CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2005 Subaru Outback clunks when taking off

Car makes clunking sound when taking off from start once rolling along it does not do it.

My first guess–and that’s all it is–would be a bad CV joint. Have the car looked at by a good independent shop.

This could be due to several things. How long has it been doing it? Did it start suddenly or over time? Can you associate it with anything else happening (like hitting a pot hole)? From which location on the car?
With the family fleet, clunking has been caused by worn CV joints (when starting with tightly turned wheels), worn regular universal joints, springs, a loose brake component, shock absorbers, and transmission problems. Some causes could result in sudden loss of steering, have it inspected.

Most any worn or faulty steering or suspension components can cause this. The Only way to diagnose this is a knowledgeable person physically inspecting the vehicle.

Some cars have an ABS check a few seconds after you start moving forward. There is one thump sound during the check. I don’t know if Subie’s do that. You might check on line or maybe someone more familiar with Subarus here can tell you if they do that.

1 Like

Yes, they do, although the sound/vibration from the ABS self-check varies from one model year to another. With my 2001 Outback, it was very obvious. With my 2011 Outback it is almost imperceptible.

However, the detail that we need from the OP is this:
Do you hear that clunk every time that you “take off”, or do you only hear it after the vehicle has been sitting for a few hours?

If you only hear it after the vehicle has been sitting for a few hours, then it is very likely that you are hearing the normal ABS self-test.

If you are hearing it every time that you start rolling, then you need to have your mechanic check the suspension and steering components, and the CV joints.

Thank you for the help it does it at every take off just at the begining of take off then it stops till the next take off seems to be about middle way of the car.

Have your mechanic check the universal joint on the driveshaft.

1 Like

Do you notice it from going reverse to forward?

You might check the ball joints. The ball socket can change position in the joint during braking. Upon acceleration the ball may rotate a bit and create some looseness in certain positions.

You also might check the pitching stopper. This can have an effect on the rear transmission mount. It looks like this.