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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
2016 Versa S sedan 5-speed with 52k (I've owned since new). My car seems to have developed the "dreaded" clunk that I have read a few posts about. At lower speeds (most noticeable in parking lots) it makes a clunk that sometimes kinda' acts more like something rattling around in the front end. At speeds over 40 it doesn't do it. At first I thought I needed ball joints or something, but that doesn't seem to be the case. I jacked up each side and I can't seem to find any play in the suspension or steering joints. Sometimes just getting into the car I'll hear it faintly when I sit in the seat. If I jostle from side-to-side in the drivers seat I can get the sound as well.

So today I got my wife to sit in the drivers seat and do that while I looked under the car. It seemed to be coming from where the lower control arms attach to the sub-frame (cradle?). Without jacking the car up, if I grab the top of a front tire and pull it in/out hard I can also duplicate the sound. It's more of a "boink" in my opinion ... but anyways, so I had the wife do that while I watched and I can see (and feel) where it's coming from, but there is no movement or play.

If this is just an annoying quirk of the car... I can live with that, but if it's a warning sign that "while something is not worn yet, but it will be soon" type of noise, I'd appreciate a heads-up on that.

I had my state inspection in late April, and had my engine belt replaced about a month later, as well as a tire rotation and oil change in that mix somewhere (all at my dealer). The noise started shortly after all of that. I would think, that if there was a suspension issue the dealer would have been all over that, as it's money for them (they have been good to me BTW). At first I thought it was something loose in the inner fender area since they remove that to change the belt, making the noise over bumps, but after today, I know that is not the case. The only other thing in play is that after retiring my original tires, I am now running out the last treads of my snow tires (I'm in New Hampshire). The snow tires are actually holding up to summer use well, but I never rotated them much other than having them on/off with the summer tires.... and I am seeing that out-of round woop-woop-woop out of the fronts that were on the back, that amc49 has mentioned on here. They don't like going over 60-ish much, but that's okay, I'm just seeing how long I can let them wear before I buy new tires.


-Andy
 

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I just diagnosed my daughters 2016 as having bad strut links. Same general rattling or clunk over bumps at low speed. They felt fine if you grabbed them and checked for play, but I finally just removed the right one and the noise immediately went away. You can drive without them no problem.

One clue it is strut links is that the noise is pretty independent of turning or braking.

They are cheap (rockauto) and pretty easy to change.

Just got them today and will be changing them this weekend.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hmmm interesting. It would be nice if that's what it is. It is indeed independent of turning or braking, it will do it rolling along in neutral as well. Although, sometimes if sitting still and moving the steering wheel back and forth (engine running/power steering) I can sometimes hear it faintly as well.

Looking around the internet I was getting the impression it might be the bushings in the sub frame starting to go.
(like shown here)

 

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but I finally just removed the right one and the noise immediately went away. You can drive without them no problem.
I think I missed something there though... how can you drive a car with a strut removed?

Anyways, when I get some more free time during the day I'll take a closer look at things. As I said in my opening post though, I was able to locate the clunk noise and it appeared to be coming from the area on the sub frame where the 2 forward bushings are. Gonna's try and shine a light in there and see if I can spot breaking-down bushing material.
 

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Sorry!!! I mean SWAY bar links. Not Strut links which are not actual things. Struts are actual things and you cannot drive without those :)
 

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Did the Sway bar links this morning. Used the Moog ones from Rock Auto. Around $20 each. Noise is 100% gone. Car is solid and handles great.

I can't rule out other possible causes, but this is the most likely in my opinion and very easy/cheap to diagnose and replace.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I little update. Dave I think you are right. I meant to get to this sooner, but every time I was gonna' try and check things again something came up. So today I was over at the in-laws and had a lot more tools and such (and help) at my disposal. Had the car up on ramps and had my brother-in-law push/pull a front tire side-to-side with me under there trying to pin-point the rattle/clunk. It seemed to be coming from the center, which was odd as I'm looking up at the lower motor mount... then checking the steering rack... then the "AH HA!" moment happens. Grabbed the sway-bar, and there's the vibration/clunk from the motion.... then grabbed both lower link ends... bingo! Not enough play to see movement, but enough that I could feel it with my fingers. For now I'm just going to live with it. I sprayed both ends down with PB blaster, as I live in the northeast and sway-bar links tend to snap off rather then come loose. I'll work on getting them loose in the weeks to come and price some links locally and we'll see what happens. I'm just happy to have finally located where the sound was coming from.
 

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Andy, sounds like you are on the right path. I could barely feel any slop in mine. Part of the problem is that unless you are on a very flat surface there is some load on the sway bar links. That can make it hard to diagnose. One final note. When you do replace them, be careful of the rubber boots on the ends of the new links. You have to grab the bolt end of the link with a wrench to keep it from spinning when you tighten the nuts. It looked very easy to mess up the rubber boot while doing that. I was careful and all is good.

I am north east ish also. Long Island NY and had no issues at all with corrosion on these. Came apart very easy. Not like the exhaust system work I did recently!

Good luck,
Dave
 
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