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Hyundai Sonata Front Suspension "Thunk"

dncbdncb Posts: 70
edited December 2013 in Hyundai
I've begun this Discussion topic since the thump/clunk issue relating to the Sonata suspension has been largely addressed in these forums as relating only to the rear suspension of 2006 models and a few early 2007s. However, it also seems to be appearing in the front and/or rear suspension of 2007 models - namely in mine.
I have a Limited- manufacture date Aug 2006 which has the "thunk" largely in the right front, but exists to a lesser degree at all three other suspension positions. So far, I have examined on my own (since Horne Hyundai in Apache Junction AZ said, "We can't hear anything.") the lower control arm strut bushing (as advised in other posts for clunking Azera's) without seeing any visible space as the writer of that post did in his. Next I plan to retorque the upper strut mounts to factory torque and will report my findings. Since the problem is easily reproducable on certain bumps on which I travel almost daily I plan to ask the dealer mechanic to ride with me while I drive over those areas instead of simply dropping the car off at the dealer as I did last time.
In the mean time I'd like to open this up for anyone else who has experienced the "thunk" in front positions (or rear positions if it also occurred in the front and both were fixed, or you have information which might relate to front suspensions) for 2007 models. As others have reported, when we have evidence that this is not an isolated incident then we have a much better chance of getting Hyundai to address it as an issue. Thanks for your input.


  • comet64comet64 Posts: 12
    I had the rear "thunk", and had it fixed. After the rear was fixed, my attention was directed to the right front suspension issue as discribed in the earlier post. I'm just confirming that I also have the exact problem. I have not yet addressed it to the dealer. My vehicle is a 2007 limited with the ultimate package.
  • tmporttmport Posts: 19
    Is the assumption that this is a problem for the V6 models only, as with the rear "thunk"?
  • dncbdncb Posts: 70
    In response to my first post concerning the possible involvment of the front strut (shocks) mounts: I retorqued the mounts (the center mounting stud with the rubber bushing under it) without effect on the thunking problem. The outer three nuts were already tight.

    In response to "comet64": regarding your rear thunk that was fixed. Do you know what they did to fix the problem? Did they replace the shock portion of the strut with different ones, or just tighten something? If you do not know, could you possibly find out? Thanks in advance.

    FYI: My "thunk" problem is able to be demonstrated every time on a road indentation (or weries of them)like a pothole that still has pavement in it, or a smooth manhole cover that has not been leveled to the road surface well. Holes which are severe also cause tire and body noise which tends to mask the "thunking" to some extent. I recently had occasion to drive on a road that was a solid city block just full of temporary paving and patches due to a utility construction project. It constantly "thunkity thunked" all the way down the block. It sounded like a 10 year-old car with worn out ball joints rather than a new car with only 3000 miles on it. Unfortunately it is a long way from a dealer.
    My next project is to find a street that will produce the "thunking" near a dealer.
  • dncbdncb Posts: 70
    Hmmm..... I can only tell you that mine IS a V6 and also the other writer's. Obviously, we would like to hear from all "thunkers" regardless of engine.
  • comet64comet64 Posts: 12
    The "fix" was a replacement of something. I believe it was the entire strut, but it could have been just different mounting assemblies. I know that they checked their inventory to insure that they had a couple "kits" in stock before I scheduled an appointment, so it involved more than just a tightening type of procedure.
  • dncbdncb Posts: 70
    Thank you for the info. I'll print it and take it with me to the dealer. I have an appointment for April 18 to take a mechanic for a ride to the road places which faithfully produce the noise. I'll report results for everyone.
  • I agree. I have a 2006 Sonata LX & the rear shocks were replaced. It helped but I feel that the front suspension needs correction also. As you say too much thunkity thunk over wash board type surface roads. I'm going to bring it up next time I go for service. As you say, you have to find the right kind of road to demonstrate or you're going to get the "sounds normal" response.
  • dncbdncb Posts: 70
    Well, I'm thorouly disappointed now. I took a mechanic for a ride over the bumps that make the thunk -- one of which does it three times in a row. His response? "Sounds like normal suspension noise to me." I was tempted to ask what kind of car he owned, but restrained myself. Perhaps he is used to driving a piece of junk that thunks and rattles over bumps and thinks that is normal behavior. Ok, I'm ranting now. I should have bought a Toyota.
  • craigbrookscraigbrooks Posts: 420
    No, you should have asked what he drove and if he thinks that noise is ok in his car. This thunk IS NORMAL suspension noise UNTIL THEY fix it.

