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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I'm new the form so I'm sorry if this question has been posted to death.
I have 2013 LX (118k miles) with light clunking/rattling noise coming from the front end. KIA dealer originally had a very hard time diagnosing the problem and had my car for two days. The original tech claimed he could't find what was causing the noise, when the Master Mechanic finally called. He told me its was coming from the Tie Rod on passenger side... so I had them both replaced (under there recommendation).

A few days later the noise returned, so back to the dealer. The master Mechanic told me it sounds like the Sway Bar links are bad. So I replaced both (I did the install my self). Again few days later the noise came back to the passenger side of car and progressed to both sides of the cars. Took it to another mechanic, and they said it sound like the passenger strut is bad, so again I replaced both struts, doing the work my self.

A few days later the noise has resurfaced, it's not as loud as originally detected but just loud enough to annoy me while driving. Once again the mechanical said it could be the lower control arm and/or the lower ball joints. So both control arms/ball joints where replaced.... guess what, the noise is back!

What other possibilities can it be... I feel like I have replaced everything in the suspension but the noise continues and I'm getting tired of throwing money back at the car where it's not need?

Any help/direction would be greatly appropriated
 

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Hi, I'm new the form so I'm sorry if this question has been posted to death.
I have 2013 LX (118k miles) with light clunking/rattling noise coming from the front end. KIA dealer originally had a very hard time diagnosing the problem and had my car for two days. The original tech claimed he could't find what was causing the noise, when the Master Mechanic finally called. He told me its was coming from the Tie Rod on passenger side... so I had them both replaced (under there recommendation).

A few days later the noise returned, so back to the dealer. The master Mechanic told me it sounds like the Sway Bar links are bad. So I replaced both (I did the install my self). Again few days later the noise came back to the passenger side of car and progressed to both sides of the cars. Took it to another mechanic, and they said it sound like the passenger strut is bad, so again I replaced both struts, doing the work my self.

A few days later the noise has resurfaced, it's not as loud as originally detected but just loud enough to annoy me while driving. Once again the mechanical said it could be the lower control arm and/or the lower ball joints. So both control arms/ball joints where replaced.... guess what, the noise is back!

What other possibilities can it be... I feel like I have replaced everything in the suspension but the noise continues and I'm getting tired of throwing money back at the car where it's not need?

Any help/direction would be greatly appropriated
Look at the CV joint and axle?
 

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2012 Black SX Prem. & Tech.
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OK if you don't mind, please can you try to rule out the possibility of the steering coupler?

Are you able to make the issue happen also when the car is just turning the steering wheel? Or does the issue not happen unless you go over a bump or something more than just sitting there turning the steering wheel?

The bad steering coupler will make noise when you are driving around normally, when you go over bumps, when you turn, or when you just sit there at a light turning the wheel back and forth. I even had it happen when I was cruising on the highway around 70 mph, not turning, just going straight.

My sound was not very bad, and it really felt like it was something related to the suspension, a deep clunking, and it was more muted and deep sounding because the clunking involved some rubber against metal, so it mimicked the sound of bad end links or tie rods and it came from the front end of the car. Even my passenger could feel the clunking through her feet on the passenger side, so the clunking will send a vibration you can feel through the whole front end. The issue for me is that I would notice it while normally driving and making typical steering inputs, and so I didn't focus much on the test for sitting there not moving and just turning the steering wheel.

But this video shows a hard metallic clanking, around the 12 second mark. This is because almost all the rubber was gone, so it was metal on metal:

But does your issue sound like that? keep in mind, my dealership tested my car and incorrectly diagnosed it as a bad tie rod. After I replaced the end links and the tie rods, the problem still persisted, but once I changed the steering coupler, it was back to perfect, no clunking and really good steering control.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
KingFatty: Thank you for your response. No that's not the noise, my steering coupler was replaced as well under the KIA warranty notice last fall. The Rattle/clunking is much softer sounding that what's in the video. You can't hear it while driving at higher speeds such as 40+ due to wind and other typical road sounds and I can't reproduce the noise while the car is sitting still.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Look at the CV joint and axle?
Ah, CV joint.... I though when a CV Joint is going bad you would have some shutter/vibration in the steering which I don't have?

The Axle I noticed yesterday when I had the car lifted up. Each axle had a vary-vary-vary small amount of back and forth play but was told this is normal again by the Master Mechanic at KIA.

I also for got to mention I recently (3 weeks ago) had new tires put on the car at PepBoys tire and auto center. I asked them to look at the front end to see if they notice anything was loose and/or looks out of wack and to check the Swat bar bushings. They told me everything is brand new and looks good!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well to follow-up; I just completed re-torquing all the bolts related to the suspension and/or to whats been replaced. Took the car out for about 10 mile drive, at this point in time it seems the noise has subsided!

Although I now hear what I can only describe as soft scrunching noise when the struts are somewhat compressed, kind of sounds like something rubbing?
 

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The end linlks should be tightened when suspension loaded and when I say tightened, I mean really tightened as much as humanly possible. When they make noise, one can't duplicate the noise or even see movement with the car at a stanstill as there's not enough human power to move the links.
 

