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CLANKING AFTER REPLACING SUSPENSION

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by m_ma_belle, Jan 24, 2024.

  1. m_ma_belle

    m_ma_belle Junior Member

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    Hi there, I have a 2010 Prius that I love to pieces. about 160k miles. Just had the entire suspension replaced at a local shop (not a Prius certified mechanic): both control arms, struts & shocks.

    After the work was done I noticed a *thud* sort of noise with a vibration at the floorboard sporadically towards the end of braking. Almost like a bolt was loose in the undercarriage & was getting thrown forward. Not consistent & only towards the end of braking, when it did happen.

    Returned to shop & they could not find the noise/found no issues. I continued driving noticing the noise still, till today (about 2 weeks later). This morning I drove car 15 min., stopped for about an hour, then drove another 5 min, was pulling up to a stop sign in a parking lot and heard a very loud clanking while braking still in motion, almost as if a stick was caught in the tire. I backed up (to get back from the Stop sign into the parking lot) and there was no clanking. Examined under the car, wheels, etc., nothing obvious.

    Continued on & this loud clanking continued sporadically towards the end of braking for next 10 or so miles so I scrapped my plans for the day and brought back to repair shop & drove him around for 15 minutes. Clanking with vibration happened 1x as I pulled over to a stop, still seems to come from the front driver's side.

    Rear brakes/rotars were just replaced. Front were done a couple years ago & haven't been recommended to be replaced yet.

    What could it be? Should I take it to the dealer to inspect? I think at this shop, the good mechanic recently quit so maybe someone less experienced worked on my car. Extremely bummed, I need my car!!

    Thanks for any input.
     
  2. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    I would suggest you go with a second opinion. This shop either is telling the truth about nothing is wrong or their work and/or parts are inferior and they don't want to tell you that. The parts they supplied is a very important part to answering your question on whether anything is wrong.
     
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  3. Tombukt2

    Tombukt2 Senior Member

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    Just realized the suspension pieces when they're fitted to the car by a competent mechanic he's going to notice anything that doesn't seem to fit bushings that have two large holes in the bolt will be not large enough to create a tight fit and it'll wobble in place even if you tighten it up things like that relatively keen mechanic will spot and then for this model car that should not be much problems with lower control arms basic struts and things like that other than personal problems not stiff enough doesn't handle as well would rather have tighter bushings those are all personal things that should not cause any clunking but that is an interesting sort of problem it almost seems like it would be a bolt loose in the lower control arm. The bushings in the lower control arm for some reason aren't tight or are sloppy but that's a real stretch I could see the wrong bushing being pressed into the control arm needing a larger bolt I eat you have a 10 mm hole in the bushing on the control arm and you only have an 8 mm bolt going through the frame and now and when you brake or maybe even take off you've got slopp where you need a 10 mm bolt at 8 is allowing that bushing to move enough to clunk.
     
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  4. Tombukt2

    Tombukt2 Senior Member

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    Usually if you can get the car up in the air like as in a lift at the shop and bring with you something like a digging bar which is a solid piece of iron not the nice pry bar from Mac or snap-on this is larger than that If you're not careful with this digging bar you can pull the car off the lift but it is enough to rock and upset suspension components enough to make it happen while you're standing there under the car with the mechanic let the mechanic do it just have the bar with you so you pull it out and say look what I got here buddy this will give you enough leverage to make things happen and see what happens you'll never get the bar under there on ramps or anything like that.
     
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  5. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    Perhaps you can have them drive with you so the can hear and feel what
    you are healing and feeling.
    You can always go to another indepentent mechanic and let them ride with you.


     
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  6. m_ma_belle

    m_ma_belle Junior Member

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    Thank you, I have been thinking about that since I picked up my car today. The son (not a mechanic, but he rode around with me the first time, and did observe the clanking once in 15 minutes), said his dad had just come back from driving it for an hour (!?) and didn't hear anything. 3 minutes after I left their lot I heard/felt the clanking so I don't find that plausible. The son also said they hadn't done any physical inspection all afternoon because the shop had been busy & they wanted a more clear idea of what the sound was before taking it apart and reassembling it. Meanwhile, this is two different half-days they've hard the car to resolve this (and two full days I've been dealing with it).