    Is there another dealer near you or one that has performed the fix that you are aware of? I'm sure you wouldn't mind driving a ways to get this fixed. Correct?
  • ctc1ctc1 Posts: 66
    Have you tried these and do they help?
  • ergsumergsum Posts: 146
    I have had no noise issues with my 2006 GLS V6 with 17" rims (18,400 miles). I just happen to spot these online. They appear to block the gap at the rear of the front fenders and should help filter out some sound propagation into the cabin through the doors.

    By the way, after years with Nissan products (4 vehicles total), I was so impressed with Hyundai's new product line, we have now added a 2007 Santa Fe Limited for the wife to drive.
  • dncbdncb Posts: 70
    No, You bet I wouldn't mind driving anywhere in the Phoenix area to get this fixed. I'd planned to do as you suggest - call around to other dealers to see who has done the fix. It's a little hard to get the time with my job. But I will persue it.
    I'm a little surprised at the lack of others coming forward with similar problems. In a way that is encouraging? Perhaps just an adjustment rather than a defect with the parts??? I hope.
    I was just a little dumfounded that a mechanic would say such a thing.
  • altazeraaltazera Posts: 51
    denial is the normal response of a dealer/mechanic.

    I suspect the problem is related to faulty struts as it occurs in a sign number of Azeras and sonatas. i found several under-torqued bolts in the right front suspension of my azera but the "thunk" "clunk" "rattle" doesn't go away.

    I drove my mother's 1998 Plymouth Breeze today, and it was pleasure to drive around town without having to avoid every single road imperfection. I hope someone comes up with a solution soon. :sick:

    The local dealer has a 2006 Azera that they can't sell because of front suspension noises! :confuse:
  • dncbdncb Posts: 70
    I've found a Hyundai dealer in the Phoenix area who indicates that they have done the rear thunk fix on some 2006's. It is a start. I have delayed getting this taken care of due to the demands of my business. While procrastinating I've noticed the car getting less picky about which bumps it thunks over (not to mention the seatback creak getting louder). Soon, even the most willfully hearing impaired mechanic will be forced to admit it.
  • dncbdncb Posts: 70
    It has been quite a while since talking about the suspension thunking on my 2007 Sonata LTD. I do have a business to run. I decided to sit on it a while and wee what happened. It has slowly gotten worse. I finally decided to take it to another dealer after checking out an bumpy area close to the dealer. They gave me a loaner car, which I took to the bumpy area on the way out. It made the same noise! I called the dealer and left a message to that effect. They took my car for a ride and called me later to tell me that they DID hear the noise, took another car of theirs to that spot and it did it too. They then called Hyundai to find out what they wanted to do. Their response?? Nothing -- unless a LOT more people complain.
    So, three out of three Sonata's make thunking noises on filled pot hole type bumps and Hyundai wants to ignore it. I guess I've got my answer about what good that big warranty is. Nothing at all. Just denial. I should have gotten a Toyota.
  • my local dealer replaced the entire strut assembly, and voila... problem solved. Now I have a nice car.
  • dncbdncb Posts: 70
    Please tell me the history on your problem. My thunking problem is only getting worse such that almost any bump now causes that thunking - front and rear, but mostly front. I would like to also know what dealer fixed your problem (with phone # if you have it) so that I can take that to my dealer. Thanks.
    (All this aside from creaking seat backs (the headrest support posts - inside the seat))
  • "I should have gotten a Toyota" yeah, you should have and faced a whole new set of problems....see Consumer Reports Dec 2007 issue page 6. It seems that Toyota quality MAY be beginning a slide, oh no!!! now what car can we say we "should of could of" bought instead of Hyundai? Honda maybe?
  • Just got a 2008 Sonata a month ago. The thunking wasn't too bad at first, but getting worse. I only have 1200 miles on the thing. Started in the front right, but sometimes I think I here it elsewhere. Haven't had time to get it back there yet. Hope what I'm reading isn't what I'm in for. Oh and by the way, It's only a four cyl, so there goes your V6 idea.
  • dncbdncb Posts: 70
    I am sorry you too have the "thunking" - and on a 2008. I have read many forums on various problems with various Hyundai models and one common thread emerges - Hyundai's denial that problems exist even when they obviously know that they do - until several/many owners get together and stick it in their face repeatedly until denial becomes more difficult. The difference between advertising about great product and great warranty and the actual way problems are treated appears to be in stark contrast to each other.
    One owner (altazera) recently posted that his dealer replaced the entire strut assembly and it fixed the problem. I have attempted to contact him in the forum and through the "buddy' system within the forum. But so far no response. Several owners in other forum topics have had success getting their problems fixed by presenting proof to their dealer of another dealer's successful fix of the problem as reported by another forum contributor. That is my aim here to get the dealer's name who fixed the thunk by replacing the strut assembly and present it to my dealer and say, "See, here is a dealer who has fixed this problem. Please do it to mine also."
    In the mean time my thunking gets worse with increased miles. My 2007 has 10.5K now and thunks on almost all manholes, and various bumps and road surface imperfections. It's beginning to sound like an old worn out car that needs new ball joints.
    I urge you not to wait to report your problem. I suggest scouting a road which faithfully reproduces the problem which, if possible, is near the dealer you are taking it to. I found a residential street with a hard packed unpaved shoulder with washboard less than a mile from the dealer (in Tempe AZ) which provided a good 200 ft of repeated thunking. I took the loaner car they gave me to the area on the way home and it too thunked - as well as another car off the lot the service manager tested. Still Hyundai refused to do anything about it. Please keep us posted on your experience. I'm confident we will get our problems fixed if we band together.
  • I have an '06 Limited V6 with 20,000 miles on it. Purchased used with 10K on it and love it except for the front end thunking everyone talks about. I too have looked under the car and everything appears to be tight. I took the car to the local dealer and they told me everything was normal (I should have asked them to define normal). I can't believe Hyundai isn't doing anything about. Something is obviously not right. My '72 Plymouth Cuda makes less front end noise than my Sonata.....and that's just not right.
  • dncbdncb Posts: 70
    I'm 57 yrs old so I've had several cars. As with tywebb3, I have an old car, a 90 Lincoln Continental, that makes no front end noise at all with 137,000 on it - though I replaced most linkage parts for slop in steering (no noise) as needed between 110K-130K. As a matter of fact, no car I've ever owned has ever made a noise similar to the Sonata thunking until the ball joints were worn out somewhere between 80 and 150K miles. No Honda or Toyota has ever done it regardless of mileage.
    Upon some recent "bump tests" I noticed that the thunking seems to occur at the beginning of the extension of the suspension travel rather than the compression. Many "up first" bumps do not cause the thinking. But every single "down first" bump produces it. And most repetitive washboard surfaces reproduce the thunking, but mostly if the bumps fall withing a range of moderate. Severe washboard (an Arizona hard dirt road in need of grading) appears quiet - or as quiet as would be expected from a car with rather poor suspension sound isolation as Sonata's have.In other words there is noise, but not the defect related thinking noise on severe washboard.
    My non-mechanic conclusion: a shock (strut) internal valving defect.
  • Does anyone know if any aftermarket front struts have made it to market yet for the 2006+ Sonata's? It may be worth a shot to swap them out with something other than the OEM pieces?
  • dncbdncb Posts: 70
    I checked for 2007 Sonata shocks (struts) and it appears that after market shocks start around 1998 models. I'd be interested in getting stock shock specs and replacing them by spec at some major supplier like Koni.
  • dncbdncb Posts: 70
    I recently visited a Hyundai dealer in the Phoenix area to again address the thunking problem to find that there was a new service manager. This was good news to me, especially since told me that he had a history of problem solving in previous jobs and seemed interested in solving this problem. We took a drive to a local road where the hard packed shoulder was washboard and successfully demonstrated the thunking. We then got another Sonata off the lot and successfully demonstrated it again.
    The factory rep was this week taken for a ride and it was successfully demonstrated in two different cars. The factory rep said he would like to ride in my car as well. So we will be doing that as soon as he is back in town in early Feb (he is having surgery or it would be sooner).
    Other Sonata and Azera owners (same suspension design) are urged to take their cars to washboard areas. Turn off the radio and listen when going below 30mph (less competing road noise) over paved bumps especially sudden depressions like sunken manhole covers which do not clank on their own, or most any kind of bump that go down before going up since the thunk comes from a suspension extension rather than compression - and report your findings here. Hyundai can only be in denial until the evidence mounts to undeniability.
  • yeti55yeti55 Posts: 2
    Hey dncb, good luck with the Rep, I'm very curious to see what he says. Just wanted to also note that we had a nasty ice storm recently and I bought 300 lbs of salt. When placed in the trunk, the thunk lessened. I've also noticed that when an adult passenger of any good stature rides with me, the thunk also seems to become silent. Of course this doesn't work with my regularly scheduled 5' 2" passenger (she's a light weight). When I went back to the dealer, they denied hearing it and when I took them for a ride it only thunked on bigger bumps. I need to find a repairman thats a jockey I guess. Keep us posted.
  • I recently purchased a 2008 Sonata Limited - car is great except for the thunking of the right front suspension going over bumps. I have contacted Hyundai and the dealer. Dealer contacted Hyundai - The thunking is normal for the sport suspension according to Hyundai. Dealer is unable to do anything under warranty with out Hyundai authorization. I have spoken to numerous mechanics and automotive people and ALL agree this is not "Normal" until Hyundai gets enough complaints nothing will be done. As it is not a safety issue and does not affect the driveability of the car it does not come under the Lemon laws. Any ideas on where to go from here would be appreciated.
  • dncbdncb Posts: 70
    What a pile of "little stinky brown things" for Hyundai to say this is "normal." A car that sounds like it has old worn out ball joints? Please post dealer name and location for all to see.

