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Hyundai Sonata Front Suspension "Thunk"



  • When is it advisable to replace the whole lower control arms assembly vs just only all bushings replacement, if the arms are not rotted or bent?
    Only when damaged or just for piece of mind.
  • I have a 2008 Sonata GLS with ~46K miles on it. I noticed the thunking sound shortly after buying the car. At first I thought it was a bad ball joint, which was an unnerving suspicion to drive around with, especially with my daughter in the car. I've taken it to two separate dealers, and surprise, surprise--they both claim there's nothing wrong with the car.

    The thunking sound is in the right front only, and occurs when I driver over a dip at low speed, or when the wheel is in the downward movement after hitting a bump at low speed. I hear it every time I back out of my driveway when the wheel goes through the gutter. This is a sound that should not be there, plain and simple.

    dncb (the thread starter) said "I've concluded that the upper strut mount (and noise damper) is where the noise originates." I found this aftermarket strut mount, made by Monroe, which gives me some faint hope that there's a permanent solution to this issue: 06_2009_TS905983.html

    I'm guessing the struts themselves won't make a difference, but aftermarket struts are now available: -Assembly_2006_2009_TS72281.html

    Personally, I can't afford to replace these parts right now.
  • I have a 2004 sonata it still has the dealership warranty of 4 more months. My steering wheel shakes at 55 mph or more and passengers can feel a shimmy of sorts. The last set of tires I had ended up with the right one being worn on the inside of the tire, which could have blew at any time. I replaced both front tires and had an alignment done. The car still shakes/shimmies. I saw a suspension recall for that year, but was told that the work was done for my vin #. When you read on the recall it describes exactly what happend with the previous tires. What else could be wrong and what can I do about it?
  • I bought my new 09 GLS Sonata, and within the first week, noticed what sounded like loose suspension on the right side when hitting some bumps. I've read quite a bit of previous posts of people arguing with people who post that they have an irritating noise with their cars, because evidently most people are as pleased as punch with their cars. Well, I've had my car back three times complaining of the noise. I'm in my mid sixties and this is my first new car, and if any of the many used cars that I've owned had this noise, I'd have been straight to the garage and would have had it fixed. When you hit a single bump, the car shouldn't make a series of repeated thumps, not on a new or well maintained car and mine is both.
    What I've been told is "We couldn't find any abnormal noise", "Techs checked it, and couldn't find anything wrong", and "We've retorqued all suspension parts, and it is safe to drive". ...... On the last one, I got the tech to go with me, and he heard the thumping in the front and passed it off as hitting a pothole......which is the whole reason that I'm complaining! Either they can't fix it, or they won't fix it. Either way, my car now has 13,000 miles on it, and it is so irritating to hear what sounds like a worn-out strut on it, that I'm looking for another car, and not happy with Hyundai's service.
    I turned wrenches for a living, I know wrong from right..
  • I have a 2007 Hyundai Sonata Limited with the same issues. When I got over a bump, the whole car has a tendency to pitch and yaw. In getting a front end alignment done, it was found that the camber on the front wheels is pitched almost 3 degrees toward center. That is what is causing my tires to wear out from the inside. I found an Eibach camber kit, which I am having installed today to see if this will stop the issue. I hope this helps.
  • Some of these recent messages describe issues that are totally unrelated to the problem defined in this thread. This thread concerns only the infamous "Sonata suspension thunk" issue, which mainly applies to the front of the vehicle. It isn't about "steering wheel shakes", "pitch and yaw", or abnormal tire wear.

