2016 Impala front end noise (Clunk) - Chevy Impala Forums
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2016 Impala front end noise (Clunk)

Hi there. I just recently noticed a strange clunk on the front suspension. Luckily its still under certified warranty so I'll be taking it in next week to get it checked out. Just thought I'd ask if anybody has experienced the same.

Car has 62K miles. When I back out of my driveway, after I turn to straighten out the car, on the first tap to the brake pedal I hear a thump/clunk coming from the strut area. Any time there is enough stress on the strut/spring assembly is usually when the clunk comes right after. If i need to turn around in the street, hence cranking the steering to one side and then to the next, I'll usually get that clunk. Thoughts?

2016 Chevy Impala LT
Siren Red, Mods so far: 18% Ceramic Coated Tints, 2 10w3v3- JL Audio Subwoofers with a JL Audio 500/1. LED Hedlights, LED backup bulbs, Replaced all interior halogen bulbs with LEDS, 20" LTZ wheels

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Have you checked all the dust covers on those joints underneath? I've had clunking like that on my cars when the ball joint dust cover has cracked, allowing moisture in to damage the joint. I'd hear it more turning INTO my driveway because down here (Carolinas) you have to drive over what I'll call the "lying down 'S'" curb.

I've also read on these forums where some have complained about a noise coming from the top of a strut tower caused by the upper mount bearings - the spring does not turn properly when steering at low speeds. Apparently, it can "catch and release", causing the clunking noise?

Some have even seen bent struts that rub against the Unibody when the wheel is turned. Bent struts can apparently happen if you hit something hard like a curb or large pothole.

Could also be one of those foot-long "end links" ... sometimes made of plastic, sometimes metal. Maybe they're shifting around when you make a turn? They've got joints with covers, too.

Just gotta take a look underneath for clues...

2002 Impala 1LT (new Jun 2002): Summit White / 3.4 L V6 / FWD / Cassette-CD Combo /225.5k miles [05-NOV-2019]
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I actually had the exact same issue with my 17, It ended up being the ball joint I believe and the whole lower control arm had to be replaced. Oddly enough I am starting to have the same issue again on the other front side now, Hoping this isn't a common issue on these late 9th gens.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rnungaray08 View Post
When I back out of my driveway, after I turn to straighten out the car, on the first tap to the brake pedal I hear a thump/clunk coming from the strut area.
It may be a long shot, but one other thought is the ABS or traction control engaging. They usually make sounds more like a machine gun (ABS) or a grinding noise. That said, when the traction control kicks in, it applies the brake on which ever corner it thinks is spinning. And I could see, with worn guide pins on the caliper, it possibly making a clunking sound in addition to the grinding, I would expect.

This is almost always caused by a damaged speed sensor cable going to the wheel hub. The damage occurs with the up/down travel of the control arm causing the wire to be flexed. The signal becomes intermittent which may look to the computer like the signal for a spinning wheel.

Turning the steering wheel, as you would backing out of the driveway, can irritate the damaged wire thus causing the traction control to engage.

Like I said, it's a long shot, but I bring it up because your "backing out of the driveway" description sounds a lot like what others say when the problem turns out to be the wire.

If inspection of the front corner (strut, brake caliper, upper strut mount, ball joint, wheel bearing, sway bar links) does not reveal a likely source of the clunk, then you might disconnect the wheel speed sensor harness and remove the wire from the loom to inspect it for damage, which usually happens where the tie-downs clamp the loom in place.

HTH.

Doug

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I actually had the exact same issue with my 17, It ended up being the ball joint I believe and the whole lower control arm had to be replaced. Oddly enough I am starting to have the same issue again on the other front side now, Hoping this isn't a common issue on these late 9th gens.


Well see what the dealer finds. Hopefully its a one time fix.

2016 Chevy Impala LT
Siren Red, Mods so far: 18% Ceramic Coated Tints, 2 10w3v3- JL Audio Subwoofers with a JL Audio 500/1. LED Hedlights, LED backup bulbs, Replaced all interior halogen bulbs with LEDS, 20" LTZ wheels

Future Mods: DRL kit, Black Front/Rear Emblems...