    To address their comment about it not being a safety issue: Other forums document how Hyundai says this about every issue -- like a rotting frame because of an opening that lets in water and salt and can't get out -- and the car won't pass safety inspection! That's not a safety issue? Yet they are trying to dodge that one too.

    I have an appointment on Feb 19th with a district rep (at Hyundai of Temp AZ). I will not settle for an answer like this. I have written Hyundai (registered mail return receipt) documenting the thunking issue from the beginning. It only gets worse with time. If the rep dodges the bullet this time I will do as I have stated in that letter - take action according to the course of binding arbitration. If it goes this route I would appreciate information identifying others with the same problem. I'll take the car to an ASE certified mechanic and find the problem regardless of cost and then go to my lawyer and let him handle it from here. I'll get the diagnostic costs and legal fees back in the settlement. Just for some negative publicity if Hyundai runs the denial route I will get lettering done at the local sign shop for my back window advertising the reality of Hyundai's warranty integrity versus their advertised quality and warranty - and send Hyundai the photos of it as I drive all over the metro area. This should also bring others out of the closet with the same problem. Hyundai might possibly see the logic of fixing a few cars rather than be faced with a major recall if the issue gathers too many participants.
  • Yeah why don't you take the car to an ASE certified mechanic and find out for once and for all what this mysterious "thunk" is. Spend your money to find out what Hyundai is hiding. A rusting crossmember issue on 1999-01 cars (which as I understand from others here Hyundai is replacing FREE of charge..albeit with some "arm twisting) IS a safety issue to be sure but I'll bet your thunk isn't. For that matter what constitutes a "thunk" and how deep a pot-hole do you have to drop the front wheel into to hear it? I have rented various Sonata's 2006-thru-2008 model years both V-6 and as recently as this past week-end a 4 cylinder automatic driven them on the less than perfect roads of Pa and aside from normal suspension noise when encountering holes and poor repair patches I have not heard anything abnormal or anything that gave me pause for my safety. Hyundai appears to be one of the more responsive manufacturers in addressing potential problems with its vehicles (rapidly issuing TSB's) so I find I have a hard time believing this really is as big an issue as you seem to think. I guess I will remain unconvinced until your hired ASE mechanic actually finds something amiss that is common to the line and not a random fault with your car which makes it a dealer problem in not diagnosing and repairing it properly.
  • dncbdncb Posts: 70
    I prepared for my scheduled visit to Tempe AZ Hyundai today by consulting my attorney on the Lemon laws and the binding arbitration process in Arizona. I also asked whether Lemon laws were restricted to apply only to safety or drivability issues as a previous post mentioned. She said that she thinks that is the language but thinks an arbitration committee would not have a problem seeing such an issue as a valid complaint as a drivability issue. Aesthetic expected driving experience issues fall under this area.
    The dealer called me last evening to say that the rep could not make it. I informed them that I had been patient enough and would therefore be starting the arbitration process in the mean time while waiting to get it looked at again. I got a call about two hours later saying the rep could come after all.

