Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Acura suspension noise pop, clunk, thump MDX

Acura MDX suspension noise pop, clunk, thump

Acura MDX drivers complain of suspension noise coming from their 2001 and later MDX vehicles. They report three distinct noises. They come from the front suspension.

1. Metallic pop heard during braking and acceleration
2. Clunk, heard when driving on roads that dip
3. Thump, heard on rough roads.

The first sound, metallic pop is usually caused by improper clamping force of the lower control arm to the subframe. To diagnose this problem, drive the vehicle in a circle (2-3 MPH) with the wheel turned all the way left or right. Apply the brakes hard. Then immediately accelerate to 2-3MPH. If you hear the pop, loosen the lower control arm rear mounting bolt on each side of the control arm. Then re-torque the bolts to 90 ft/lbs. DO NOT REMOVE THE BOLTS. If you remove them, you must replace them. The new bolts come with a wax coating to ensure you get the right clamping force.

The clunk sound is usually due to the coil spring contacting the end of the spring near the top of the coil. To fix the clunk, raise the vehicle. Wipe off the coil springs and clean with alcohol. Obtain a spring silencer tube (part # 52442-S0X-A01) from Acura. Slice the tube in half. Pry down the first coil at the top of the spring and carefully insert the tube onto the spring. Push the leading edge of the tubing onto the first coil so it extends past the coil end (above the first loop) about 1-in.

The thumping noise is caused by worn or defective struts. Replace them to eliminate the noise.

© 2012 Rick Muscoplat

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat


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