Rear End Clunking Noise: Troubleshooting a Common Issue When Turning

Is your vehicle making a mysterious clunking noise every time you turn? You’re not alone. Many drivers have experienced the frustrating rear end clunking noise when turning their wheels. Not only is it an annoyance, but it can also be a sign of a potentially serious issue with your car’s suspension or drivetrain. But fear not, we’re here to help you uncover the source of this unsettling noise and guide you towards a solution. Join us as we delve into the world of rear end clunking noises and discover the remedies that await you.

rear end clunking noise when turning

What Causes a Rear-End Clunking Noise when Turning?

Experiencing a clunking noise from the rear-end of a car when turning can be concerning for drivers. Not only can it be a nuisance, but it may also indicate a potential problem with the vehicle’s suspension or drivetrain. Several possible causes can contribute to this noise, and understanding them can help drivers diagnose and resolve the issue.

One common cause of a rear-end clunking noise when turning is worn-out or damaged suspension components. The suspension system plays a crucial role in maintaining the stability and control of a vehicle while driving. Over time, the various components such as bushings, control arms, and stabilizer links can wear out or become loose, leading to clunking noises. These noises can occur when the vehicle is taking corners or going over bumps, as the worn-out parts struggle to provide the necessary support and absorb the forces.

Another possible cause is a malfunctioning differential or CV joint. The differential is responsible for transferring power from the engine to the wheels, allowing them to rotate at different speeds when turning. If there is an issue with the differential, such as worn gears or inadequate lubrication, it can produce clunking noises. Similarly, worn or damaged CV joints, which connect the transmission to the wheels, can also cause clunking sounds when turning.

Additionally, loose or worn-out sway bar links can contribute to rear-end clunking noises. The sway bar, also known as the stabilizer bar, helps control the body roll of a vehicle during turns. When the sway bar links are worn or loose, they can produce clunking sounds as they struggle to stabilize the car’s motion while turning.

In conclusion, a rear-end clunking noise when turning in cars can have various causes, including worn-out suspension components, faulty differentials or CV joints, and loose or damaged sway bar links. Identifying and addressing these issues promptly is crucial for maintaining the safety and performance of the vehicle. It is recommended to consult with a qualified mechanic to diagnose and resolve the problem effectively.

rear end clunking noise when turning

Causes of Rear-End Clunking Noise

When experiencing a rear-end clunking noise while turning, it is important to understand the potential causes. Several factors can contribute to this issue, including worn or damaged suspension components, loose or worn-out bushings, and faulty CV joints.

One possible cause of the clunking noise is worn or damaged suspension components. Over time, the suspension components, such as shocks, struts, and control arms, can become worn or damaged due to normal wear and tear. This can lead to a loose or unstable rear-end, resulting in clunking sounds when turning. It is important to inspect these components regularly and replace any worn or damaged parts to maintain a smooth and quiet ride.

Another potential culprit is loose or worn-out bushings. Bushings are small components that help cushion and absorb shocks and vibrations between different parts of the suspension system. If the bushings become loose or worn-out, they can create excess movement and play in the rear-end, leading to clunking noises. Replacing worn-out bushings with new ones can help eliminate the clunking noise and improve overall suspension performance.

Faulty CV (constant velocity) joints can also be a cause of rear-end clunking noise. CV joints are responsible for transferring power from the transmission to the wheels while allowing for smooth and constant rotation. If a CV joint becomes worn or damaged, it can produce clunking sounds, especially when turning. In such cases, it may be necessary to replace the faulty CV joint to resolve the issue.

In conclusion, several factors can contribute to a rear-end clunking noise when turning. Worn or damaged suspension components, loose or worn-out bushings, and faulty CV joints are among the potential causes. It is important to diagnose and address these issues promptly to ensure a smooth and safe driving experience.

Worn or Damaged Suspension Components

When experiencing a clunking noise while turning, one of the most common culprits can be worn or damaged suspension components. The suspension system of a vehicle is responsible for ensuring a smooth and stable ride by absorbing bumps, reducing vibrations, and maintaining proper wheel alignment. However, over time, the various components of the suspension system can become worn or damaged, leading to disruptive sounds.

The control arms, for instance, are crucial components that connect the wheels to the frame of the vehicle. They allow for up-and-down movement of the wheels while also supporting the weight of the vehicle. If the control arms become worn or damaged, they may produce a clunking noise when turning. Inspecting the control arms for signs of corrosion, cracks, or excessive play is essential. If any issues are detected, it is recommended to have them replaced to restore the smooth operation of the suspension system.

Sway bar links, also known as stabilizer bar links, play a vital role in maintaining the stability of a vehicle during turns. They connect the sway bar (which helps minimize body roll) to the suspension components. When these links wear out or become damaged, they can cause clunking noises when turning. Carefully inspecting sway bar links and looking for signs of wear, such as loose or worn-out bushings, can help identify if they are the source of the clunking noise. Replacing them, if necessary, will help restore stability and eliminate the clunking sound.

Struts, or shock absorbers, are another critical part of the suspension system. They help control the up-and-down movement of the wheels, ensuring a comfortable and stable ride. Damaged or worn struts can result in clunking noises when turning, as they may not effectively absorb the impact and vibrations caused by road irregularities. Inspecting the struts for leaking fluid, physical damage, or reduced damping ability is essential. If any issues are detected, it is recommended to replace the struts to eliminate the clunking noise and ensure optimal suspension performance.