    I took the regional rep (who seemed like a nice enough guy, and in no way had one of those "I already know I'm not going to do anything for you" personalities. Quite the opposite. He seemed forthright factual, and competent. I took him for a ride to a previously scouted nearby residential road which has pavement breaking off at the edges and hard packed rutted desert dirt outside that-- a perfect surface to demonstrate the suspension thunking. It thunkety-thunked its way down the road for about 10 full seconds. It was impossible to deny - which he did not. He immediately said he thought it was strut related and when we got back instructed the service manager - a real peach of a guy, and a good problem solver -- to order two new strut inserts for the front end as a place to start. I got no run around at all as I was prepared to do. Of course, all this is BEFORE Hyundai corporate gets their hands on the area rep. We will now see what new strut inserts (the shock part) does and I will report back.
    In the mean time I urge everyone to document the problem as early as possible requiring the dealer to write up the complaint and response each time, keep all documentation. If you get a denial as I did at first go to another dealer. Assume the corporate attitude is denial until unable to do so (the general mode of American business anymore). Explain that others are also having these problems. Require the dealer to test other cars on the lot. Find a test road surface that will faithfully reproduce the problem near the dealer. The burden of proof lies with the consumer. Be friendly, professional - not an emotional complainer (like we tend to get on the forums sometimes) but business-like and respectful while requiring a thorough investigation with documentation. Something I found out from the attorney yesterday is that the outcome at the dealer does not have to be positive - just documented. Keep emotions in check and document, document. Then it will all come out in the wash as a buy back or replacement (not in this case if it is a manufacturing defect) from arbitration. Hope this helps.
  • You seem a level headed person and I await your updates with the attempted repairs (struts). As I stated previously I have never heard any abnormal front suspension noise on rental Sonata's and as you know these rentals are traditionally used and abused. The last Sonata rented this past week-end had over 26K hard miles and it seemed OK. I intend to buy a 2009 Sonata so if you are able to find something that would be nice but I believe it (your thunk) is specific to your individual car. I believe Hyundai is sensitive to owner feed-back due to their quest to become a bigger "player" in the Honda..Toyota dominated mid size segment (no doubt in the whole auto industry as well) so as I also said they seem especially quick to correct faults and I have no doubt that if this is a design flaw it will be corrected in the 2009's.
    As an aside: I currently own a 2006 Honda Civic bought new and by 4,000 miles BOTH rear shocks needed replaced due to leakage of the hydraulic fluid inside. It had terrible rear suspension noise. I found, due to research, that Honda has had faulty shocks/struts for years and they never changed vendors or warned their supplier to tighten up quality control. If they did it didn't help. So much for Honda quality!!!
  • dncbdncb Posts: 70
    Thanks for your post. It is encouraging that you report your lack of problems as did one other writer in a previous post. It gives me hope that it is not on every vehicle and is therefore fixable by other that total recall and redesign. It is, however, a fact that seven out of seven Sonatas with V6's tested with different model years at this one dealer (including mine) did exhibit the problem. The cars were customer cars in for other service issues or used cars on the lot. Also I noticed that a 2002 that I rode in once exhibited the problem twice as bad as mine does. I reiterate that the [loose ball joint-like] thunk only occurs on suspension extension, not compression - and then only with abrupt extension normally associated with regular pavement imperfections, washboard and the like. So, a bump that goes up first will often make no noise at all on the way back down. But if it goes down first it thunks. Same size bump. Slow speed = suspension following the dips without noise. More speed on the same dip now equals a thunk. Multiple dips (washboard + speed) = lots of thunks. Lots of suspension travel actually masks the problem - and the problem goes away with more weight in the car. Four people= almost no noise. One person = most noise.
    I would like to clarify one of your statements -- probably just terminology - when you mentioned that all you hear is "normal suspension noise." I assume you meant tire noise and body noise transmitted through the suspension. Suspensions don't make noise unless there is something loose or defective. I have made this distinction in listening for and describing this issue - mentally filtering out those noises and describing only what should not be there. That is probably what you meant anyway. Just clarifying since my wife (and no doubt lots of other people, without knowledge of auto mechanics, cannot separate the two. It's "just noise when you go over bumps" to her. A heavier, well sound insulated car is silent over bumps and transmits almost nothing to the passengers. Go take a ride in a new Lincoln Town Car for comparison. As the car gets lighter it usually has less sound insulation and more road noise gets transmitted into the cabin potentially masking mechanical problems. Perhaps you know all this already. I used to be a mechanic on cars, busses, tractor trailers and motorcycles at different points in my life so I've heard a lot of descriptions from customers who meant one thing and said another - leading you in the wrong direction for diagnosis unless you could "read through" their descriptions.
    Sorry about your Honda problem. I know I DID bring this issue to Cunsumer's Union's attention (testing facility for Consumer Reports) as well as Car and Driver. I hope you did too.
  • So then it would seem that the "thunk" occurs at full strut extension with the speed of the vehicle being a factor? Does one "thunk" occur each time the suspension exersizes or do you get multiple thunks with one extension/compression cycle? It sounds as though at full extension the front strut come to an abrupt stop (at its limit of extension) with an internal mechanical contact of some type and maybe Hyundai also should have a look at their supplier or their specifications to that supplier. I confess I cannot understand why more weight would minimize the noise unless it is a strut mounting problem. Wait, don't all struts require a "strut bearing" pack at the top?? I have had to replace these on several Dodge front drive cars and I assume they (manufacturers) still use them. Could it be related to these? As I recall those cars had front end suspension clunks also. Finally, what about the seating of the coil springs within the strut assembly??
    With regard to the Civic yes, Consumer Reports sent me a questionaire about my then new 06. I did reply on some questions negatively and if they sent me another today I would be even more negative since the shocks were only the first problem.
  • dhollydholly Posts: 16
    dncb -

