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Hyundai Sonata Front Suspension "Thunk"



  • espo35espo35 Posts: 144
    There may well be an issue with some '09's that I have not had yet. It could also well be that Hyundai is aware of an issue. TSB's take awhile to be issued. Once a problem is recognized, corrective procedures need to be put in place, parts made available and so on. It could take months.....if there is, indeed a "fix" in the works.

    I would nicely ask again to drive with a tech. If he hears the noise and says it's normal, ask to drive with him in a like model off their lot.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    As you note there are as many "fixes" or "non-fixes" on this so-called strut issue as there are people reporting the noise in the first place. I have always contended that the severity of the issue is dependent on owner sensitivity to what may indeed be a normal "thump" that most vehicles would produce over a particular pothole bump or road imperfection. It may be that driver "A" upon hitting such a hole won't even notice something amiss but attribute any noise to the mechanical action of the suspension as it absorbs a wheel drop of 4-5-6 or more inches into a void (pothole) whereas driver "B" hitting a similar hole simply cannot understand why the car makes any noise at all. This may be simplistic but may be a reason why many report no unusual noises and some are driven insane about ......" THE NOISE" !!!!! I will tell you that I have driven many new rental vehicles over the last couple of years from a lot of manufacturers including Hyundai (Sonata, Elantra) Nissan (Versa, Altima) Ford (Fusion, Focus) Toyota (Yaris, Camry) Honda (Accord) Chevrolet (new 2010 Impala this past week-end, Malibu ) Kia (Optima) Pontiac (G-6) and probably others and none....none were silent over bad roads. They all made what I considered acceptible mechanical noises from the hard working suspension on poor secondary or inner city roads. Maybe with my being a "car guy" I am not that overexpectant about the near absence of noise from suspension parts working hard to smooth out the cratered, bombed out roads found nearly everywhere these days.
  • kaypeakaypea Posts: 10
    You make some good points but you don't own one of these cars and you didn't just plunk down some money for one.I would say that,in general my car's suspension is maybe louder that usual.That,in itself is not a problem.What I hear when going over different kinds of holes-especially at slow to moderate speeds where there is less road noise is another matter.Someone described it as sounding like tennis balls bouncing around in a box and its definitely not normal or like any other car I've driven.  The other day I had to drive for about a mile over a dirt road.If you or anyone else,especially a service technician were in the car with me and heard what I heard and tried to say that what you heard was acceptable or like Honda,Ford or anything else it would stretch the imagination even if you didn't look at the odometer and see that there were 2800 miles on the car.  Peoples's tolerances and sensitivity may vary but its seems very difficult to believe that every Sonata is the same when it comes to suspensions given that some never hear anything like what i described.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    Yes, you are correct I do not currently own a Hyundai product (how you assumed that I don't know but nice guess) although in total our family has owned 4 (two Santa Fe's for me, an Elantra for my son and our daughter still owns her 2003 Elantra GT). In fact I intend to purchase a new redesigned 2011 Sonata but all that aside I am only trying to present a possible explaination why the majority of 2006-09 Sonata owners do not hear, or complain that they hear, anything abnormal. I would also have to subscribe to the idea that all Sonata are likely built equally well. The only deviance to that would be if an outside supplier/sub-contractor delivered a run of sub-standard or out of spec. parts (this has happened for several model years with Honda Civic shocks subject to early leakage). But how you could extrapolate what noise (type, or severity) a Ford/Honda/Nissan or anything else might or might not make over a given pothole as you drive over that hole in your Sonata is well beyond me. I still contend that the majority of complaints is attributable to consumer sensitivity and maybe fueled in part by posts here. After all there are those who after reading about all these suspension noises are influenced to hear something that didn't exist previously. An automotive hypochondriac so to speak. Finally, I don't absolutely positively say there is no noise...period, only that there may be more sensitivity to any noise now that this has become an issue.
  • gslav1gslav1 Posts: 23
    Hello The problem is not just noise from the struts, its ride quality and handling .Believe me if you had this problem you would immediately notice it !!
  • Funny you should ask, I was just visiting another Hyundai forum site today:

    and someone just posted there about their 2010 Sonata and he was complaining about the exact same thing, the "thunk", and he only has 1800km on it.
    So according to the thread here at least that one guy got some satisfaction from Hyundai but appears they are still shipping crappy original equipment on the current model.
  • espo35espo35 Posts: 144
    But how you could extrapolate what noise (type, or severity) a Ford/Honda/Nissan or anything else might or might not make over a given pothole as you drive over that hole in your Sonata is well beyond me. I still contend that the majority of complaints is attributable to consumer sensitivity and maybe fueled in part by posts here. After all there are those who after reading about all these suspension noises are influenced to hear something that didn't exist previously. An automotive hypochondriac so to speak.

  • kaypeakaypea Posts: 10
    Yes you are correct-that seems to be the most reasonable explanation-that some supplier is delivering substandard or out of spec parts.

    I'll tell you how I could extrapolate what a different model could make over a given road surface.When I drove home from when i picked up the car and got about 2 miles from where I live and the roads get a little funky here and there I noticed it immediately-that it made about 5 times the noise as my Honda Accord that I just traded in with 135,000 miles on it.The car I had before that?-Honda Accord sold with 150,000 miles on it.And I have driven the Accords over the same dirt road i mentioned previously-no comparison.Hondas tend to have noisy suspensions but,even with all those miles on them they never sounded like something was broken on like the Sonata does-that's a a big difference.Nor has any other car I've ever had.

    I didn't come on here to co miserate or reinforce that I have a problem.Why would anyone want to do that? I just had a lousy experience with a dealer.I'm just trying to find out the best appraoach to trying to find a fix.

    Tell you what-lets trade cars for a couple of weeks,then see how you feel about it.And its become an issue because Hyundai,so far has dropped the ball with this.
    I consider myself lucky than, because I have yet to experience the so-called thunk noise from the suspension in my 06 Sonata LX. I've got over 63k miles on my car and aside from routine maintenance, has only been to the dealer for a failed mirror switch, horn and recall on brake switch. I still have my OEM tires and rear brakes on my car.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    This is a discussion about some suspension issues with Sonatas. Those who want to discuss such things are absolutely welcome to do so. Those who just want to say or imply that such issues are all in other posters' heads are not being helpful and are asked to stop.

    If you can discuss a poster's symptoms with him or her in a helpful manner, you are most welcome to do so. If your primary goal is to say, in one way or another, "I think you could be imagining this", please DON'T.

    Thank you.
  • Now that you have driven for a while what do you think of the ride?
    Also, was it just the front struts? Did they change the rear struts as well?
  • Bought a 08 Sonata Limited about 2 months ago. Tokk about a week to realize that the thunk was not "normal", and now it is driving me insane. Had the dealer (private, not Hyundai) drive it for a day. He said it sounded "normal". Took it to the Hyundai dealer and they said they could not re-create the noise. Went back to the dealer and took the tech for a ride. he said he heard the noise but said it was "normal" and that all of them sound like that. Tried to be acceptful and live with it but it is still driving me nuts. Called the Service Manager yesterday and he said that the suspension on these cars was "sporty' and therefore more noisy. Then I started on a roll and told him about all the internet posts about this and that I could not beleive that he did not know about "the problem". he said to bring it in again and they will "see what they can do". My guess is that he knows exactly what I am talking about and he hoped that I would be like most of the other folks who just live with the noise or don't realize it is abnormal, but that is NOT going to happen. I'll see what they say, but anyhting less than all new struts and mounts would be unacceptable. I'lkl pursue this as long as it takes. This is a great discussion and I wish I knew about it before getting the car. The sad part is that I love this car except for the "Thunk".
  • steven39steven39 Posts: 636
    my brother has the same "thunk" problem with his 08 sonata gls.he has gotten so frustrated with this noise that he named the car after one of his favorite groups.
    "grand thunk railroad"
  • Well they replaced my gauges. However, when I spoke to the service manager again, after hyundai consumer affairs referred me back to him, he gave me the same old answers. The tech found nothing wrong. The car makes no abnormal noises. I showed him the part numbers for the redesigned struts. He said that was for the 2006 model not the 2009. I asked if I could drive a different car. He said they had no 2009 cars. I would have to drive the same year car to compare them. I said why not a 2010? They are the same. he said a regional manger would have to ok it and be there. I said ok, get in touch with him. He said he would let me know when we could do this. I guess I'll be getting no place with this.
  • espo35espo35 Posts: 144
    Have you tried driving your car with a Hyundai tech?
  • I have 2600km on my new 2010. The 'clunk' if you will, started about 3 days after purchase. I now have gear change problems. The accelerator module seems faulty. The Suspension and stalling when pulling away in first is causing me great stress (I'm not kidding!) A visit to the dealer said "no problem found" on all these. I also have the tapping from the engine - on the phone they said it was the lifters and would go away after about 1500. It's still there. There doesn't seem that there's anything to do.. I have driven stick for for 24 years (about 10 cars) never experienced this - even in old cars.
  • Yes, I had done that at first. The roads around the dealership are very good.
    I really didn't find a bad stretch of road to show him what the noise was like.
    If you hit just one bump here or there it just doesn't demonstrate the sound.
    It looks to me like I'll be stuck with the problem until trade it in.
  • Took the service manager out yesterday. He acknoledged the clunk and he knew exactly what it was. He basically said it is bothersomne but it is a design problem and it is what it is. I'll follow up with the Hyundai complaint process but I've basically resigned myself to live with it until I unload it next solution...crank the radio!
  • steven39steven39 Posts: 636
    hello,i was in the market for a 2010 sonata but wasn't sure if they fixed the suspension 'thunk" issue for the 2010 model year sonata's.after reading this post here i will avoid the sonata as a future car purchase.that's the beauty of sites like this in that you can read how other people like or dislike the car that you are interested in and then go from there.
  • espo35espo35 Posts: 144
    If it was a "design problem", they'd ALL do it.

