Coilovers Clunking? | Suspension Trouble Shooting

Suspension Noise Issues?

So, you’ve installed your new suspension parts only to hear new squeaks and clunks that weren’t there before. It can be aggravating to have to deal with unexpected problems. In this post, we’ll help list possible problems and fixes as a way to educate those that haven’t upgraded their suspension yet. To those that have already upgraded and are having issues, we hope this post will serve as a trouble shooting guide so that you can resolve the issue start enjoying your new parts.

What could it be?

The first thing to keep in mind is that bushings, most often made of rubber, make up a critical part of your suspension. The bushings provide a cushion for the suspension and help to reduce NVH (Noise, Vibration, & Harshness). This helps keep the suspension comfortable, quiet, and long lasting.

With that said, the bushings are wear items and will eventually need to be replaced. Some of those bushings include:

  • Upper Strut Mount Bushings
  • Lower & Upper Control Arm Bushings
  • Sway Bar Bushings
  • Sway Bar Endlink Bushings
  • Trailing Arm Bushings
  • Coil Spring Isolators

When bushings become worn out, they can have excess play which decreases performance and will cause the suspension to become noisier. When suspension components like coilovers or stiffer sway bars are installed, the stiffer added component can make any existing issue more evident or help in making worn components wear to the point of failure or noise.

Where do I start? Ask yourself the following:

When did the noise start?

Most of the time when we hear complaints of noises happening immediately after installation it will, in most cases, point directly to the installation itself. If your new suspension has not been installed correctly or parts are out of order it will almost always result in noise and performance issues. Check the installation against installation manuals and factory component orientation to ensure everything is being installed correctly.

When something was changed such as installing a stiffer sway bar or new suspension, it can alter the dynamic of the suspension and put more stress on worn and failing bushings. Check the bushings mentioned above for obvious signs of dry rot, stress cracks, or worn/torn portions. If any of these issues are evident, replace the problematic bushing(s). It helps to assess what type of noise you are hearing…

Is it a clunk, squeak or a spring popping sound?

Clunk – If there is a clunk and you have confirmed that installation was done correctly, there is play somewhere in the suspension or there may be suspension components coming in contact with other components. The play often comes in the form of a worn bushing(s) while components contacting each other often happens after a vehicle’s ride height is raised or lowered.

As mentioned above, look for failing bushings and consider replacing the likely worn bushing(s). In the case that there is contact between suspension parts, you’ll need to assess what parts are contacting and how the suspension geometry can be changed to move these components away from each other. This can often be done with adjustable components such as adjustable end links, adjustable control arms and/or adjustable sway bars.

Squeak – Squeaks, most often, originate from rubber components or contact points where two components of the same material are touching another. Check all rubber components for wear or to see if they need to be lubricated. When lubricating bushings, lubricants like silicone grease will be longer lasting than other general lubricant options like WD-40.

If you are having two components of the same material (ie steel to steel or rubber to rubber) touching and making noise, ensure that you have installed all components in the proper order. It isn’t common to have two like materials touching as there will often be buffer like rubber or plastic between metal components. A good example of this is a spring to control arm contact point. There almost always will be a rubber isolator between the two. Check all contact points for problematic areas.

Popping – Specifically when steering, if you’re hearing any popping noises, it is very likely that the upper strut mount bearings are worn out. These bearings help to keep the suspension moving together and when they are worn out, it causes the top or bottom of the spring to not turn with the rest of the suspension with movement of the steering wheel. We highly recommend replacing any worn upper strut mount bearings as soon as possible as damage can be done to other suspension components, including the shocks of the vehicle.

In the end, seeking the help of an experienced professional will be your best bet in resolving any issues. With that said, several of the mentioned fixes above can be done with a little know how and will save you money in the long run.

Have any questions? Visit our Contact Us page.

21 thoughts on “Coilovers Clunking? | Suspension Trouble Shooting

  1. Raceland says:

    I’m sorry for the trouble! Give us a call when you have a moment and we’ll run through some trouble shooting with you. The number to call is 801.365.1440.

    • D Clarke says:

      Give our customer service team a call directly and they would be happy to let you know pricing and availability for those items, 801-365-1440.