    I have following this thread with interest and appreciate you taking time to share your experience. Just to be clear, I have interpreted your "strut inserts (the shock part)" comment to mean the authorized repair provides replacement dampers only, ie., all other parts comprising the front 'strut assembly' will be re-used. If that is the case, it will be very interesting indeed to learn a replacement damper with same part # successfully solves your problem. Please do post your results, thanks!
  • We again rented a 2007 Sonata this past week-end. This one was a V-6 (and a rocket in acceleration) as opposed to the 4 I had last week-end. It had 26,000 miles of hard rental use and the 4 cyl had about the same. I was listening for a front end "thunk" and MAY have heard something. Since this noise is subjective and what someone else may clasify as an objectionable noise I may not. This makes it tough but I drove over some rough "quickie" winter patched surfaces and heard some suspension noise but to say it was abnormal...I can't say. If I drove over those repairs with a Lincoln and couldn't hear any suspension noise at all does that mean it isn't making any or does it mean a $45,000 car simply has more sound suppression? A classic case of " if a tree falls in a forrest and nobody is there to hear it does it make any noise?"
  • dncbdncb Posts: 70
    The "strut bearing pack" I do not know about - or whether it even exists, but will address it with the service manager on the strut insert installation. Perhaps please re-read most recent previous posts as the details about extension, conditions under which the issue is most evident and dealer examination for loose parts were previously addressed.
    In regard to the subsequent post about the "insert." That was the language used by the district service rep, and when the service manager at the dealer was questioned about whether these struts came out of the car as a unit with the coil spring captive he said, "No, it required disassembly with a spring compressor." Again I will get details on all this and report back.
  • dncbdncb Posts: 70
    I'm sorry to say that after replacement of both front dampers (shocks) by the dealer yesterday the thinking problem still exists, and under the same conditions as described earlier - at the beginning of sudden extension of the strut during any degree of sudden extension. The severity of the problem seems to have only regressed somewhat, approximately to the level it was when the car was new. I did ask the service manager whether all other parts including the upper strut bearings (name-my own) were reused. The answer to which was "Yes, but defective ones would only yield a squeaking or creaking sound during turning, not the sound we were hearing." So the problem is not an individual defective part. It is either a defective part design, suspension design or another part. :cry:
    It is interesting to note that Consumer Reports, in the just-out annual car issue, lists "suspension noise" in the Sonata as a negative factor -- the only car in the whole issue with such a notation.
  • kegjegkegjeg Posts: 4
    I just googled the thunking problem and found this forum. I just bought an 06 sonata with 24k miles and it has the thunking noise in the right front suspension. Now that I see that this is a common problem with he sonotas, I will visit my dealer in Albany, NY this week to see what they have to say about the problem and report back here to let you all know. Please keep this thread going so we can get this problem taken care of.
  • shadow26shadow26 Posts: 4
    I hope the dealer can come up with a solution. I am taking my 2008 to my regular mechanic this week he has agreed to road test and try and diagnose the propblem, his feeling at this time is that a new car should NOT have any suspension noise. If he is able to provide a a solution I will let everyone know. In the mean time if anyone else hears of a solution or has had the problem corrected please post it here.
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,601
    Why go to your regular mechanic?

