I just bought a used 2015 Outback (love it) but noticed that when closing the front passenger door, it made a hollow “bonk” sound rather than the solid “thud” that the other doors made. And sometimes when driving over larger bumps, I was hearing a faint hollow metallic sound from the passenger side of the interior. After reading Squidchief’s post here
, I figured I was experiencing the same problem that he was, so I followed his instructions for the repair since my Outback is way out of warranty (102,000 miles on the odometer).
The repair worked for me, so I decided to write up the steps in detail for anyone that wants to do it. Disclaimer: I’m no pro, so I take no responsibility for your work, errors, breakage, etc. ;-) Just trying to be helpful to any DIYers out there.
The hollow “bonk” sound when closing the door is caused by the outer sheet metal of the door vibrating. Why does this happen? Inside the door, there are two horizontal supports, and during manufacturing, soft foam blobs (a little smaller than ping pong balls) are placed between the inside of the door metal and the two supports to act as dampers. For whatever reason, if the foam blobs separate and/or crack, they no longer provide the necessary cushioning, and the door metal audibly vibrates when it is closed, going over bumps, etc.
Squidchief’s solution is to reinforce the foam blobs with a high quality silicone sealant/caulk. Here’s how I did it: