Extreme steering turns cause thunk

I have a 2007 Honda Odyssey. Over the past half year it developed a problem when I turned my steering wheel all the way in either direction (for example if I was making a U turn to get a parking spot on the other side of the street). Near the end of the turn, it felt like something would give way and slip, or that some resistance was suddenly released. This was accompanied by a sound like a thunk, easily heard by anyone standing outside the car. Initially it occurred only once in a while, but after a while I could recreate this very frequently with almost every other turn in a stationary position. Honda Service replaced the left drive shaft about two weeks ago and the problem temporarily went away, but last week I started experiencing the problem again. It is only occasional and when I deliberately try to reproduce it, I need to turn the steering wheel back and forth about 10-20 time. But it is definitely coming back, and again occurs on turns in both directions. I suspect the root of the problem was not solved, and that it eventually causes damage to the drive shaft, making the symptoms more frequent. Hence, when the drive shaft was replaced, most of the symptoms initially disappeared, but now they are coming back. I also have another problem that I’m not sure is related to the one above, but I have a steering drift to the left that comes and goes (this persists despite a wheel alignment that accompanied the drive shaft replacement). I’m wondering whether my “thunks” in one direction are causing the steering wheel to be slightly out of register, causing the drift, and my “thunks” in the other direction are partially correcting this. What I’m hoping for are ideas that I can ask my Honda service center to consider when they look at the car again. I think they just listened for the sound, replaced the part they thought the sound was coming from, and didn’t actually think about what might be going on.

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have themn check the power steering ram. Power steering is almost always a little probematic at the extream ends of the steering range.

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oh hey, you may want to have the CV joints checked too, they can cause this problem.

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Thanks for the tips. I found the following at http://www.helium.com/items/1367843-symptoms-of-bad-cv-joints

"Many people do not realize that they have a problem with the CV joints until they hear a knocking sound each time they make a turn when driving. This doesn’t usually happen with a normal turn in the road but occurs when you make a turn at an intersection or into a parking lot or driveway.

Even if you don’t hear any noises coming from the undercarriage when making a turn, there are other symptoms of bad CV joints that you can look for. If it seems you have to apply more effort than usual when steering the wheel, then this could be a warning sign that you need to have the CV joints checked out. Usually the steering wheel will seem to pull to the left and you constantly need to have a tight grip on the wheel."

The knocking noise, more effort when steering, and the pulling toward the left is very reminiscent of what I am experiencing.

John, Have The Strut Top Mount / Bearings Been Checked ? I Wonder If Thery’re Not Turning Freely And You’re Winding / Unwinding The Front Springs Until Enough Force Is Exerted To “Jolt” The Spring And Seat Into Turning.

That’s why there’s bearings up there.

Quite a few miles on this 07 ? About how many ?


John, Some 07 Odyssey Steering Column Pops Or Clunks Are Remedied By Relubricating The Telescoping Steering Column Shaft Splines. Honda Service Can Refer To A Technical Service Bulletin On This Issue.


Only 20,000 miles on the 07 Odyssey.

Since I know nothing about cars, let me make sure I understand what you’re talking about. From what I can glean from the internet, the Odysseys front suspension is a Macpherson Strut, one for each wheel. Those struts act as the pivot point for each wheel turning. Since the top of the strut is effectively fixed to the body of the car, for the bottom part to turn freely with the wheel, the top mount is designed to allow the whole strut to turn and bearings in that mount allow that turning to occur freely. If the bearings fail and the top mount “catches”, especially at the extreme end of a turn, then all the torque is exerted on the spring coil in the strut until that built up force pushed top mount past the “catch”. That would cause me to feel a sudden release through the steering wheel and to hear a thunk. Is that a reasonable understanding for a car ignoramus?

Could a catch that was not fully released cause the coil spring to exert a slight torque that causes my car to drift periodically? And would you have an explanation for how the act of replacing the left drive shaft, which Honda did under warranty, might have temporarily alleviated the problem?

that the strut top mount is something on top of each front wheels independent suspension system. And since the top of the strut needs to be fixed in position, while the bottom is attached to a