    This is a warranty item. Make an appointment with the dealer so they can fix it under warranty.
  • dncbdncb Posts: 70
    I'm glad a Google search brought you here. I hope it brings a LOT of others.
    I, too, am probably headed to a regular mechanic -- at the least -- after the failed attempt to fix it by replacing the struts and a conversation with the service manager at Hyundai. I do not want to go into all the details here for fear of losing his cooperation and his intercession on my behalf with Hyundai since Hyundai gives me the impression that they will try to ignore this problem away or claim it is "normal."
    I had a conversation with an attorney last week who gave me some alternatives as to how to go about the problem. Since he confronts big corporations all the time and knows the "Deny everything. Pay only what you are forced to" game. He said, "Obviously, the suspension noise comes from a defect since suspensions do not make noise unless there is something wrong. All mechanical systems are diagnosable and fixable. It is a matter of how expensive it is to do so that is at issue here." He says we have three routes if Hyundai will not agree to diagnose and fix the problem in their shop. "Tell them you have consulted an attorney and he feels that the arbitration panel (binding arbitration process you probably agreed to when you bought the car) would rule in your favor and ask them if they will agree to "buy back" the car without going to binding arbitration. (A note here: buy-back price is based on mileage when the problem was first taken to the shop.) They will probably decline unless they know you are 100% committed to really doing it if you cannot come to some sort of agreement as to how to fix the problem. BE COURTEOUS, and business-like. Make the car the problem, not them. Try to get both of you on the same side against the problem. Next, tell them you are willing to help in the diagnosis of the problem. Ask them if they will reimburse you for documented expenses if you successfully diagnose, fix on your own and demonstrate to Hyundai that it is fixed." Then find a competent mechanic who can do it. If they say, "No" then you must be able to take the expensive route -- the one Hyundai is banking that you will shy away from because it might cost you some money up front. That is, hire a lawyer (or query one as to whether he will take the case on a percentage of the judgment basis (when you get paid back and then some). Then diagnose and fix the problem by a mechanic or hire an automotive engineer (lawyers used to dealing with recall issues can refer you) who will diagnose the problem and write it up in automotive engineering terms." This, then, my attorney said, becomes the basis of a class action lawsuit against Hyundai. This is the time all of us get together. This is something that is going to cost Hyundai a LOT of money if they get judgment against them and now have to recall several model years and will want to avoid. It is likely, however that if you get negative results from this conversation that if you actually go out and get an attorney to write you a letter to Hyundai corporate you will all of a sudden start dealing with the "money guys" instead of the area service reps who are likely to start devoting more than canned denial answers to the problem.
    I'm there - and have access to an attorney (so do you if you have PrePaid legal - only $17/month(I think... I've had it for years) for access to attorneys who are knowledgeable in the area of question). This is where I got an attorney who is going to net me about $300,000 (after expenses) for a motorcycle accident. Yes, I have some hand and arm injuries that may be for life. So, no it is not just a free ride. But attorneys know how to confront the system - and prevail if you have a legitimate issue. Heck, soon I might have some money for an engineer. That night perk up Hyundai's ears.
    So, we're all very interested in what your mechanic says. I will be having the above conversation with Hyundai soon and will report back.
  • shadow26shadow26 Posts: 4
    No offense, but if you have read all the postings you will see I HAVE been to the dealer - Twice - it is their opinion and the Hyundai Reps opinion that this is normal for the suspension, that is why I want a trusted "outside" opinion. Should my mechanic determine there is a problem and it is repairable I will go back to the dealer and Hyundai and request warrenty repair.
  • kegjegkegjeg Posts: 4
    Just to keep you updated, I have an appointment at the dealer in Albany NY this thursday. They want to take a look at because this is the first that they have heard of this problem.

