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

Clunking Noise

I have a 1994 Volvo 940 with 253,000 miles on it. It still runs like a top, but in the last 6 months it has developed a clunking/thunking sound from the left rear wheel well. It sounds similar to a bad shock absorber. The sound is at its loudest on back residential streets (without a smooth pavement). I have been to the Volvo dealer and two Volvo mechanics – have new shocks and new bushings on the stabilizer bars. All nuts and bolts have been tightened to specifications. And the noise continues…



Any suggestions would be appreciated

Have you checked the entire exhaust system?

If one of more of the exhaust hangers is disconnected or broken, that will allow exhaust components to bang against the underside of the chassis, especially when riding on bad pavement. Wait until everything is totally cooled down (preferably first thing in the AM), grasp the exhaust pipe in several places, and push it up and down gently to see if it is secured properly.

Thanks - that was the first thing I did since I am no mechanic and was one of the few things I could do. I also had everyone look at the drive train - and each said it was fine.

Two suggestions, depending on the sound - a tire problem such as belt separation. Try moving the rear tires to the front to see if the noise moves too. Second, rear wheel bearings. These often roar or drone, but I’ve had them fail in such a way as to sound like you’re riding on railroad tracks (cathunk-cathunk-cathunk).

Hadn’t thought of wheel bearings - and it’s been a while (probably 100,000 miles ago). I’ll have them checked out.