    To those that have the "thunk" issue and have gone to a stealership hoping to have it resolved under warranty, only to (invariably) be told that "We don't hear anything abnormal", don't worry--the minute your car is out of warranty, they will encounter a miraculous enhancement to their hearing, and they'll happily advise expensive repairs.
  • I bought a 2011 sonata from a local dealer. Car was great till about 10k when tire noise and clunk noise from suspension could be heard. This noise could not be heard over certain kinds of bunps, but over consecutive small bumps. After all said and done the car has been back to the dealer 5 times and they still can't find the problem. Besides the excessive wear on rear tires from camber problems and the clunk in the suspension the car has been ok. This was my first Hyundai and surely will be my last. I think that posting all issues of the vechicle is a good way of telling consumers the real probles on cars and not the bias advetisment.
  • I wish I would have read this post and checked the real issues real people have with the vehicles prior to buying. You describe exactly what is occurring with the used 2011 Sonata. (29,000 mi) I bought last week. I didn't notice it on the test drive. But when I pull into my drive way (sometimes) and when I turn and hit some bumps, it makes a clunk. I don't know about the excessive wear yet. I have 30 days to get a credit, if the dealer doesn't fix it the first time.
  • chirodrumchirodrum Posts: 4
    edited December 2012
    Took the car to the dealer yesterday. They tightened some stuff and sprayed the sway bar bushings with lube. The problem's still there. We're bringing it back again with some research on what the problem is. (from not much time I've found this is an issue discussed in several other forums) The tech noted he heard the clunk in the front, which is where I determined it to be coming from. It usually occurs over small bumps when approaching from a left hand turn. I've gotten good at reproducing it and will make sure I take the tech for a drive next time. (initially they didn't think it was necessary)

    Otherwise I love this car. I'm going to stick with it for a while. In the dealer's defense, they did a lot of other things to the car while having it in. In test driving it, they found that the rear breaks needed to be replaced due to pulsation in break pedal & thumping rear left and corrected several other problems we noticed.
  • chirodrumchirodrum Posts: 4
    edited December 2012
    I brought the car to my mechanic today. He put it up on the rack and in about 10 min. found a cracked ball joint. "I don't know how they could of missed it." I will bring it back to the dealer and have it replaced. This can occur earlier than 30,000 mi. All it takes is a good pot hole. We'll see if this fixes it or if I literally bought "a clunker".
  • The dealer replaced the front R upper ball joint. The car no longer makes the sound and handles much better. So moral of story. Don't let reading something about your model car on the internet freak you out. Also, it's worth it to get a second opinion from a trusted local mechanic. I love the car it handles great no drifting to the L or R.
  • Yes, I have the same problem!!! First I could say the upper strut mounts are not the problem!! I have a 06 Hyundai Sonata LX 3.3 V6....Has a loud bad strut noise or a banging noise only when going over big bumps. Have been a mechanic for 20 years and am ASE certified, this is only the second car in my career that have not been able to diagnose problem correctly and this time it is my own car! Problem is loud and annoying and embarrassing. I now have replace almost everything in front end and noise is still there. Front struts and upper mounts, lower control arm bushings, upper control arms. front end links. Both bottom ball joints are good and everything in front end is nice and tight with no play at all. Have replaced all parts that would be effected when hitting big bumps, don't know what else to do except to break down and try taking it to the dealer and see what they think! Has anyone else had this problem and corrected it?? Quick struts and not available for this car unfortunately... any ideas? Thanks.
  • Lower control arm bushings are not the problem of the noise but if they are cracked broken or worn, still should be replaced. You can just change the bushings and not the arms. Changing the arms is not necessary. The bushings get pressed out and press new ones in.
  • ostracizedostracized Posts: 9
    edited September 2013
    It should be obvious and should also be made clear that although upper strut mounts were not the problem in your vehicle, they may be the problem (or part of the problem) in others' vehicle. Not everyone who limps needs a knee replacement, but some do.
  • I have purchased a used 2009 Sonata in July 2013 with 40k miles and it still has the remaining 18k on warranty. I have put approx. 2k miles on the vehicle to this point. I have been experiencing a clunking noise coming from what sounds like the front suspension, ( I still think it sounds like a lose strut) on the right-passenger side. It's most noticeable driving at residential speeds on unevenly paved and unfortunately most of all my local driving is on roads that need to be repaved. I have been to two different dealerships for warranty work and neither was able fix the clunking noise problem. First replacement was the link assembly-FR stabilizer and bushings-front lower arm-SPO and upper bushing arm. And this is what was reported : "Removed the passenger side wheel and disconnected the tie-rod from the knuckle. Removed the right side drive axle. Replaced the axle and reinstalled tie-rod to the knuckle. Installed wheel and torqued to spec. Road tested vehicle 2 miles. Noise was still there during test drive, sway-bar not making the noise. Finally able to duplicate the noise while the vehicle was in the air with the axle held, noise was gone. When the axle was released the noise came back. Axle had excessive play and was causing the noise." Later I returned the car back to the dealership that I bought the car at and they reported this: "Found the noise coming from the upper-control arm. Installed arm-assy- FR UPR LH/RL and test drove all operating as designed." They said work was completed, but verbally noted that there was some play in the strut, but it was operating correctly. This December 10, 2013, I followed up with a call to the corporate office with case number, as I returned the car to the first dealership. They kept the vehicle for 4 days and this is what they reported "CUSTOMER STATES CLUNKING NOISE CAN BE HEARD IN FRONT END WHEN GOING OVER ANY BUMPS. *NO REPAIR MADE, NO PROBLEM FOUNDCOMPARED SIMILAR YEAR AND MODEL VEHICLE AND ALL OPERATING THE SAME WAY SUSPENSION OPERATION RESPONDING THE SAME ON ALL COMPARED VEHICLES. Do I have any recourse with the lemon law on being the second owner with a warranty? It seems that there a quite a few Hyundai owners that have similar problems with the clunking or thunking noise and it's not just the Sonata model. Please advise if possible. Update, I have a case number with the BBB, and looking to get this resolved ASAP.

