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Hyundai Sonata Front Suspension "Thunk"



  • bksssbksss Posts: 21
    I get a definite thunk from my right front wheel when I go over the two speed bumps at work at about 10 mph. I drove over to the dealership where I purchased my 2008 Sonata. I searched around their location for speed bumps that would produce the same thunk. After trying to reproduce the annoying thunk at about 6 different bumps, I finally gave up. It appears that the car responds to a specifically shaped speed bump or just the right sized pot hole. The speed bumps at work are about average sized. I have gone to work with my old 1993 GMC half ton and my 2001 Oldsmobile Aurora. I tried and tried to get them to tunk but no luck. My thunk seems to occur when the shock is fully depressed. The weird thing about all this is when I did the speed bump test run around the dealership I fully depressed both front shocks at some rather large bumps with no thunk. It is kind of hard to get the dealership to do something about a problem that I can not reproduce when taking the service rep for a test ride. I plan on doing another search in the dealerships area. My work location is a half hour drive from the dealership. I am not giving up on this because it will only get worse with an increase in mileage.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    If it's just the right front, it appears there's a problem on that side of the car. If it were the normal suspension noise, it would happen on both wheels, right?
  • dgs4dgs4 Posts: 66
    Is that a technical term or something? What the heck is a "thunk?" Can someone please describe the sound they are hearing with some detail, as "thunk" tells me absolutely nothing about the suspension noise you're hearing.

    I bought an 09 Limited V6 and the car is a little stiff over bumps. That is to be expected, as I understand with the 09 Hyundai tuned the suspension on the sporty side. It's a fair trade off for the wonderful handling of the car. However there is no abnormal noise from my suspension at all over any bumps. Granted I don't drive quickly over bumps either. Maybe whatever issue existed has been fixed for the 09 model?
  • 2002slt2002slt Posts: 228
    Maybe whatever issue existed has been fixed for the 09 model?

    That seems to be the consensus.
  • dncbdncb Posts: 70
    The consensus of who? I have not seen anyone who has experienced hearing the thunking issue in earlier model years testify that 09's are exempt. Have you? The testimony of those who say they never heard it in the first place holds little value since it is far too easy for one who has a financial interest in Hyundai to post disinformation on this or any forum.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    I've never heard the "thunk" on about a dozen 2006-8 Sonatas I've driven--test drives and rentals. I have no financial interest in Hyundai.
  • dgs4dgs4 Posts: 66
    The only financial interest I have in Hyundai is getting my car paid off in five years.

    Still waiting for someone to describe this "thunk" sound. If no one can do that I'll assume it's in their head rather than a real sound. Cars make noises going over bumps, that's just the way they work. I suppose unless you're driving a Rolls Royce, which I understand makes no noise going over bumps, for the rest of use working class stiffs, our cars will not be silent driving over rough patches of road.

    Well this thread seems like a whole lot to do about nothing. I think people are way too paranoid and just need to drive the car instead of worrying about every little noise they hear. These are $25,000 cars and under, thus any noise I hear will be viewed from that perspective. You want perfection. spend $350,000 on a hand built Rolls. If there is some serious suspension design flaw with the Sonata that could affect it's safety, I'm sure we would have heard about it by now.
  • lmaxicklmaxick Posts: 46
    The best description I can think of to describe the "THUNK"s a kin to the old ball joint crunch when the ball joints were worn and you made a turn or something like that. More than that I cannot describe the sound to you, maybe someone else on this forum has a better description than that.
  • rotaryrotary Posts: 71
    dgs4, your new '09 has an even stiffer suspension than the '06 to '08 gen?

    If so, that is really depressing me.

    In an era where the roads seem to be getting worse and worse, I was looking to get into a vehicle that has a smoother, less firm, less noisy ride. Although I can not stand the Toyota Camry, and think it's far more boring than the Hyundai on the inside and outside, I do have to give Toyota credit for giving the Camry a true luxury car ride with luxury car quietness.

