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Discussion Starter #1
It's not on every bump. It happens mainly over sharp bumps and if there are ripples in the road. It's a muffled rattle/clunk for lack of a better description. Got underneath it today and checked sway bar links and control arm bushings. All look good. Motor mounts look good. I had the DS CA bushing replaced when I first bought the car a month ago but the noise persisted. Do these cars' struts have a bad reputation of going bad quickly? I tested the struts by pushing down on the car and letting it go and it hops up and stops. Theres 46,000ish on the car. I did search but didn't find anything that I could really relate to what I'm hearing.

Thanks!
 

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I think I have the same problem. I've got a 2005 Cobalt with 69,000 miles, and I also hear a sort of dull thumping sound under the car sometimes when I drive. It isn't the engine, and instead I get the feeling something is loose. When I'm driving over somewhat rough roads, and a lot of times when I make somewhat sharp turns, there will be a thump from underneath the car.
 

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the most probable thing would be control arm bushings but you seem to think it's not that. so I'm not sure. sorry I'm no help as of yet haha
 

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Discussion Starter #4
HAHA! It's all good. When I inspected them, neither one was "falling out" as it is usually described. The new DS one looked exactly like the PS. I'm thinking it may be the struts but 46,000 miles seems too soon for them to go bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The struts do look a little moist. Nothing exceptionally bad but that is what made me start thinking it could be the struts. I noticed it when I had it up on jackstands and the wheels were hanging free.
 

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if there is fluid coming down the sides of the struts that means they are leaking and blown out. don't know if that's your clunk noise though lol
 

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all new gm cars have a huge problem with struts blowing out... base line cobalts being at the top of the list... so that very well can be the problem
 

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if there is fluid coming down the sides of the struts that means they are leaking and blown out. don't know if that's your clunk noise though lol
What if there is only a lil fluid/moisture on them?? Is that ok (I thought I read somewhere a little moisture was normal...) or does it mean they are starting to go??
 

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any fluid at all means they are leaking and that is not good. yes a small amount might mean they will last a while but still. any leaking is not normal.
 

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a few hidden culprits:
ball joints can fail even if they don't look broken.
stabilizer bar bushings are under the steering rack, try to check those.
steering intermediate shaft starts making clunks around 30k+
I think it's the steering shaft.

---------- Post added at 09:06 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:04 AM ----------

Be prepared, it will probably run about 500 bucks. Its not just the struts, they also have to do a wheel alignment as well.
wheel alignments are only necessary if the car pulls or you do something silly to the camber. :cheesy:

struts are about 80 a piece for fe5 struts. it might cost around 300 with labor.
 

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wheel alignments are only necessary if the car pulls or you do something silly to the camber. :cheesy:

struts are about 80 a piece for fe5 struts. it might cost around 300 with labor.

Be prepared, it will probably run about 500 bucks. Its not just the struts, they also have to do a wheel alignment as well.
I thought you were supposed to get an alignment after ANY front suspension work??

And the dealer quoted me $540 for struts and an alignment ..:laugh: There is no way I'm taking it to a dealer, I'd take it to a different shop or make my bf do it :bigsmile:. But first I gotta fix a bunch of other stuff.
 

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text book yes, in the real world i've never heard of having to do an alignment from changing struts UNLESS the alignment was done WITH blown struts originally. considering you should never need an alignment unless a part wears or bends/breaks, or most commonly when you lower your car, it's safe to assume your alignment is set up for good struts. your alignment is probably off slightly now, but when you install the new ones it will be good as new. hope i make sense.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Looks like the issue is probably the struts. I will check the intermediate shaft. I checked the sway bar bushings and shook the sway bar as hard as I could and it wasn't recreating the noise or moving. I grabbed the wheel and jerked it side to side and grabbed it at the top and bottom and jerked it and it didn't have any play whatsoever so I'm pretty confident that my ball joints/tie rods are not the culprit. I also don't think it's the steering shaft because I don't feel it in the steering wheel. In fact, I don't feel it at all, it's just noisy. It's easy to hear that it's coming from the general area of the struts and I noticed that it does it on an individual basis if I hit a pothole with just one wheel, if you know what I mean. If I have to replace the struts, I will do it myself. No way I will pay a shop a ton of labor to do something as relatively simple as struts. I already planned to lower it in the summer, which included new struts, so I will just deal with it until then provided it doesn't get any worse. I'm going to give everything another once-over on the weekend to try recreating the noise again. Thanks for the help so far, it's good to have some fresh ideas.
 

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Could a bent control arm also cause clunking?

text book yes, in the real world i've never heard of having to do an alignment from changing struts UNLESS the alignment was done WITH blown struts originally. considering you should never need an alignment unless a part wears or bends/breaks, or most commonly when you lower your car, it's safe to assume your alignment is set up for good struts. your alignment is probably off slightly now, but when you install the new ones it will be good as new. hope i make sense.
I think you make sense :toung: But I'd probably get the alignment since I bought the car used and have no idea when it was last aligned.. :worried:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Could a bent control arm also cause clunking?



I think you make sense :toung: But I'd probably get the alignment since I bought the car used and have no idea when it was last aligned.. :worried:
I would think that a bent control arm would cause more of a vibration/shimmy than a clunk, although I'm sure it's possible, especially if one of the bushing housings was bent out of shape.
 

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a damaged ball joint is also the same thing as a damaged control arm in delta bodies remember this. the ball joint is non servicable and riveted into the c/a.
another uncommon but possible suspect is the upper strut mounts. try to clean and re-grease the plastic bearings if you do replace the struts. there's a tsb on this.

should also help you diagnose the problem in general.
 
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