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Another possibility is the strut "hats" they're the bit at the top of each strut that connects them to the car, but allows the strut to turn when you turn the steering wheel. Mine was making a clunking noise on one side after I hit a large pothole. Replacing the hats cured it, and one hat was found to have been damaged.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The end linlks should be tightened when suspension loaded and when I say tightened, I mean really tightened as much as humanly possible. When they make noise, one can't duplicate the noise or even see movement with the car at a stanstill as there's not enough human power to move the links.
^^^ I wasn't aware the links needed to be re-tightened after originally torqued and while under load. Since I don't have car ramps, I'll need to jimmy the car up on the curb so to give me enough crawl space under the car while keeping load weight.


Another possibility is the strut "hats" they're the bit at the top of each strut that connects them to the car, but allows the strut to turn when you turn the steering wheel. Mine was making a clunking noise on one side after I hit a large pothole. Replacing the hats cured it, and one hat was found to have been damaged.
^^^ I may need to check this, I sprayed so lubricant up there and on the shaft up by the rubber bushing. At this time the scrunching noise has decreased about 90%
 

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OK if you don't mind, please can you try to rule out the possibility of the steering coupler?

Are you able to make the issue happen also when the car is just turning the steering wheel? Or does the issue not happen unless you go over a bump or something more than just sitting there turning the steering wheel?

The bad steering coupler will make noise when you are driving around normally, when you go over bumps, when you turn, or when you just sit there at a light turning the wheel back and forth. I even had it happen when I was cruising on the highway around 70 mph, not turning, just going straight.

My sound was not very bad, and it really felt like it was something related to the suspension, a deep clunking, and it was more muted and deep sounding because the clunking involved some rubber against metal, so it mimicked the sound of bad end links or tie rods and it came from the front end of the car. Even my passenger could feel the clunking through her feet on the passenger side, so the clunking will send a vibration you can feel through the whole front end. The issue for me is that I would notice it while normally driving and making typical steering inputs, and so I didn't focus much on the test for sitting there not moving and just turning the steering wheel.

But this video shows a hard metallic clanking, around the 12 second mark. This is because almost all the rubber was gone, so it was metal on metal:

But does your issue sound like that? keep in mind, my dealership tested my car and incorrectly diagnosed it as a bad tie rod. After I replaced the end links and the tie rods, the problem still persisted, but once I changed the steering coupler, it was back to perfect, no clunking and really good steering control.
KingFatty - Thanks so much for that video! Lack of steering control bugged me for years until the dealer finally replaced my steering coupling. And then it drove like a brand new car! I had no idea that the replacement procedure was so complicated!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Oh boy, the rattle/clunking noise is back but at a more dense level than before.... this so frustrating!
 

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Ok so here goes My 13 has 300000 miles on it. Had clunking that was pissing me off, I replaced end links , still klunked, replaced outer tie rods,lower ball joints , still klunked, then my axles started clicking, replaced, then when I stepped on brakes car would pull hard to pass side , replaced lower control arm on BOTH sides although only driver side rear bushing was torn, clunking still there. Hmmmmm. Started to look at the rack, not that rack ! , the steering rack, took it to Horne Kia here in Gilbert , Az they told me it was a complete rack ! Wait? What ? $1300 installed !! What a steal. I called their BS. Pulled the inner boots off and lo and behold it was an inner drv side rod that was clunking.!!!! 54.65 and IT WAS GONE.
just my 2 cents. Dont forget to use blue thread lock on the threads when you install it.
 

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Oh one other thing if it is an inner tie rod, you can do it very easily yourself, BUT it's a special tool for the removal, you cant buy it had harbor freight, or loan a tool at autozone. You can use a very strong gripping set
of vice grips, and really give a a crack like I did , or you can search and get the right tool. Hope this works for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Oh one other thing if it is an inner tie rod, you can do it very easily yourself, BUT it's a special tool for the removal, you cant buy it had harbor freight, or loan a tool at autozone. You can use a very strong gripping set
of vice grips, and really give a a crack like I did , or you can search and get the right tool. Hope this works for you.
I have kept that in the back of my mind (inner tie rods) but as for mechanics, nobody has ever pointed to them as being the issue. Googled and searched you-tube how to do the work my self. I'm good all the way up too needing/removing the deep inner lock-ring... i don't have the tool
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Wait... I just watched a few more videos about inner tire rods replacement, why did I think there was a lock ring why up inside the inner tie rod end... the job only requires a that special tool to the remove the rod which I think I get from any auto store with a tool loan program, right?
 

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I have kept that in the back of my mind (inner tie rods) but as for mechanics, nobody has ever pointed to them as being the issue. Googled and searched you-tube how to do the work my self. I'm good all the way up too needing/removing the deep inner lock-ring... i don't have the tool
Wait... I just watched a few more videos about inner tire rods replacement, why did I think there was a lock ring why up inside the inner tie rod end... the job only requires a that special tool to the remove the rod which I think I get from any auto store with a tool loan program, right?
I used vice grips ... and a rubber mallet. Then when you reinstall use blue lock tite.
248411
 

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Just remember to keep your alignment somewhat correct ,mark the threads and count every turn as one and put back on them same amount of turns.
 

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Notice that the inner tie rod has a rounded end that you need to grip.

The loaner tools will likely be designed for a different style of inner tie rod (where it's hex or has flat spots to engage the tool).

So you'll need something that grabs a rounded end. Maybe you can borrow such a tool, but if not, they are very cheap to buy. I don't know if I could have done mine with a vice grip, that is some impressive strength! Mine had some tough thread lock that I had to crack, it was kind of light clear blue, almost like crystalized. Took a LOT of force before the end would turn loose.
 
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