  • leats1leats1 Posts: 1

    @espo35 said:
    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.


    Don't agree. Based on my recent experience, I can assure you that I did not start hearing the "thunking" in my Sonata after reading about it in the forum. I came to the forum in search of a fix after hearing it.

    I just purchased (January 2014) a 2008 Sonata Limited with the 3.3 V6 from an private party in South Florida (little old man drove it to the store and back- my brother knew him. The guy loved the car. The family wanted to sell it after he passed). It has 33k miles and is in good to very good condition, with new Dunlop tires. Very sweet. I'm in luck!

    Before I closed the deal I took it to Firestone to have it checked out...and based on my short test drives, I was sure they would tell me that I needed to replace one or more bushings or a ball joint up front. No problem. The sound was EXACTLY what I heard in my '94 Maxima several times over the years after cruising around the potholed roads of Cleveland, Ohio - roads that destroy suspensions (the comment about tennis balls bouncing in a can is a good one).

    BUT Firestone said the suspension was fine, even after I asked them to double check it. The car was in great shape, so I bought it, thinking it might be the tires. I took the car to a local Hyundai dealer to replace the rear deck stop light and asked them to check the suspension. I was told "All is normal." I took a test drive with the mechanic and he said he heard the sound, but told me he could replace bushings and ball joints but he feared the sound would still be there. No fix he knew of, but while he was sympathetic, he stopped short of admitting it was a common issue. Based on the experience of others writing about this in the forum, it sounds like a design issue, so I suspect the mechanic was following a firm directive from Hyundai: "Don't admit there is a systemic problem. Deny, deny, deny."

    I have searched in vain for a fix so if anyone knows of an aftermarket solution, please let me know. Otherwise, I have to learn to live with the thunk or trade the car. I am taking the car to Cleveland where I drive mainly on potholed roads, so I am in store for constant thunking. it worth it? But I'll bet no one has a vanity plate that reads, "THUNKER."

  • phil156phil156 Posts: 1

    I have 2006 Sonata that has squeaky front and rear support arms. The dealership said safe to drive, though annoying.

  • @dgc500 said:
    I have a 2006 Sonata and yes, the noise is coming from the right front shock tower. I'm getting a very load squeeking when I push down on the right front and a clunking sound when driving forward or back. I've noticed that mine makes more nosie when it's cold or colder outside. I have not had mine fixed yet but am looking to get it done. I live in Mesa, AZ and would be interested in a class action against Hyundai if necessary to get this resolved as it definately appears to be a factory defect.

    You should try polyurethane bushings . As these bushing are manufacture to deal with those vulnerable which will create noises.I tried this in my car as it was also creating creaky noises.After replacing this bushings my car stop creating noises and driving smooth on road.

