on the passenger side of the car.

If that doesn’t lead to a solution, then the car has to go up on a lift in order for a competent mechanic to find the source of the noise. Since this could well be a safety-related issue (damaged ball joint or tie rod end), this is not something that can be ignored. I urge you to NOT allow any more time to pass before you get to the bottom of this problem.

Several possibles; a cv joint could be failing, there could be a problem with the differential, a brake rotor could be rusted (at the edges) and it can rub against something while you are turning. I have the brake noise in my '03 Civic and I just live with it for now.

The brake noise is a scratchy sound. A clunking sound is more likely a CV joint or differential.

The noise might be caused form a worn out control arm bushing. http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=2516340&cc=1386277

As you can see in the image, there’s a large rubber bushing that connects to the underside of the vehicle. Exactly where you hear the noise coming from.


You have axles that go from the transmission to the front wheels. At each end of each axle, there is a rubber boot. Look closely at the rubber boot on the outer end of the axle that goes to the right wheel and see if it is torn. I suspect that it is and if so, the CV joint is damaged.

You will have three choices, a new Honda manufactured axle at about $500 plus labor, a remanufactured axle at about $100 plus labor or a new aftermarket axle at around $100 plus labor. I have never had much luck with the remans and the new aftermarket axles are almost as good (95%) as the new Honda axles. I prefer the EMPI aftermarket brand axles.