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Hyundai Azera Front End Problems

patpat Posts: 10,421
Several members are experiencing a "clunk" in their Azera's front end. Let's compare notes here.
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Comments

  • jmjkjmjk Posts: 55
    I picked up my new Azera Limited on July 31. I drove it home – the entire way home was over smooth terrain (this will make more sense in a minute). The next day I embarked on my 5 ½ mile trip to the office where the route includes a number of bumps in the road (e.g. manhole covers, very small potholes, and a few asphalt road repairs). While driving over these bumps - at approximately 25 MPH - I heard a rather peculiar “clunk” coming from the front end of the car (as opposed to the typical thud – thud being the noise one hears when the tires and shocks are absorbing the imperfections of the road). Has anyone experienced the same? Thanks in advance.
  • mechanic80mechanic80 Posts: 122
    A coupe of possibilities. The tires are overinflated for shipping and pre-delivery may not have adjusted them properly. More likely, there are one or two suspension points that need to be tightened. Again, pre-delivery should have caught this, as it is a relatively common issue. Although a pain in the butt, a visit to your service department shouldn't take too long to rectify that "clunk".
  • jmjkjmjk Posts: 55
    Mechanic80:

    First, thank you for responding.

    I have checked the tire pressure and all is fine there. And yesterday I took the Azera to the dealership. The service manager and I took it for a ride and he recognized the "clunk" right away. I explained to him that I would have expected to heard a good solid "thump" from my car as opposed to a "clunk". They took it into the service bay (I stayed in the waiting room) and here's what happened.

    First, they put the 17" wheels back on the car (I had asked for 16" wheels as all the reports I had read on the internet said that the 16" wheels and tires provided a quieter ride).

    Second he told me that the "only thing wrong with the 17" wheels were that they would make the steering wheel shake a bit at high speeds". He was right. As soon as I got on the freeway and reached about 67 mph there it was, the shake he said I would have! As you can expect, I am really annoyed by that.

    Third, after the car was returned to me I was told that the "clunk" was a typical noise and the car had checked out fine. He said that all of the front end bolts were checked and retorqued.

    Third and quite interestingly, when they took my car to the service bay he said he would drive another Azera Limited to see if he could experience the same "clunk" as my Azera and I WAS NOT INVITED TO GO ALONG. In hindsight I should have insisted to ride along.

    I still have the "clunk" (there was virtually no improvement after putting on the 17" wheels) and I am certain that something is wrong. I have half a mind to go to another dealership with my wife's car and test drive a couple of Azeras, find some bumps and see if the other Azeras respond like mine.

    Your thoughts?
  • donvickdonvick Posts: 38
    We're clunkless on our Azera with 1679 miles on it so far. Something isn't correct, if something clunks, something is loose as in not tight, able to move enough to make a sound.

    Take it back to the dealer or a different dealer and raise havock with them. Its a new car, it ought to be clunkless as well as shakeless.

    Had our 17" wheels over 80 mph and no shakes, clunks, shimmies or nervousness.
    Take it back and don't accept it back until its fixed as its a safety factor.

    Don
  • Amazing!! I had the same problem on my Azera (Limited with the Ultimate package) from the first day I had it. I have a good service manager (Jim of Eastside Hyundai) and he found the problem right away. Believe or not, the front anti-sway bar was installed upside down!. It seems impossible, but apparently it can be installed incorrectly. He only discovered it by comparing it to another Azera on the rack. One trip to the service department and the problem is all gone!

    As for wheel shake, I've done over 80 with not a hint of shake or shimmy. I seem to recall that there is either a recall or a TSB on "mixing of wheel weights" but it could have been another car.
  • chilliwackchilliwack Posts: 189
    I know there is a front "stabilizer" bar, but for the life of me, I cannot see how it could be installed upside down. I will try and contact your service manager for more info.
  • jmjkjmjk Posts: 55
    rockybob:

    Thanks a ton for the information. While I don't know where Eastside Hyundai is, many kudos to Jim. I have printed the information and will show to the service manager (in Houston). One question for you. My clunk seems to more prevalent at the passenger side, was this the case for you?