    And they don't.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    I wonder. I've driven a couple of dozen (at least) 2006-2009 Sonatas over the years. Only one had a suspension noise I considered unusual. It was definitely a "thunk", albeit a faint one, over large bumps like railroad crossings. It was a used 2008 car with about 24k miles on it. So why do only some Sonatas exhibit this noise?

    Assuming it is a design issue, it might only manifest itself in some cars. Perhaps the design issue is in the way the suspension components fit together--the tolerances in other words. It might be hard to align the components properly at the factory. Or they are susceptible to getting out of whack after a time. But if everything is done just right at the factory, there's no problem and no unusual noise.

    Here's an example of how this could work, using another well-known issue with a Hyundai. The 2001-6 Elantra is known for having an issue with front wheel "shimmy". Only some Elantras have this issue, and some don't have it initially but develop it later, e.g. when tires are rotated or rebalanced or replaced. I have personally experienced this issue on the two Elantras I owned (still have one). In each case, there was no wheel shimmy initially. But when I replaced the tires or had them rotated and rebalanced, the shimmy showed up sometimes. A careful rebalancing using a specific kind of Hunter balancing machine fixed the shimmy each time. But some owners have trouble completely eliminating the shimmy. The theory on this is the design of the Elantra makes it more susceptible to even a small out-of-balance condition on the front tires than on most other cars.
  • espo35espo35 Posts: 144
    I drive 5 or so different Sonatas every day. I've yet to hear one doing what is described here.

    One noise I HAVE heard on 2006-2010 Sonatas is caused by a slightly "loose" front, lower conrol arm. I would call this more of a "click" than a "thunk", though.
    This is easily corrected by the dealership by re-torquing the mounting bolts.

    I probably do this about once a month and it works for the concern I am being approached with- clicking when turning and/or accelerating with wheels turned.
  • I can't help thinking that'" once a month" so nonchalantly mentioned sems to me - somewhat excessive.. I had a toyo echo - took it out the dealer - and nothing else needed for 7 years.

    Test drive with maints mgr today - ticking in engine is injector motor - who knew? - at 120 kph I can hear this in the cabin.!!
    Transmission..."seems to be a bit different.."
    suspension wasn't co-operating...!
    Ordered new accelerator module (we test drove another manual car - there's a difference!!)
    Will change hydrolic clutch fluid to synthetic - "maybe air, may assist this or that..." blah blah technical... I think it's the gate or the thrust bearing
    "Will check suspension arrms bushings etc etc..."
    Fingers Crossed !!
  • Well, personally speaking, with only one post "reporting" a clunk on a 2010 and this being the internet after all where anybody can write anything about any subject this one post may or may not be accurate or even a person who owns a Hyundai of any year or type I wouldn't put too much stock in it and use it to avoid purchase of a Sonata...
  • There are a lot of owners with the "thunk" problem and I'm one. Like me, I think they are just disgusted with Hyundai ignoring the problem. This is my 3rd and last Hyundai. :mad:
  • espo35espo35 Posts: 144
    Define "a lot". I meet 10 Sonata owners every day and haven't had one complain so far.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Given that you work in Hyundai service, that's a good thing indeed. However, as we've noted before, this is a discussion for those who are having the issue. So let's let people discuss it here, please.
  • After they replaced my gauge cluster I spoke to the service manager that hyundai consumer affairs asked me to see about the suspension problem. I got the same old stuff from him that I had heard all along. "We found nothing wrong with the suspension. The noise is normal for the car". I asked about driving another car to compare with mine. He said he had no 2009 sonatas. I asked about driving a 2010.
    He said he couldn't do that because it wasn't the same year car. He would have to get a regional manager in to ride with us to do that. He said he would call when he could set that up. That was two weeks ago. Guess it's back to hyundai consumer affairs to see what else they might do. I don't think it will ever be fixed. I will still report what happens here.
  • vinngvinng Posts: 12
    Get rid of that piece of junk like I did. You are right it will never be fixed. After 3 months of driving my 2009 Sonata I stopped in at the showroom and yelled about what a piece of junk you sold me. There were a few customers in the showroom at that time and the sales manager came to me and said can we discuss this problem in my office. I told him that I made 5 trips to the service depatment and each time I was told we put in new shocks front and rear and made a couple of adjustments. I was fed up with that bull, and I told him to give me money back. He saw my frustration and how mad I was, so he said let's go for a ride in a brand new Azara he had in the show room. Wow what a difference in the ride. Right there on the spot we made a deal for a few dollars more and I have the Azara since Now 2008 and I love it. Great car, everything is smooth and quiet.
  • I am surprised you purchased another Hyundai. You were very upset about how you were being lied to and not getting the problems fixed and you went and purchased another model. Most people would steer away from the dealer and the brand. Hope you will be happy with your new car.
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