Hi Everyone. The car is a 2004 Suzuki Aerio with 68k miles on it. I’ve owned the car since 25k miles, and performed all maintenance on time. The car was also maintained well before we owned it (receipts). I’ve taken it to our garage 5 times now, for the same noise. Before this, I whole-heartedly trusted our garage and I’ve had a first name relationship with them for about 5-6 years now. Here is the timeline of events:
- Two months ago started making two noises (rattle over bumps and a faint clunk on driver’s side when turning). Garage replaced control arm assembly on both sides.
- Took it back a week later because it was still making clunk (It got worse over this week, and then stayed at this level. I can feel it under the driver’s side floor board. Sounds like a clunk/cracking noise) and was making a new rattle. Garage said their air wrench was messing up the first day and a heat shield came loose.
- Another week later, still making clunk and making yet another weird rattle/grinding noise over bumps. Garage said this time that it’s another loose bolt on the control arm assembly. Tightened and double checked everything. They seemed apologetic and embarrassed about the loose bolts.
- Another two weeks later, still making the clunking noise. I take it back and take our mechanic for a ride. He hears it. I call back later that day and they say they can’t find anything wrong with it (checked struts, front suspension, and cv joint). I speak with a different mechanic and he tells me “we don’t do any fancy hard turning when we take the cars for test drives. We drive them like most people with old cars drive them.” This seems to infer, to me, that it’s only making this noise because I drive my car hard. Fyi, I drive reasonably. They say they had my mechanic, the other mechanic, the shop owner (who was on vacation that week), and ANOTHER mechanic from a different garage looking at it, and they can’t find what’s wrong. Bring it back next week.
- Yesterday, they say they looked everything over and couldn’t find anything wrong. Said they would have to diagnose it by feel. I have to work, but my husband picks it up and says they said it’s play in the drive shaft causing this noise, and that they didn’t seem worried about it. I only paid for the first visit.
Does this sound reasonable? Should I take it somewhere else for a second opinion? It does it on turns weather I’m on the gas or not. I like this car and I’m hoping to keep it for at least a few more years.