  • yetimikeyetimike Posts: 3

    I'm reporting for the second time on my 2009 Limited Sonata 4 cyl. Well, the BBB Auto Dept. was a great helping me negotiate getting Hyundai to offer an extension on my existing warranty for not just the suspension problem, but happy to say the entire car. Maybe it was better than dragging it into litigation. I plan to write the CEO on my continued problem though, if only make myself a pain in the [non-permissible content removed], jokingly. No, really if they want to have an edge on the competition, Hyundai needs to listen up. I truly would like to make my appeal base on my research that this seems to be a ongoing problem with others models of past and current, some similar and some different in many Hyundai models and Kia's. I also investigated that the Kia branding also have similar types of problems. One example would be that the Courtesy shuttle used to drive me back and forth...and back from home was a Kia Sedona Van, and it was making the same exact noise but coming from the back suspension. Check out the owners complaints on similar blogs, in both front rear suspension. I think this might not get the attention of Corporate as the dealers report that this is not a hazard. I see others owners have stated that the dealerships say this is a "normal" operation of the vehicle. I quiz Sonata owners when I can (3 so far) and none report of this issue. But my Service Manager welcome me to take a spin in a Sonata on the lot in for service, and it make the same noise. Why would he? I was puzzled, but his point was that this was typical of the car. Recalling back when I bought the car I did not recognize any noise on my test drive in Palm Springs. But the roads were nice and smooth riding, as also chatter with my sale person, A/C on or stereo might have been a distraction. But as stated in the above post about weather, It did in fact come up on my return to the dealership that maybe weather in fact played a part in the thunking/clunking noise. You see, I bought the car in the desert which is very dry, but I live on the coast in San Diego which is of course cooler but has more dampness/humidity. That might explain that I couldn't get the car to mimic the same rattling noise. The damn car was messing with my head like it had a human personality and it wasn't going act up while the service manager and I went on a test drive! We came the conclusion that it could be a possibly and I was relieved that I wasn't going nuts. I have taken a break on this pursuit because it is exhausting, even having to write about it here. Other than my return trip to the desert which is an easy going drive of 120 miles one way. I took the car up to Ventura and on the 101 Fwy it did not ride as nice and I could hear, almost feel it rattling at highway speeds. Very much like tennis balls in a hollow sounding wood box. Quite annoying and it does make me worry about the wear on the total suspension of the car as time go by. However I am happy that at least I have the extended warranty. Unfortunately I have 6 years of payments to go....Ugh!

  • bigg5bigg5 Posts: 2

    I have a 2006 Sonata GLS with only 68,000 miles. At 40,000 mi., I had to replace the front tie rods to eliminate a bad squeaking sound when I turned. Then I started on the right front suspension. After replacing the bottom support plate twice and buying a new strut, still no luck with the terrible suspension. Both sides now just drop with a loud sound when you drive over the slightest bump, crack in the road or dip. Terrible suspension. I have learned my lesson and will never buy another Hyundai, period.

  • bigg5bigg5 Posts: 2

    Everyone should file a complaint on the front suspension with the National Traffic Safety Administration. I have.

  • dncb, you say you live in Apache Junction, I live in Tempe. Small world! I have a 2006 Sonata with the 3.3 Ltr V6 which I bought used. I had a clunking or thunking coming from the front end and the Dealer told me the bushings were dry and he would have his mechanic spray some silicone spray on them. His mechanic was "off" on the day I took possession of my car so I got under it and sprayed the bushings good with silicone spray. This alleviated the issue but did not eliminate it. Next I took the car to an independent shop I have dealt with for years and they went over it with a fine tooth comb and told me that all of the rubber bushings in the front end were bad and had to be replaced at a cost of $1678 including labor and an alignment. Fortunately I had bought an extended warranty with the car and asked to send in an estimate which they did and the estimate was approved. I dropped my car off in the morning, picked it up in the evening and the thunking (or clunking) was gone and has been gone ever since. I still get under the car every few months and spray the bushings with silicone spray but that's just me. I didn't get to see the old bushings but the shop told me that they dry out here in the Arizona heat in a short amount of time but I question that since I have had other cars at twice the mileage of my Sonata and they still had the original bushings with no issues. Personally I think it is either a design or material flaw on the part of Hyundai but that's just me. Hope this helps.
  • kiran_okiran_o Posts: 1
    I'm not sure if my problem is the same issue here, but my 2006 LX started to sound like the entire front end was coming apart when going over dips or speedbumps at slow speed. This started around 75K miles. At first I thought it was the struts, plus the car seemed to really bounce on the highway, so I had all 4 replaced. The sound continued. I have a mobile mechanic who used a chassis-ear to determine it was the sway bar bushings. He was able to replace them without dropping the subframe. No more noise! You can buy a chassis-ear on Amazon for about $100. It's an awesome tool for determining where a noise is coming from while you're driving.
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