    Thanks again,

    jmjk
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    It can be difficult to accurately localize the source of noise telegraphing through solid metal. I had a '74 AMC Gremlin with an intermittant rattle emanating from the front of the car. One weekend while rotating the tires, I slipped off my stool and found myself looking up directly at a bottom-facing drain hole in a welded-up box section along the rear of the car's unibody. I could see what appeared to be threads on a bolt. I was able to "tease" the bolt (an extra lug bolt as it turned out) that must've been "supplied" by a bored line worker) out. Thereafter, no more rattle. The box section did not extend the length of the car either - that rattle had been comming from the passenger side rear 1/3 all along. (Thank goodness for dumb luck. It's the only kind I've ever had.)
  • jmjkjmjk Posts: 55
    But the cluck was indeed from the front and when your serice manager figured out the problem the clunk was "gone"?

    My point is that I want to make sure that I understand before I point out your "discovery" to my Hyundai service manager.

    jmjk
  • chilliwackchilliwack Posts: 189
    Believe or not, the front anti-sway bar was installed upside down!

    I think that is a piece of useless mis-information, right up there with a bad gonkulator valve, a loose johnson rod and worn muffler bearings. Thank you very much.
  • It is probably tilting at windmills to even bother responding to you, but a) I discussed this at length with the service manager, b) he wrote it up in his repair bill that the bar was installed upside down (warranty work to noted by and paid by Hyundai), and c) the noise came from directly where the anti-sway bar passes through two large bushings. The service manager, who actually looked at the ASB, described it as almost completely symetrical, such that incorrect installation caused occasional interference. But hey, you obviously know that this is bull, so don't let me influence your thinking. Just how many Azera ASBs have you examined?

    By the way, I'm a retired engineer with 40+ years of technical experience. (I designed airplanes). I've done multiple major repairs (3 engine rebuilds, 2 clutches, 3 trans.). And you?
  • Oh, yeah. One more thing. Service Manager Jim said that it took examining two Azeras side-by-side on the rack to see the problem. He says he installed it right-side-up. And guess what? What ever he did (why would he lie?) fixed my Azera. It has been quiet ever since. One service call and the clunking is gone.
  • Way-to-go, Rockybob.
    I think I just saw Chilliwack go down in flames.
    Your information and experience will probably be valuable to others on this forum.
  • Well then, thanks for your timely response to posts 31 and 34. You're my hero.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    )) "I think I just saw Chilliwack go down in flames." ((

    Fortunately for all of us, chilliwack's parachute opened in time and our initially skeptical friend recovered just in time to land deftly on his feet. (Crow is a main course properly accompanied with bitter ale and humble pie. I've oft dined on it, myself...)
  • Good stuff ray_h1,

    With apologies to rockybob, I just cannot see how this part could be "up-side down". I have viewed the front suspension on-line at HSA site, and the front stabilizer bar assembly is one piece. It passes over the tie rod end assembly, undulates through two bushings to the opposite side and then again passes over the opposite tie rod end assembly.

    Maybe the bar is shifted one way or the other(?) but there are fittings that rest right up next to the bushings, so I doubt that. I haven't jacked up my car for a closer inspection to see if perhaps there are spots that seem to be impacting other solid parts. I just want to be armed with all relevant info if taking this to the dealer.

    Your take? Thanks
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    Well, for what it's worth, I accessed the online Azera shop manual to view the front suspension diagram. IF the front stabilizer bar, presumably shown correctly mounted in the diagram, were removed and flipped right for left, maybe it could be remounted within its bushings, rotated, and attached to its links that join with the lower wishbone. If that's even possible, the attachment at the stabilizer bar ends would almost certainly not be as intended to their links which might well end up causing knocking noises over bumps and when flexed through cornering forces. While it's possible rockybob misunderstood what the service manager tried to convey, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one. He struck me as more lucid than full of baloney in his account of the problem and its solution.
  • grayfoxgrayfox Posts: 166
    No,I haven't rotated the tires with only 3500 miles on the car. The noise is only heard when hitting small bumps and especially at low speeds, like in the neighborhood. At higher speeds, the tire and wind noises almost cover up the suspension noises.
  • grayfoxgrayfox Posts: 166
    I realize that softer tires will not eliminate owner's complaints of the w/b/r characteristics but I am thinking that they might help absorb and cushion some of the suspension noises. This would be in addition to minimizing the undesirable transmittal of the road noises as generated by the Michelins. Never again for them, if I live long enough!
    As another reader asked, please let us know if and when you receive any response to your message to the troops at the Hyundai head shed. You will certainly earn the title of MISTER BOB!
  • newguy6newguy6 Posts: 34
    I just picked up our 2007 azera and it has the clunk sound too. I am glad I am not the only one and hope that my dealer will be able to fix it. Other than that it really seems like a great car.
  • drdonrsdrdonrs Posts: 164
    :) I took delivery of my Azzy Limited end of August and it too has a somewhat noisy suspension when riding over a "washboard" type of road surface. It appears to be characteristic of the suspension, my 2006 Sonata LX6 also has a somewhat noisy rear suspension. In fact several reviews of the Azera and Sonata mentions a noisier suspension as one of the "cons". All of the other attributes seem to more than make up for this one shortcoming. It seems to be an ever recurring situation. I intend to ask the shop foreman to go out with me to hear the sound, but only when I have to go in for the first oil service. It really doesn't bother me as it seems to some others here. Good luck with your car, you made a wise choice. IMO
  • jmjkjmjk Posts: 55
    newguy:

    I have exercised just about all my options regarding my clunk. I met a manager from corporate on Sept. 19th and we drove the car around so that he could get a first hand sense of what I was hearing (i.e. the clunk). I was promised to get a copy of his report. So far no report.

    We left one another with primarily three goals. One, he was to identify where the noise was coming from - more specifically from what component or components of the car. Two, he was to obtain the answer as to why the noise is not persistent on the driver's side of the vehicle. And three, after the problem is identified would Hyundai repair the problem. I told him that I was very hopeful that a fix is available as I am not satisfied with the current condition of the Azera. I also told him that much less classier cars such as the Toyota Corolla, the Chevrolet Malibu and even the Chevrolet Aveo come equipped with a much quieter suspension.

    I too like the car but am extremely disappointed with the clunk. It sounds like the front (passenger side) wheel is about to fall off !!!! Perhaps if enough people complain something will get done.

    Please post a message when you get new information.

    I will also post a message when I get his report.

    JMJK
  • floridabob1floridabob1 Posts: 1,190
    I have same problem and dealership was unable to correct.
    Any solution to this condition would be appreciated.
    Hyundai US Consumer Affairs is the pits.
    They always refer you back to local dealership.
  • zredsoxzredsox Posts: 90
    I have exercised just about all my options regarding my clunk. I met a manager from corporate on Sept. 19th and we drove the car around so that he could get a first hand sense of what I was hearing (i.e. the clunk). I was promised to get a copy of his report. So far no report.

    We left one another with primarily three goals. One, he was to identify where the noise was coming from - more specifically from what component or components of the car. Two, he was to obtain the answer as to why the noise is not persistent on the driver's side of the vehicle. And three, after the problem is identified would Hyundai repair the problem. I told him that I was very hopeful that a fix is available as I am not satisfied with the current condition of the Azera. I also told him that much less classier cars such as the Toyota Corolla, the Chevrolet Malibu and even the Chevrolet Aveo come equipped with a much quieter suspension.

    I too like the car but am extremely disappointed with the clunk. It sounds like the front (passenger side) wheel is about to fall off !!!! Perhaps if enough people complain something will get done.

    Please post a message when you get new information.

    I will also post a message when I get his report.

    JMJK


    JMJK -

    Please post the results of the report when you receive it. I suspect there are quite a few of us who have the "clunk" problem, but haven't identified so on this forum. We are all eagerly waiting to here what you find out and what the solution is. Thanks for your willingness to share the results with us. Lots of us from around the country will be grateful.
  • ykangykang Posts: 88
    The "clunk" sound come from front end is ABS system self-checking. So it ia not a problem.
  • jmjkjmjk Posts: 55
    I have a theory.

    Here’s what we know:
    1.The chronic clunk (for me it is extremely chronic) generally comes from minor asphalt repairs or “washboard” type road surfaces.
    2.It seems to come from the passenger side of the car
    3.It seldom emanates from the driver side (I speak for myself on this one)
    4.If the clunk was truly a suspension problem the driver might feel it in the steering and I haven’t really felt it through the steering wheel
    5.Just yesterday I happen to accelerate (just slightly) through a turn - 90 degrees - near my neighborhood that had the ideal road condition (i.e. the washboard surface). I heard the awful clunk and to my surprise I felt it in the gas pedal – the same harmonics – every time the clunk rang out it was felt in the gas pedal.

