Hard to Diagnose Noise - Subaru Forester '12 - front end clunking

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  #1  
Old 03-25-15, 05:42 AM
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Hard to Diagnose Noise - Subaru Forester '12 - front end clunking

My 2012 Forester, about 50k miles, is making a very intermittent soft to loud clunking noise seems to be from the front end/under hood. Only occurrs going down a particular steep, winding hill, mostly braking, 5-20mph; noise went along with tire rotation; clunk, clunk, clunk; about one clunk per rotation. Have been able to occasionally replicate the noise, but only going down the one particular steep, winding road. But the vehicle seemed to operate fine. Not feeling anything through the brake pedal or steering wheel. Stopped making the noise shortly after the hill levelled out.

Additional information: this is occurring with my snow tires on.(Roads dry and clear, 30 degrees F.) They are on their own aftermarket alloy rims. Could my problem possibly be due to the hub-centric rings malfunctioning or non-existent? This is the third year on these snows, Hankooks, still in good shape. Other thoughts: power steering fluid seems a little low but not below minimums. Vehicle is an automatic with ABS and traction control.

What do you think this could be? Thanks for any help.
 
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  #2  
Old 03-25-15, 06:07 AM
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Have you jacked up the front end to check for any play in the steering and suspension parts? Is it too early to put your other tires on to rule out a tire/rim issue?
 
  #3  
Old 03-25-15, 06:37 AM
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Thanks marksr. No, not jacked up to check front end. I would need to have the shop do this. Thats probably what I will need to do. Right now hoping this forum can provide any insight, etc, before I take it to shop.

Right on the cusp of being able to remove the snows. Perhaps that is the approach to take, they can check the front end for me at the same time. IMHO this is not a serious problem, it is so intermittent and everything otherwise seems fine; brakes and handles fine, just like new. For my wife she is ultra concerned this is a big safety issue--and actually she is occasionally right about these things. But I am the one who has to bridge the gap between her concerns, and the shop that tells me they couldn't find anything wrong. I hate it when that happens.
 
  #4  
Old 03-25-15, 09:02 AM
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I would start with the sway bar bushings/end-links and go from there if necessary.
 
  #5  
Old 03-27-15, 04:09 PM
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Thanks 2granddaughters. Have scheduled visit to dealer next week.
 
  #6  
Old 03-28-15, 06:13 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
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Your Forester takes end links very similar to my Chevy Uplander .. a great little project for a DIYer on a nice spring day.

Get the bushings and links to swap out when you remove the snows.

With the money you save (and feeling of accomplishment) you can take the family out for dinner !
 
  #7  
Old 04-05-15, 02:15 PM
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The dealer found a stone in the left front brake between the rotor and the backing plate. $32.95 and problem solved. Thanks to all.
 
  #8  
Old 04-14-15, 10:34 AM
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Since is rotational and seems to correspond cyclically to each wheel rotation, i would suspect a small rock chip stuck in one of the brake dust shields. I've seen them before where the noise can be intermetent.
 
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