In conclusion, worn or damaged suspension components can indeed be the root cause of a clunking noise when turning. Regular inspection and maintenance of control arms, sway bar links, and struts are crucial to identify any issues promptly. By replacing these components when necessary, drivers can enjoy a smooth and noise-free driving experience.

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Faulty CV Joints

A deteriorating or faulty CV joint, which connects the axle shaft to the wheels, can produce a clunking noise during turns, requiring the inspection of the joint’s condition and potentially replacing it if necessary.

CV joints, or constant velocity joints, are essential components of a vehicle’s drivetrain. They enable the transfer of power from the transmission to the wheels while allowing for smooth rotation in various driving conditions.

Over time, CV joints can deteriorate due to regular wear and tear, lack of lubrication, or contamination. When a CV joint begins to fail, it may produce a clunking noise when the vehicle is turning, particularly during sharp turns or when maneuvering in reverse.

The clunking noise is often a result of worn or damaged CV joint bearings. As the joint becomes worn, the bearings can become loose or pitted, causing the axle shaft to vibrate or knock against other components. This leads to the audible clunking sound. Ignoring this noise and continuing to drive the vehicle can further damage the joint and potentially cause the axle shaft to disconnect from the wheels, resulting in a loss of control.

If you suspect that your vehicle has faulty CV joints, it is crucial to have them inspected by a qualified mechanic. During the inspection, the mechanic will examine the condition of the CV joints, looking for signs of wear, damage, or excessive play. If any issues are found, the CV joints may need to be replaced.

Replacing CV joints typically involves removing the axle shaft from the vehicle, disassembling the joint, and replacing any worn or damaged components. It is essential to use high-quality replacement parts to ensure the longevity and performance of the new CV joints.

Regular vehicle maintenance, including checking the condition of CV joints, can help prevent premature failure and costly repairs. If you notice any clunking noises during turns or suspect issues with your CV joints, it is recommended to address the problem promptly to ensure your vehicle’s reliability and safety.

Prevention and Maintenance

One of the main causes of rear-end clunking noises when turning is worn or damaged suspension components. Regular inspection and maintenance of these components can go a long way in preventing such noises and ensuring a smooth and comfortable ride.

One crucial aspect of suspension maintenance is lubricating the bushings. The bushings are rubber or polyurethane components that help cushion the suspension system and reduce noise and vibrations. Over time, these bushings can dry out, crack, or become worn, leading to clunking noises when turning. By regularly lubricating the bushings, either with silicone-based lubricant or specific grease recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, you can keep them in optimal condition and reduce the chances of clunking noises.

In addition to lubrication, it is essential to check for signs of wear or damage on the suspension components. This includes inspecting the control arms, sway bars, and strut mounts for any cracks, excessive play, or loose connections. If any issues are detected, they should be addressed promptly, either by replacing the damaged parts or tightening any loose connections. Ignoring these problems can lead to further damage and potentially more severe clunking noises.

Regularly taking your vehicle to a qualified mechanic for routine suspension inspections is highly recommended. They have the expertise and experience to identify any potential issues and perform necessary maintenance or repairs. They can also conduct a thorough suspension system inspection, including checking for damaged or worn-out shock absorbers, tie rod ends, and ball joints, as these components can also contribute to rear-end clunking noises when turning.

Lastly, it is worth mentioning that having proper driving habits can also help prevent rear-end clunking noises. Avoiding sudden and aggressive turns or driving over potholes and speed bumps at high speeds can reduce the stress on the suspension system and minimize the chances of clunking noises.

In summary, regular inspection and maintenance of suspension components, lubricating bushings, checking for signs of wear or damage, and promptly addressing any issues can significantly prevent rear-end clunking noises when turning. By taking these preventative measures, you can ensure a smoother, quieter, and safer driving experience.


After exploring the various causes and potential solutions to rear-end clunking noise when turning, it is evident that car owners can take proactive measures to maintain a comfortable and safe driving experience. By addressing the issue promptly, they can prevent further damage and costly repairs.

One common cause of rear-end clunking noise when turning is worn-out suspension components. These parts, such as the control arms, bushings, and sway bar links, can deteriorate over time due to regular use and exposure to harsh road conditions. Car owners should regularly inspect and replace these components to ensure smooth and noise-free turns.

In addition to suspension components, loose or worn-out drivetrain components can also contribute to rear-end clunking noise. The driveshaft, differential, and axle joints may become loose or develop excessive play, resulting in clunking sounds when turning. Regular maintenance and inspection of these components can help identify and resolve any issues before they worsen.

Furthermore, tire problems can also cause rear-end clunking noise. Uneven tire wear, misalignment, or improper tire inflation can lead to noise and discomfort while turning. Car owners should regularly check their tire pressure, rotate tires, and ensure proper alignment to avoid unnecessary noise and potential damage.

When faced with rear-end clunking noise, car owners should not ignore or postpone the issue. Seeking professional help from a qualified mechanic is crucial to accurately diagnosing and resolving the problem. Mechanics have the knowledge and experience to identify the underlying causes of clunking noise when turning and provide appropriate solutions.

In conclusion, by familiarizing themselves with the various causes of rear-end clunking noise and understanding the potential solutions, car owners can take proactive measures to address the issue. Regular maintenance, inspection, and seeking professional help when needed will help maintain a comfortable and safe driving experience and prevent further damage to the vehicle.

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