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2011 Rav4 128K miles. For the last fourteen months have been hearing a clunk from the right (passenger) front end when going over small cold patch filled potholes on certain roads. As a driver it seems like the sound is coming from middle of area in what I thought would be passenger axle.

When it first started I took to Toyota in August 2018 and mechanic said that it was the steering rack which I should monitor for "excessive play" and would need to be replaced. Was one month out of the GEICO new car (7yr 125K) warranty at the time.

Took the car to local mechanic in October 2018 who said that it was sway bar bushings and replaced them. Sound went away for a week or two but then came back. Continued to drive with no ill effects as far as driving ability and noise went away a bit over the winter but started coming back as weather got warmer.

Already had issues with bounce and a little bit of drift, so I had front struts replaced (Monroe Quick Struts) and sway bar links and control arms as well in July 2019. This addressed all the bounce and drift issues and I am very happy with the way the car drives now.

After doing the struts, sway bar links and control arms, the sound went away again for about a week but has since come back and am now hearing it on both the passenger and now the driver side as well.

I do not hear the noise when driving highway speeds or when turning. Its only when I hit cold patch or small potholes on certain roads. The clunk makes it sound like something should be loose but the mechanic says everything looks tight.

I don't want to spend the money to replace R&P when there is no play in the steering at all and the car is nine years old. Am wondering if this could be the Steering Intermediate Shaft which OldGuy and RavFix (
) have posted about, but the issue does not come up when turning. Still, it does seem to disappear for about a week each time that they grease up the bottom of the car when doing work.

Any advice would be gratefully appreciated.
 

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Well what do you have to lose? Give it a try since it is a cheap fix.
I think I can handle the suggested fix in the video, but not OldGuy's fix.

But I would love to know if anyone who has experienced my kind of clunking has used this fix and it worked for them.
 

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I have the same type of noise coming from my driver side. I noticed it after I put on my running boards and bull bar, but I removed those and went over all connections and they are tight. I can't really hear it with the windows up, so I'm thinking it was a coincidence that after I put those items on it got nicer out.
What I did notice was that if I lightly touch the brake pedal when going over the bumps the noise goes away. I can duplicate it every time.

This weekend I'm going to take the wheel off and lube the caliper rods, pads, and check the bolts. Hopefully it's something simple like that - steering is nice and tight, car rides smooth, noise never occurs when turning, so I don't think there's any major issues coming up. Isolated to going straight over decent sized bumps/dips with no brake pressure applied.

My IS300 and GS300 would have random clunking from the brakes due to the floating calipers, so I would lube those up twice a year and those noises went away (and have stayed away on the IS). Granted those noises were from initial braking when pulling away, but the noise was very similar and was an easy fix.
 

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I've had this clunk for over a year now on my passenger side, going over small bumps, potholes and cracks, especially backing up over a pothole. After changing out a lot of suspension components (sway bar links, sway bar bushings, control arm, ball joints, inner and outer tie rod end), I've zeroed in on a passenger side motor mount. On top of the clunk, I started having some rubber friction/creaking noise on that side. So I took out the mount, and the creaking noise definitely comes from it. So will be replacing it this weekend, and will see if it takes care of the clunk too, hopefully.
 

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I've had this clunk for over a year now on my passenger side, going over small bumps, potholes and cracks, especially backing up over a pothole. After changing out a lot of suspension components (sway bar links, sway bar bushings, control arm, ball joints, inner and outer tie rod end), I've zeroed in on a passenger side motor mount. On top of the clunk, I started having some rubber friction/creaking noise on that side. So I took out the mount, and the creaking noise definitely comes from it. So will be replacing it this weekend, and will see if it takes care of the clunk too, hopefully.
Maybe could have saved money by not guessing which part was the culprit and let the mechanic tell you instead.
 

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Maybe could have saved money by not guessing which part was the culprit and let the mechanic tell you instead.
I did, and he pointed to strut/strut mounts. Ended up replacing those too myself. And although the strut and the mount were in fair condition, that did not fix the clunking noise. When I specifically asked him if motor mount was bad, he did the motor rocking test, and then put it in Drive/Revers while jacked up and hard barking test. And said it looked fine. But, i gained valuable experience from replacing all those parts, it's almost like a hobby. Having 200k miles on my 08 Rav4 V6, it probably didn't hurt doing all that work.
 

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I did, and he pointed to strut/strut mounts. Ended up replacing those too myself. And although the strut and the mount were in fair condition, that did not fix the clunking noise. When I specifically asked him if motor mount was bad, he did the motor rocking test, and then put it in Drive/Revers while jacked up and hard barking test. And said it looked fine. But, i gained valuable experience from replacing all those parts, it's almost like a hobby. Having 200k miles on my 08 Rav4 V6, it probably didn't hurt doing all that work.
Then you should find a better mechanic. Yes wasting money is great hobby.
 

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Maybe could have saved money by not guessing which part was the culprit and let the mechanic tell you instead.
I did, and he pointed to strut/strut mounts. Ended up replacing those too myself. And although the strut and the mount were in fair condition, that did not fix the clunking noise. When I specifically asked him if motor mount was bad, he did the motor rocking test, and then put it in Drive/Revers while jacked up and hard barking test. And said it looked fine. But, i gained valuable experience from replacing all those parts, it's almost like a hobby. Having 200k miles on my 08 Rav4 V6, it probably didn't hurt doing all that work.
Then you should find a better mechanic. Yes wasting money is great hobby.
[/QUOTET
Then you should find a better mechanic. Yes wasting money is great hobby.
It's better than wasting money on different mechanics until you find a good one. But, should we stay focused on resolving the clunk issue? That's what the forum is for I thought, to share our experiences to help each other.
 

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I've started hearing thumping/clunking noise when backing up from my driveway going over a small ditch with steering wheel turned left. No, it's going over small bumps, or crevices. Normally you check by keeping your foot on brake and putting in drive and giving it a gas, then reverse and have a second person watch if egine tilts or jolts excessively. Or, put it on jackstands, put in drive/reverse and let the wheels freely spin, then hard brake and second person watch the mounts if the give a lot of play. Also, you would hear vibration when idling especially with cold start. But mine just started vibrating slightly. And the tests were normal. So, had to pull it out and inspect it to verify. The passenger side mount, the rubber started to rub against surrounding rubber and making a loud creaking noise. I got the new mount, will install tomorrow. But it's really solid. The old one i was able to wiggle a lot the center piece with my hands. We'll see the result tomorrow.
 
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