    Maybe I'm just getting old, or maybe the roads really are getting worse, or both. But I'm wanting more insulation from the crumbling and cratered roads in the U.S. lately, not less.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Some complained the 2006-8 Sonata was too "floaty", so the suspension was tweaked for 2009 to be more responsive. But from reviews I've read, it still seems to offer a smooth, quiet ride. I am looking forward to driving it. Maybe you could take one for a test drive and see if it offers enough insulation from the road for you?
  • 2002slt2002slt Posts: 228
    The consensus of who? I have not seen anyone who has experienced hearing the thunking issue in earlier model years testify that 09's are exempt. Have you?

    LOL Aren't you allowed in a dealer to test drive an '09?

    I will guarentee you that MY '09 does not "clunk".
  • dncbdncb Posts: 70
    This forum can only be as effective as its readers, and especially posters. Please do not let this forum degenerate into [non-permissible content removed] for tat posts as if each post was designed to stand by itself as opposed to a thread supported by past posts.
    The thunking issue has been described and addressed in detail in past posts as well as diagnosis by ASE certified mechanics. Those who take a position that mechanical noises found objectionable to some should be permissible to others have no place here - especially if that view says that a car in a certain price range should be allowed to have defects. This is a forum to share information and possible solutions by responsible posters.
    I can only ask that those who want to rant one way or the other - or spread disinformation please leave the forum for the sake of those who are plagued with a genuine problem with their car. I was one of those until the struts and upper mounts were replaced and have seen and heard what it turns into if left unaddressed.
    Thank you for your cooperation.
  • dgs4dgs4 Posts: 66
    I would say you have nothing to worry about. I would not classify the suspension as harsh by any stretch of the imagine. The car is definitely not a sports sedan, but it's just firm enough to make it fun in the curves. I think the 09 strikes the best balance between comfort and sport, definitely more on the comfort side. When I test drove an 08 Accord I found that car to be way too stiff for me. It was very uncomfortable over bumps. The Sonata handles them much better. Also the Sonata is incredibly quiet. Very little road noise makes it into the cabin. It's a very tranquil place to be on a long drive, as the seats are very comfortable, the suspension is very comfortable, and the noise is very faint. Amazing highway car; you could drive it for many hours and never fatigue. I say you test drive one to see how you like.

    Imaxic thanks for the description of the sound, however I have never heard a ball joint crunch either. I guess the bottom line is, unless Hyundai releases a TSB or recall for suspension related problems I'm not going to worry about. I can deal with noises in a mass produced $25,000 car. If it's a safety issue that's a different story, and thus far I have not heard of any suspension problems for the Sonata.
  • auld_dawgauld_dawg Posts: 40
    I don't know that its fair to jump on someone who hasn't experienced the same problem you have, when he has asked for a description to see if the same thing could be applied to his car.....

    I think some folks have definitely had a problem with their cars. I took this particular thread into consideration when I was shopping, just like I took the VCM thread of the Honda into consideration........ so its definitely been valuable to me.

    On the other hand, I now have a 2008 GLS V6, that doesn't have the "thunking" problem. I tested it before buying it. I thus owe you and others a debt of gratitude, for something to check before buying.....

    On the other hand, I think its fair for folks to ask questions, if they do not know exactly what is being described.........
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    You make some good points, but there is a lot of information here already. I think it would be a good idea if people who aren't sure this is an issue would go back and read the rest of this thread and then come ask their questions.

    Compared to some threads around here, it's not really that long. ;)
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    Can you please define the "Honda VCM" problem (I guess it is a problem). I try to keep up with various issues on cars I own and I own a 2006 Civic so if this applies to Civic's I like to be made aware. If it applies to some other vehicles in the Honda line I'd still like to know but without the urgency.
  • bhubbard1bhubbard1 Posts: 1
    There are tons of videos on the hyundai sonata showing standard options such as esc.(electronic stability control) This is an active system that is also a proven life saver and just might make a little thud while it's doing it's job. Being the owner of a 07 sonata limited i'v had a few warranty related issues from hardcore driving but was resolve with minor adjustments. One more thing is that the engine mounts are hydrualic and hold the engine in tight with very limited play and in a car that has one of the stiffest frames availible in it's class, you can count on road noise.
    Here is some other researched info that may put your mind at ease. This car also has a locking torque convertor that is suppose to clunk when it locks up any where from 20 - 40 mph (normaly). Hope this helps. Brian