    E-mail to the dealer: "Hi Jim,
    I have an 06 Sonata that I purchased used a couple of months ago and it has the right front "thunk" in the suspension. I have done some reading on the internet at several sonata forums and it seems that almost every sonata has this problem. before I bring my car in, could you tell me what you know about this problem? I would like to get this taken care of, but it seems that so many are having problems doing so, and some say that Hyundai is calling this a normal sound, It obviously is not. Please fill me in on Lia's stance on this issue. you can either email me or give me a call on my cell at 518-xxx-xxxx. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks, Nathan"
  • kegjegkegjeg Posts: 4
    My wife took the car to the dealer yesterday 3/27. They took the car for a ride and could not find anything wrong with it. They checked everything for tightness and everything is fine. My wife took the mechanic for another ride and demonstrated the problem. They put the car back on the lift and still could not find anything. Now I leave work to be at the dealer with her. I tell them to never mind, I will take it elsewhere to find the problem. They try to charge me $95 for diagnostics. I refuse to pay and we have a heated argument. I ask to see his manager and after 20 minutes, he can not produce the manager. He is trying to tell me that the car has to be driven over 50 mph before the problem will present itself and I offer to take him for a ride to show him that it happens at 20mph as well. He does not have time to go for a ride and he still can not produce his manager. I tell him that I will pay the bill if he is willing to write on the receipt that they heard the sound and it is a normal sound for a sonata to make so I can take the bill to the corporate offices and get their take on it. He will not write that on the bill for me, I still refuse to pay, I say if you can not write that it is a normal sound, then it must be a warrantee problem and should not cost me anything. They finally find a mechanic that has time to go for a ride with me and I show him that the thunk is there at 20mph, he agrees that this is not normal and he says that "it sounds like an old car with bad shocks". They put the car back on the lift and find that the strut top support is no good. They are going to replace it next Thursday, and he said that I will not have to pay for it, WOW, free warrantee work. I will let you all know if this solves the problem. I do not have my hopes up, but it is a starting point. I suggested that they all Google the problem and see what others are saying, and that it is an obvious problem with the sonatas. By the way, the dealer is Lia Hyundai in Albany, NY
  • dncbdncb Posts: 70
    Thanks for your update. I'm glad you got someone to hear the problem and document it. Go directly to the service manager. Don't waste time on a service adviser and get his name (nicely). If he cannot be produced, go to the front receptionist and ask for the dealership manager - nicely. I went through a denial period as well. I suggest also going to Hyundai corporate on the web and document your complaint and get a "case #." You can do that by phone or by email. I suggest email so you have a written record. You will end up talking by phone at some point with a case rep anyway, though.
    I remind you that I just had both front struts replaced without fixing the problem, and now the service manager has grown suddenly cold on me. He is likely getting the "deny and hope I will go away" routine from Hyundai. I have contacted Hyundai corporate to update them, and inform them that the dealer only tried one parts replacement as an attempt to fix the problem - very little effort put into it after 6 out of 6 Sonata's tested exhibited the problem. After all: ALL mechanical problems can be diagnosed and fixed. They are, by nature, fixable.
    I asked corporate to voluntarily buy the car back informing them of my attorney 's opinion that a arbitration board most likely would not consider the suspension clunking to be a "normal or acceptable part of the car's operation." They have committed to call me back by Monday or Tuesday March 31 or April 1st. If they refuse buy back or further diagnosis I will spend money to have it diagnosed (which I probably will do next week anyway just to see what the problem really is) at a local shop, then open up a binding arbitration case to either force a buy back or a pay back of costs and damages. If it goes either way then everyone of you also benefit from the documentation. I have, courteously and professionally, let them know I will not just go away by being ignored by Hyundai or the dealer.
    I will update next week.
  • dncbdncb Posts: 70
    I went to an ASE certified mechanic today. After a test drive during which he heard the thunking multiple times he took it back to his shop and could not find the cause. He did have some suspect areas, but nothing that could be reproduced in the shop without something to actuate the suspension repeatedly. I suggested that we make a poor-man's version of a hydraulic suspension shaker like Mack trucks has at their manufacturing facility (or used to before Volvo bought them out) that could support the right front wheel (a tire mounted on a shaft which has an offset so that it will giggle the suspension when turned). He found that intriguing. Before we do that we agreed as a first step to find an after-market shock made by a major shock manufacturer (Hyundai calls them "dampers") which would physically fit in place of the stock Hyundai damper and put it in the right front (the worst offender). This will tell us if Hyundai's dampers are the culprit, or if the problem comes from elsewhere.
    Meantime, I have filed the first step in binding arbitration: filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau Auto Line, known as "Alternative Dispute Resolution" in the "2007 Owner's Handbook Supplement." This details the arbitration process and your individual state's laws concerning this process. My demands are"fix the problem or buy back the car."
    This process opens negotiations with Hyundai with the BBB as arbitrators. If we fail to come to agreement during this phase then the case proceeds to the American Arbitration Association panel for a binding ruling.
    I intend to have hard evidence to back my claims from certified mechanics -as well as video of the car going over bumps that reproduce the problem and audio from a mini digital recorder taped to the strut tower/offending part (hey, I just gave myself an idea!) - as well as the claims from all of you others on the forum who also have the same problem.
    I'll update as we proceed.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    I have been following this with a certain amount of interest. I wonder if replacing the front struts with premium aftermarket parts isn't the quickest and cheapest (relatively speaking since you will proceed with legal proceedings otherwise) way to determine what the culprit is. Since you already have explored the possibility of installing just one strut to isolate the right side only why not just "shoot the moon" and replace both sides and if the noise is gone then you have found the answer without building a machine as described to work the suspension (the suspension shaker as you call it) . Since your ASE certified mechanic couldn't find any fault with your suspension as far as design or loose parts are concerned but stated he had some "suspect areas" in mind can you tell me what those areas are?
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    Replying to my post I have researched the possibility of an aftermarket premium strut replacement being installed. Well, it seems that Hyundai isn't important enough for shock/strut manufacturers such as Koni...Bilstein...KYB or even Monroe, for crying out loud, to supply a strut replacement for the 2006-08 Sonata. There may be a manufacturer that I missed though that makes one. Anyone know who supplies the originals??
  • dncbdncb Posts: 70
    It isn't that Hyundai isn't "important enough." It is that after market parts are usually made when the demand ocurrs. In the case of shocks that is 5-6 years. So you will probably find them for 2002 models or earlier. I will let you know when the mechanic finds one. He is searching by specification (physical size and damper strength) rather than after market manufacturer's listing for replacement parts to find one that will physically fit in the hole and length, etc.
    As for a "suspension shaker" I've considered a simple one inch travel reciprocating saw with a special insert to push against the tire - quiet and powerful. Comments?
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