Join Date: Apr 2013
Car: 2005 Outback 2.5XT 5MT
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Rear end clunking noise?
Just this morning while going to work like I always do, I was driving down to get on to the highway and noticed when hitting bumps there was a new strut squeak from the back of my car. I thought nothing more of it and pulled on to the small highway I always take to get to the interstate and noticed a constant clunking noise coming from the back of my car. Concerned, I slowed down. It was still there. 5 miles later I finally found a safe place to pull off the road. All the tires looked fine, none were low on air, etc... Everything looked normal. The rims were not hot either.
Figuring it was just the road, I continued to try to go to work. When I merged onto the highway, the dreaded clunk came back. I put on my four ways and limped it at 40 mph to the next exit and limped it home (at that point maybe 10 miles) at hardly ever more than 20 mph.
Some things I noticed: when under a pull like going up a hill and trying to maintain a constant speed, the clunking stops. When applying heavy braking, the noise seems to stop. It only seemed to clunk when the car was cruising or under light acceleration. The clunk happens when the vehicle is in or out of gear.
Recent work to the car includes changing brake pads and painting the calipers and brackets. That job was finished on Saturday, I drove the car around town yesterday (dinner with the girlfriend and whatnot) and it never clunked and drove perfectly fine. The noise seems to have started just today.
I feared it could be the center differential, but when I tested it (tight corner at very low speed) there was no issue, no clunks, nothing. The car behaved normally.
The tires on the car have been on the car for quite some time. They are approaching due replacement, but otherwise seem fine. The front tires do look to have more tread left than the rear tires. I'm very concerned about this.
I'm going to call a few local shops on my involuntary day off and see what it can be.
Meanwhile, does anyone else have any suggestions or ideas?