    ps. I will take my chances of swerving out of the path of an 18 wheeler in my $27k Hyundai any day rather than realizing that my quiet $395,500 bently can't and having to brace for the impact. You forgot 2 add n the lux tax^
  • auld_dawgauld_dawg Posts: 40
    Hello Targettuning

    Its and Accord issue, "2008 Honda Accord VCM" or something like that on the Accord boards........


    golfrski, "2008 Honda Accord VCM" #1, 1 Nov 2007 7:42 pm

    Read it all, interesting read.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    It's much appreciated! :)
  • bksssbksss Posts: 21
    I have a 2008 Sonata with a four speed automatic transmission and four cylinder engine. When I travel up a local highway river hill my engine gains about 200 rpm with the cruise control on and speed remaining constant. I don’t think my torque converter is locking up. Has anyone noticed and engine rpm increase when going up hills at a constant road speed? Thanks for any info.
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,601
    The engine is probably calling for more fuel to maintain the speed, just as you would have to step on the gas pedal more to maintain the same speed going up that hill.

    It's not a torque converter lock up question. You would face the same issue with a manual transmission.
  • jlindhjlindh Posts: 282
    Please explain how a manual transmission car can pick up 200 RPM's and maintain the same speed in a given gear.
  • >> I will guarentee you that MY '09 does not "clunk".

    Same with my '08 V6 Limited. Haven't heard any "clunk" or "thunk" (or whatever you want to call it) so far even though I drive through at least four speed bumps a day :) Though the car has only around 3000 miles, its very early to break a champagne on this issue!
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    Please explain how a manual transmission car can pick up 200 RPM's and maintain the same speed in a given gear.

    It's pretty complicated. You push on the gas a little bit or let the cruise give it a little gas to maintain speed. :)
  • jlindhjlindh Posts: 282
    Obviously too complicated for me. Where do you think the slippage is coming from, the clutch?
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    I guess I'm confused. Wasn't he going upgrade and the cruise simply applied more gas to maintain speed? If you had a manual with the cruise on going upgrade, the computer would apply a little more gas to maintain speed which would raise rpms a little.

    What slippage are you referring to?
  • jlindhjlindh Posts: 282
    In a manual transmission car, the connection between the engine and rear wheels is a clutch, the transmission, the drive shaft, the differential, and the rear axle. The transmission and differential have metal gears, any change on the rotation speed of the incoming shaft will result in a corresponding change in the rotational speed of the output shaft. The drive shaft and the rear axles likewise have to be turning the same speed at both ends. Therefore, in a manual transmission car, unless the clutch is slipping, if the engine speed increases, the rear wheels will increase in rotational speed by a corresponding amount in a given gear. You simply cannot speed up the engine without speeding up the rear wheels and increasing speed as the connection between the two is essentially one piece.

    In the case of an incline, a little added throttle will increase the manifold pressure to the engine and the engine power will increase. If the added throttle is just the right amount, the car will maintain the same speed and the engine will maintain the same RPM's even though the engine is putting out some additional power.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    Thanks for the explanation. I guess I was remembering that on a grade the engine will start to bog down a little and just as the car slows a mph or two the cruise kicks up the gas a little to compensate. The rpms seem to momentarily jump up some and that's what I thought he was referring to.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    I think what happened in this case is that the transmission down-shifted. Happens all the time on my MPV with 5AT on hills, if they are steep enough. The tranny downshifts to maintain speed, and that causes the RPMs to increase.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    That was my first thought too but it seems that dropping down to third gear would be pretty noticeable and also result in a higher rpm gain than 200. But I guess all engines/trans combos are different to some degree.
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