  2. Saul Fuentes says:

    Mine made noise when I first got them, idk what it could be. I’m also thinking it could be the end links because it’s been a minute but I’ve heard noise when turning as well.

    • Cody Graham says:

      Give us a call when you have a moment and we’ll run through some trouble shooting with you. The number to call is 801.365.1440.

  3. Trevor says:

    I’m hearing what you described as clunking or popping. It isn’t consistent though. The installation was done correctly. My car only has 40k miles and the coilovers only have 8k miles on them. When I move the steering wheel full lock to full lock at a standstill the noise does not exist. But I have heard the popping during steering after moving the car after it had been sitting for 10-12 hours. Is this early signs of the steering bushings wearing out?

    • Cody Graham says:

      Every car is different but it sounds like the upper strut bearings. Give us a call and we can run through more troubleshooting with your. Our number to call is 801.365.1440.

  4. Alexis says:

    I have the springs popping sound but I changed everything at the same time. The only thing is the coilovers. I did lower and I would assume whe u get them fresh, the coilovers should be at car designated height so the coilovers are broken into. I am going to try that after reading the chat. Any other recommendation other then changing other suspension parts? It’s for a 2008 dodge caliber srt4

    • Cody Graham says:

      If you’re hearing spring bind when you turn the wheel, it likely has to do with the upper strut bearing not working correctly. Give us a call and we’d be happy to run through some trouble shooting with you!

  5. Isaac Gottschalk says:

    Hi I have all of the above symptoms lol. When turning my wheel i can hear the coils binding which sounds like stretching/ rubbing, i can also hear popping in the coilovers when turning the wheel, I also hear major clunking when going over minor bumps and uneven ground, I can even hear clunking when going on smooth road at low and high speeds. Thinking it has something to do with the bearings and bushings. ~note I am not the original owner who installed the coilovers.

    • Cody Graham says:

      It very likely has to do with the upper mounts and bearings. The bearing is what keeps everything rotating together. Feel free to give us a call if you have any other questions!

  6. Martha Gallegos says:

    Hi, I drive a 2017 WRX and have had my coils on for a while now. But suddenly they started making a creaking sound, only when I turn my wheels, and it’s primarily on the passenger side. It’s like loud rubbing/creaking sound. I was wondering what this could be?

    • Cody Graham says:

      It sounds like there is an issue with the upper mount/bearings. Give us a call and we’ll run through some trouble shooting with you. Our number to call is 801.365.1440.

  7. Keagen Gordon says:

    Hi good morning i have a problem with my arc coilovers when turning my wheel everything turns with like the springs and its rubbing on top by the shock mount

    • Cody Graham says:

      That sounds like you may have an issue with the bearing in the upper mount. That bearings should allow the coilover to turn without any issues. I would recommend reaching out to ARC for support.

  8. Raza says:

    Hi there…I wanted to ask whether it is important to preload the suspension when replacing control arm bushings to ensure correct alignment of suspension when car taking it’s weight.

    • Davin Clarke says:

      That would depend on what you are referring to in terms of “preloading” the suspension. If it is in respect to a coilover, no you will not need to change preload when replacing control arm bushings. If you are referring to adding weight or “loading” the suspension before tightening the control arm bushings, then yes you will want to do that before tightening. Please let us know if you need more details!

  9. Dennis says:

    Just installed coil overs on a 2006 Scion xB. New strut mounts and dust cover installed . Getting a clunking noise.

    • Cody Graham says:

      We’re sorry for the trouble! Give us a call when you have a moment, and we’ll run through some troubleshooting with you. Our number to call is 801.365.1440.

  10. Tabi says:

    Hi I recently got my 2017 Hyundai Elantra sport and it’s running on yellow speed racing coilovers. I’m no the one who installed them but from the looks of it the owner before me cambered the back a bit too so that it fits 19’s. I got smaller rims (17s) in hopes of fixing some of the noise but I still have all of the sounds mentioned above. Especially going over bumps or uneven ground.
    Another problem is when I go over bumps (like on the bridge) at high speed it sounds like my car is hitting the ground but it’s not, was thinking this problem could be because my tire is hitting the wheel weld? I’m not sure.

    • Cody Graham says:

      We would recommend reaching out to Yellow Speed Racing to trouble shoot. It sounds like you may have issues with your upper mounts.

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