Loud THUNK while driving

Bought a “Toyota Certified” used 2005 Solara 3 weeks ago. Twice yesterday, as I was driving under 5 MPH (once backing up, and much later, once going fwd), my husband and I both heard and felt a loud THUNK, like a huge rock hitting the floor ??? of the engine compartment. I’m insisting that we return to the dealer for diagnosis. I’m terrified what this means. Can you give us a hint?

By the way, the sound was loud enough that the walking waitress at In 'n Out Burger noted it. The car has 75K miles. Also of note, before we purchased it, the dealer put in new brakes and new tires. Nothing else that I know of.

It is possible that you were hearing the ABS self-test, which can sound like a “thud” on some cars. However, you need to give us a much more complete description of the circumstances when you hear this noise.

Is it happening just after starting the engine and moving the car for the first time, or does it happen randomly while you drive, after the engine has been started?

The solution to this is simple:

Take it to the dealer. You have a 3 month bumper-to-bumper warranty from your date of purchase and a 7yr/100k powertrain warranty (from its first in-service date).

Unless you’ve driven more than 3,000 miles, Toyota is responsible for the repair.

This could be all sorts of things… perhaps a broken motor mount or a broken coil spring… perhaps more serious… but in any case, if you haven’t exceeded that 3k mileage mark, you do NOT have to pay.

It has happened only twice; once just after starting the engine (while backing up) and once after being on the road for about 10 minutes, while slowly driving through the In’nOut driveway. In any case, I appreciate both responses. The second response (I SO hope you’re right) is the encouraging one. I will drag my husband to the dealer’s service center this afternoon. I’m just afraid they won’t be able to find the problem and will claim it’s NOTHING.

randomly while I drive.

I would have a independant check it out and make sure the independant understands the gravity of the check out, what I mean is no apprentice is to make this check out, then you pay the independant his approx. 1hr charge for the checkout and head to the Dealer.

No lecture here but always make sure what type of “found a problem 2 days after I picked up the car” type warranty you have. I will take a look at TSB’s

OK I found two TSB’S that may identify the source of your noise, they are from opposite ends of the car. One is numbered ST100-06 and it speaks about a steering intermediate shaft that makes a “clunk”. Next is numbered SU002-06 and it involves upper rear shock mounts that will make a “clunk” type noise.

These two problems may or may not be present on your car but let whomever works on the car know that Toyota has identified these problems.

The best idea before you go to the dealer is to figure out the conditions that cause the problem so it can be replicated at the shop.