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2003 Honda Element left rear thunking

I have a 2003 Honda Element with 124,000 miles and it runs like a gem. I purchased it at 99,000! It has slowly developed a dull thunking sound in the left rear (seems to be left rear). I hear this sound when traveling at lower speeds on bumpy surfaces. I don’t hear the sound at highway speeds nor do I hear it when my brother (who is a mechanic) stand on the back bumper and jumps up and down really hard after removing everything from the inside of the car. We have had it up on the lift to look at everything underneath and there is nothing thunky when wiggled. It is a sound that can drive me mad. Does anyone have any experience with this mystery Element thunking noise? Please share!


Since your brother is a mechanic, have him hook up his chassis ears and take the car for a ride

I’ve used chassis ears, it has 6 channels, and it saves a lot of time and frustration

It also doesn’t cost an arm and a leg

I have a 2004 Element with that same noise… Would love to know what you came up with after using the “chassis ears”. I have never even heard of that device… Thanks , Frankie Dee

This is what I’m talking about

As you can see, it won’t break the bank

If the exhaust is on that side I would look at looseness in those fittings. A rubber mallet has been helpful in my past in finding loose parts.

Thanks all! My brother did a bunch of tests including driving the car and listening etc. Not sure if he used the listening kit though. I’ll check with him. We also checked the exhaust and looked for loose parts under the car using a rubber mallet. One of his ideas that we have yet to explore is something around the fuel tank is clunking. But I have also read on the ‘Internets’ that some Element owners have replaced the brushings that hold the sway bar in place to fix a thunking sound. When I inspected the rubber brushings on my car, they seem to be in good shape? Just adding this to the mix - maybe someone has tried this?

In most cases I have seen, both sway bar bushing, and loose sway bar links can cause thunk type noises. All you need to do to test this theory is have the car lifted, and try to shake them by hand. If you feel play you might have your answer.