    Thank you. As noted in my original comment, I did have the son (not a mechanic) ride with me 15 min & observed the sound once. When I picked the car up 4 hrs later, son said his dad (shop owner) had driven it around for an hour at various speeds, etc., and not observed anything. I don't find this plausible because I experienced the noise/vibration 3 minutes after I left the shop tonight. This evening just got a good 60 second audio clip when I was driving around a parking lot and the sound started up. I put my phone out the open window and the audio is pretty good. I will bring that in as they don't seem to be taking it very seriously. Otherwise, I do have another shop in mind to take it to which will unfortunately likely be at my own expense (unless they find something wrong with the parts/work, in which case I guess I'll present shop #1 with the receipt, probably in vane) ...

    Sorry can you spell this out for me like I'm an idiot? Bring a digging bar and when the car is on the lift where exactly should I try to insert it?

    Interesting thank you for your thoughts on this. I did find another thread about a similar complaint which turned out to be the bolts in the lower control arm connecting to ball joint were loose. I passed that info on to the shop owner. After having it there 2 half-days already, I really don't feel like dealing with them anymore, I feel like I've wasted a lot of time! But I have some audio this evening in a parking lot that is picking up the sound very well so I will give them one more shot before I get another opinion (at my expense, I'm sure!)
     
    #6 m_ma_belle, Jan 24, 2024
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2024
  7. m_ma_belle

    m_ma_belle Junior Member

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    UPDATE
    I took the vehicle for a second opinion. They did not find issues with the suspension. They found that the fasteners on both engine cover plates in the front wheel wells were missing, causing the plates to flap around. The noise observed was a metallic clanking sound. The 2nd shop said if all the suspension was replaced, these plates would need to be removed, thus shop #1 is responsible for them not being reinstalled correctly.

    Can anyone confirm this? It seems logical to me based on where the plates are located that they would need to be removed to replace the entire suspension system. The sound (fingers crossed) has subsided, will continue to monitor
    .
    Shop #1 states they will split the bill with me for shop #2's work ($80) whether or not "they had come off for whatever reason during the work." Whatever, at least it's hopefully fixed.
     
  8. Tombukt2

    Tombukt2 Senior Member

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    Yes plastics have to be undone on the generation 3 and the two even to get to componentry that sits above these plastic components and around them to get the lower control arm off You would probably have to do exactly just that or they're not there in the first place many of these plastics are gone in lots of markets where there's snow people getting stuck in mud and other Earth and weather conditions these plastics are long gone some people remove them and just take them off just because of the noise and flapping and fart noises and all that that can come of flapping plastic in the breeze rather than tape it reclip it glue it people remove it I have tons of it sitting out here in in a pile once a year I haul it all off to recycling It's mostly ABS and styrene and what have you so yeah that makes perfect sense usually people will pick up on that because when they're moving anyway it's not important The thing is is that they lifted up the car and they immediately noticed saw it found it so your options are to trim it reapply fasteners to it I've seen people put sheet metal screws through it whatever and then that solves your flapping noisy weirdness Good show
     
  9. m_ma_belle

    m_ma_belle Junior Member

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    Yes the 2nd shop secured the metal plates (with plastic "screws"!)
    I know the plastic shield below the oil pan has been missing for a while, the quick oil change guys don't want to remove/reinstall it every oil change so it just fell off one day (*shrugs*)... thought the undercarriage guards were important for keeping sand, rocks, dirt, rainwater flooding out of the various parts but I guess not that important!
    Thanks for weighing in.
     
  10. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    Check the bolts for the brake calipers. I believe you said they worked on the brakes?
    It's easy to miss if you get distracted...
    Hopefully, the flap fixed it and it wasn't more serious...

     
  11. m_ma_belle

    m_ma_belle Junior Member

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    Thanks very much. Brakes were a few months ago, but I included that info in case anyone was wondering the age of the brakes...
    Haven't heard the noise again thank goodness because it sounded like the bottom of my car was about to fall out!
     
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