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Quote:
Originally Posted by plano-doug View Post
It may be a long shot, but one other thought is the ABS or traction control engaging. They usually make sounds more like a machine gun (ABS) or a grinding noise. That said, when the traction control kicks in, it applies the brake on which ever corner it thinks is spinning. And I could see, with worn guide pins on the caliper, it possibly making a clunking sound in addition to the grinding, I would expect.

This is almost always caused by a damaged speed sensor cable going to the wheel hub. The damage occurs with the up/down travel of the control arm causing the wire to be flexed. The signal becomes intermittent which may look to the computer like the signal for a spinning wheel.

Turning the steering wheel, as you would backing out of the driveway, can irritate the damaged wire thus causing the traction control to engage.

Like I said, it's a long shot, but I bring it up because your "backing out of the driveway" description sounds a lot like what others say when the problem turns out to be the wire.

If inspection of the front corner (strut, brake caliper, upper strut mount, ball joint, wheel bearing, sway bar links) does not reveal a likely source of the clunk, then you might disconnect the wheel speed sensor harness and remove the wire from the loom to inspect it for damage, which usually happens where the tie-downs clamp the loom in place.

HTH.

Doug

.
I don't feel the ABS kicking it but who knows. Like I said, car will be checked out next Monday.

2016 Chevy Impala LT
Siren Red, Mods so far: 18% Ceramic Coated Tints, 2 10w3v3- JL Audio Subwoofers with a JL Audio 500/1. LED Hedlights, LED backup bulbs, Replaced all interior halogen bulbs with LEDS, 20" LTZ wheels

Future Mods: DRL kit, Black Front/Rear Emblems...

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colt Hero View Post
Have you checked all the dust covers on those joints underneath? I've had clunking like that on my cars when the ball joint dust cover has cracked, allowing moisture in to damage the joint. I'd hear it more turning INTO my driveway because down here (Carolinas) you have to drive over what I'll call the "lying down 'S'" curb.

I've also read on these forums where some have complained about a noise coming from the top of a strut tower caused by the upper mount bearings - the spring does not turn properly when steering at low speeds. Apparently, it can "catch and release", causing the clunking noise?

Some have even seen bent struts that rub against the Unibody when the wheel is turned. Bent struts can apparently happen if you hit something hard like a curb or large pothole.

Could also be one of those foot-long "end links" ... sometimes made of plastic, sometimes metal. Maybe they're shifting around when you make a turn? They've got joints with covers, too.

Just gotta take a look underneath for clues...
I haven't checked the dust covers,but the sound does come around that area. The "catch and release" theory makes sense with the clunking noise. Since I called to make sure about the warranty, I didn't bother to look at it myself. I'll update once its resolved.
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2016 Chevy Impala LT
Siren Red, Mods so far: 18% Ceramic Coated Tints, 2 10w3v3- JL Audio Subwoofers with a JL Audio 500/1. LED Hedlights, LED backup bulbs, Replaced all interior halogen bulbs with LEDS, 20" LTZ wheels

Future Mods: DRL kit, Black Front/Rear Emblems...

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Perhaps jack the corners up and check for play? Sometimes tie rods go and they make noise for many months before any significant play can be detected.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rnungaray08 View Post
I actually had the exact same issue with my 17, It ended up being the ball joint I believe and the whole lower control arm had to be replaced. Oddly enough I am starting to have the same issue again on the other front side now, Hoping this isn't a common issue on these late 9th gens.


Well see what the dealer finds. Hopefully its a one time fix.
You were right. Just got the call from the dealership and they will be replacing the control arm, I am guessing ball joint went bad or a bushing.

2016 Chevy Impala LT
Siren Red, Mods so far: 18% Ceramic Coated Tints, 2 10w3v3- JL Audio Subwoofers with a JL Audio 500/1. LED Hedlights, LED backup bulbs, Replaced all interior halogen bulbs with LEDS, 20" LTZ wheels

Future Mods: DRL kit, Black Front/Rear Emblems...

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I had that problem with my 2015 Impala 2lt. The dealer changed the upper strut mount,car only had 22k at the time. This car has been to dealer over twenty times for various warranty problems.
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