    Is Hyundai looking in the wrong spot? Could it be that the clunk is coming from an engine mount?

    This may be worth examining for a number of reasons.
    1. Driving over the washboard surfaces at a fixed rate of speed, for me the speed is between 23 and 30 mph, could cause an exciting force that while the suspension is able to manage it, the motor mount cannot. (Is a know fact that gas turbines – those used in the generation of electricity and in some cases aircraft – go through what is termed critical speed. At certain speeds there is little exciting force to cause excessive vibration in the turbines but at other windows of speed, vibration can increase slightly. As the turbine continues to ramp up in speed it ramps through that critical speed and once past the critical speed all is well. It can sometimes happen with our tires too.) Those washboard surfaces may, at that window of speed (23 to 30 mph), be the critical speed where the engine mount(s) vibrate excessively, banging around and creating the clunk. Further the washboard surfaces of the road may provide the “perfect” exciting force frequency whereby the engine vibrates in perfect harmony with that same exciting force.
    2. What is the gas pedal linkage connected to – certainly not the suspension – it is connected to the engine. If the engine is banging around under the hood anything connected to the engine (e.g. the gas pedal linkage) would be the recipient of the banging via the ripple effect, but certainly to a lesser degree. Feeling something in the gas pedal may be an indication that the clunk may be from a place other than the suspension.

    If there is a bad motor mount on the passenger side then this may explain why I hardly ever hear anything from the driver’s side. There may be other owners who experience the clunk from both sides but I don’t recall reading anything (in this forum) to that effect.

    Additionally, this may explain why the clunk is not heard all of the time. Often times when I drive over a bump in the road I hear the normal thump from the suspension that is typical of a good solid suspension.

    While I am not an engineer this seems reasonable to me. If any engineers read my explanation, my apologies to them if I butchered the explanation.

    Lastly, everyone who has this problem ought to stay on top of Hyundai. I have no idea how pervasive this problem is. There are likely a very small percentage of Azera owners who subscribe to this site therefore I would be willing to bet that there are a great deal more owners who are having the same problem. I have been relentless with Hyundai and I am sure they are tired of me but I didn’t buy a Limited just to hear that awful sound.

    If my theory sounds plausible let me know and I will “carry the torch” to Hyundai.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    )) "The "clunk" sound come from front end is ABS system self-checking. So it ia not a problem." ((

    Thank you for taking the time to post, ykang - do you work for HyundaiUSA? Let us know as I'm sure many Azera owners would appreciate the opportunity to discuss their cars' issues with a quasi-official Hyundai spokesperson. I believe what you're referring to is a single event clicking whenever the the car is driven after starting the motor and takes place at approximately 15-20 mph. The other posters are referring to repeated mechanical clunking somewhere in the front suspension components in response to abrupt bumps and pot-holes. While these clunking noises are probably harmless, they're decidedly annoying and not at all in character in Hyundai's premier U.S. offering and which compares itself in its sales brochures to much higher priced models from established prestige manufacturers.
  • When I first purchased my Azera (Limited Edi., - Whte Pearl) 2006, I too noticed the same clunking noise, what seem to be coming from the passenger side front wheel-well area, when driving over bumpy roads and/or hitting potholes. For the first 500-750 miles the clunking noise seemed to be consistent and/or hit or miss depending on the road conditions. However, sometime after hitting the 750mi - 1200mi mark on my odometer, I haven't heard the clunking noise. The only thing that I changed was the tire pressure. The tires had 35 psi, and I changed them to 30psi as recommended by the OEM. I hope that clunking noise doesn't return, as it was annoying.

    I love this car! :)
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    )) "I have a theory ... What is the gas pedal linkage connected to – certainly not the suspension – it is connected to the engine." ((

    The only problem with that particular basis for your theory is that the Azera uses drive-by-wire technology. There's no direct mechanical connection between the accelerator pedal and the engine - only an electrical connection to the engine control module which silently and electronically controls fuel delivery and ignition timing.
  • floridabob1floridabob1 Posts: 1,190
    Is anyone aware of any Hyundai TSB's regarding this issue,
    Many owners seem to have this clunk problem, but to my knowledge, Hyundai US has not acknowledged a problem, and has yet to notify dealerships how to respond to our complaints.
    It appears that various local service departments have attempted different types of fixes.
    More help is needed from corporate.
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