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View Full Version : Clunking and snapping noises in front end



Andiamo
01-15-2013, 06:05 PM
Sorry, I mistakenly posted in the 500 section instead of the Abarth section. This is a repost. Robert has kindly responded.

We're snowed in so my Abarth is grounded until spring, but the last time I drove it, loud clunking, snapping noises were eminating from beneath the hood when I was in 1st gear leaving the driveway. The noise went away when the engine was idling so looking under the hood didn't reveal anything obvious. The clunking disappeared when I reached the main road and sped up, and the noises didn't return until a week later when I was leaving for work early in the AM.

I'm at wits end. I've never had so many problems with a new car: at only 6,000 miles an Abarth emblem fell off, the side skirts peeled away, the computer system had to be replaced, the 'shift up' light doesn't work, there's a new 'THUNK' noise when driving over bumps, and various maddening squeaks and rattles coming from hidden places. The folks at the sales studio are fabulous but the Chrysler repair shop where the Abarth has to go is a nightmare with poor customer service. Does anyone have a suggestions as to what I can tell the dealership to look for when I'm able to get to town? I live about 75 miles away, which is a total pain in and of itself. I was able to record the noises on my cell phone to replay for the repair dudes at the repair shop when the snow melts enough to take the Abarth to the city.

Any thoughts?

dgreenberg
01-15-2013, 06:19 PM
It's your top hats on the front suspension. Most likely they are already broken, which usually happens after installing springs or coilovers. It can even happen if you still have stock suspension. The design of the top hat is very poor from the factory as is. I have the exact same issue.

Andiamo
01-15-2013, 06:33 PM
Sheesh. I will add this to my list of problems. Did you have yours replaced, and/or did the coilovers need to be addressed as well?

FTY
01-15-2013, 06:40 PM
I have replaced two sets so far, and allways keep them in-stock and allways when replacing springs or putting in coilovers put new ones in. They run about $40 pair and are very prone to fail. Its most likely the clunking you are hearing!!

Andiamo
01-15-2013, 08:15 PM
Thanks, folks. I will bring this to the attention of the Chrysler repair dudes ASAP.

VTEC Mini
01-16-2013, 10:05 AM
I have replaced two sets so far, and allways keep them in-stock and allways when replacing springs or putting in coilovers put new ones in. They run about $40 pair and are very prone to fail. Its most likely the clunking you are hearing!!

Sounds like a good opertunity to come out with a better product and make some money ;). I am just say'n....

Andiamo
01-16-2013, 02:55 PM
I'm with you VTEC Mini. In this challenging economy with so many choices, the Fiat line needs to step it up.

Wopstar
01-16-2013, 03:26 PM
That could also be what's poping in my front end ill have to tell them when I bring it back

gr33n
01-31-2013, 02:53 PM
I'm experiencing a 'thunking' issue when I go over un-even or broken pavement/potholes ---Car info: '12 Abarth - 15in Monza rims/tires - RRM big red sway bar --- I can't imagine top hats going bad by 5500mi! Probably gonna wait it out 'til spring either way

Check the (shaky-jake) vid: thunk happens at 0.17s


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGZ1vSr3Zb0

thanks
p.

Robert Nixon
01-31-2013, 03:00 PM
I have no clue, but it looked like in the video that the sounds at 17 seconds were right at the crest of a small hill, which probably doesn't help any other than confirming it's suspension related. Remedy = move to flat land.

gr33n
01-31-2013, 04:14 PM
The suspension is not acting weird other than being noisy over broken pavement --- cresting hills on smooth pavement or smooth pavement in any situation = no noise --- cruddy pavement = THUNK

Mini Cord
01-31-2013, 04:29 PM
I do have some insight on the suspension noise!!!

Some of you may recall that I posted the Clunk Suspension noise tread about a year ago... and up to yesterday I have never been able to get my studio to fix the problem. They changed the struts and the noise disappeared for a while, but came back with low temperatures.

The video posted previously is bang on on what I was experiencing on my Fiat.

The noise comes from the Bumper Jonce on the front suspension.

What the mechanic and the studio garage manager told me, is that in summer the strut expands and the jounce is tight in place. But in winter the shaft contracts and freely slides up and down, (Like a Hammer and bell game) making the clunking noise when the suspension is hit the right way.

The solution from the studio was to attach them with heavy duty tie raps.

I took the car yesterday and it seems it did the trick, but I only managed to put a few kms on the car, as I'm home sick.

But it is an easy solution. Nothing serious, but it surely annoying.

Hope this helps you as it has been driving me crazy for over a year.

Is part number 9 in the parts drawing below

http://parts.ncfiat.com/images/parts/Chrysler/fullsize/i2286843.jpg

gr33n
01-31-2013, 04:51 PM
awesome info mini cord!! Many thanks! It makes sense - b/c it didn't start happening until it started getting super (i.e. -15) cold. I can handle a zip-tie fix no problemo :thumbsup:

Definitely report in if you go 'thunk-free' and if there is any way you could snap a quick pic of the zip-tied set up -- that'd been awesome!

thanks again!

Mini Cord
01-31-2013, 05:00 PM
You're welcome!

I only noticed the Cold factor as a few weeks ago i was going to take the car to the studio but we had a week of hot weather and the noise vanished.

I'll see if I can snatch a picture, it may have to wait for a couple of days since I have a nasty cold.

Well, in my short trip from the studio to my house it was thunk free, but the first time the studio fixed it only lasted for about 3 km, as it broke the zip ties.

I'll keep you guys posted.

Abarth Five O
01-31-2013, 06:31 PM
It's actually Part #8 making the noise.

xster
02-11-2013, 06:20 AM
I am experiencing the same problem lately. We have had a lot of cold weather lately. Thought it was snow jammed up - but even after cleaning and pressure washing under wheel wells problem has not gone away. I believe this problem is not normal and hopefully Fiat has a solution - unfortunately it is not that easy for me to get to a studio as it is about 8 hours away ;(

squeeze
02-11-2013, 11:00 AM
Hey all!

I've had my car back to the dealer for the same thing. They explained it and I didn't understand their explanation, but now I do. The pic makes the difference!

Mine was in 2 weeks ago and the clunk is returning, albeit not as bad as before. I too notice that cold temperatures seem exacerbate the problem. Can't wait for it to warm up a little...

Abarth Five O
02-11-2013, 02:31 PM
Fiat should come out with an improved top mount (Part #8) asap to eliminate the noise since it is actually defective part which is also occurring in their stock suspension.

squeeze
02-11-2013, 08:42 PM
Fiat should come out with an improved top mount (Part #8) asap to eliminate the noise since it is actually defective part which is also occurring in their stock suspension.


Oh really??

:suspicion:


that jives with what the service guy said to me, makes more sense now!

doozer
03-31-2013, 08:34 AM
I'm getting the clunk in cold weather too, from the front suspension. I will show this info to my dealer. I thought I was going crazy since it was difficult to replicate.