2019 Leaf SV Click From Front End when backing up

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New member
Feb 22, 2022
Good evening...

My wife and I purchased a 2019 Nissan Leaf SV at the end of December 2018. It has been a really nice car up until the last year or so. In early January 2021, I took it to the dealership where we purchased it for its inspection and maintenance, and I notified them of a click click when accelerating from a stop. They proceeded to fix it under NTB12-055, tightening the front axle nuts to specifications.

All was well until this past December (2021) when I drove it one day. I back out of the garage and the front end made a crunch crunch, or maybe a click click, it's hard to describe at this moment. It was scheduled for its service the next week anyway, so I took it in then. They replaced the driver side drive axle.

After that it still made the noise here and there, more so when it was colder outside, so I scheduled it back in towards the later part of January 2022, last month. They had a technician ride with me when I arrived, 0730, and since it was somewhat cold that morning, I was 2 for 2 in reproducing the noise, mostly backing here and there in their lot. It does it sometimes going forward, but almost 90% of the time going backwards. He said it sounded in the front end and they kept it for the day.

When I returned the service manager said they had spoken to Nissan DTS, whatever that is, and they were advised to remove the axle nuts and install washers and then the nuts. They had also mentioned that 10-20 minutes after I had left that morning another 2019 Leaf was in for the very same issue. Needless to say, the issue persists today and as I type this it has been back to the dealer for 2 business days, Monday and Tuesday this week.

I have worked a bit with Nissan internally and they have stated that the dealership has found nothing to repair, and they will send me on my way. They also mentioned that "these vehicles sometimes do this, more so when it's cold out".

So here I am, and my wife, with a purchased new Leaf with a little over 22000 miles, still under powertrain warranty, with a car that clicks, or crunches, however you describe it. I'm not really sure what my options are at this point. I called my states consumer affairs and they said since I was already working directly with Nissan they wouldn't have much to add so they would make an entry! Nice!

Nissan has offered a $1000 "for my troubles" but outside of that I am on my own according to them.

I have seen a few posts over the last couple of weeks on this forum mention clunks and the like, but those seemed to be related to 1st gens and was a different sound in the video the person posted. (GoodBar). I did see NTB14-088, but that seems like an older bulletin.

Any advice is appreciated. I know how vehicles function from a mechanical perspective, but I am not in a position to go fix them.

Thank you!
We have an occasional crunch sound on our SV+. The Nissan tech toughened the axle nuts, and said he hasn't heard anything when testing the car. I just worry as we are 3 months from the end of warranty what lurks behind the noise.
As long as you have the exact complaint documented in writing, before the warranty ends, it will be covered under warranty if it becomes clear what the cause is.
Had the axle thing done twice and both times the sound was a "clink" a metal on metal sound. Very quiet so had to have radio, etc. off. I turn off the back up beep in the morning so easy for me to hear.

But your issue seems different. Never heard anything remotely resembling clicking and especially a crunch. Now, old ears can turn a clink into a click but I am old too so...

I would check your brakes. If you are in an area where snow, ice, etc is the norm in winter and maybe driving less, you have the chance to build up a bit more rust on the rotors. This isn't uncommon and its a very thin layer that is brushed off easily. I have heard what I perceive to be this a few times over the years. As far as winter or summer? Never really registered to me as being more of one or the other although in my area, rust would be unlikely during summer.

On the axle nut thing. I was able to reproduce the sound quite easily. It happened every time you changed direction or acceleration. It reminded me of a car I had a few decades ago with a loose u joint. Same kind of thing except the LEAF has no "play" feel
do it myself.

I've ignored it since it is such an obviously benign sound. It's jus a simple metallic 'tick' that happens often when accelerating either forward or reverse (eg back up, coast, shift to D --> 'click').

It's nothing like a crunch, grinding or other sound so I don't think your problem is identical so it makes sense that tightening the nuts didn't make it go away.
Good evening. I apologize for my absence for the last few weeks, and I thank you all for your responses. My follow up is with mixed news and again asking for any advice you might have as Nissan customers.

A second opinion, not Nissan or dealer affiliated, was able to at least isolate the noise and had recommended a couple potential fixes. I thanked them, and paid them, for their time. They understood the vehicle was in for a second opinion and still under warranty, so no modifications were made other than grease, test drives, and some diagnosing. I had given them all the information the dealer had given to me thus far.

Nissan still stands behind that the dealer diagnosed no issues and there was nothing left to do.

Is my next trip back to the dealer to see if they can assess a similar opinion with new information, or at least a second opinion?


Thank you all!
Front end sound while backing up and turning the steering wheel--sounds like the front strut "bearing" at the top of the spring. There is another thread with discussion of this issue.
nlspace said:
Front end sound while backing up and turning the steering wheel--sounds like the front strut "bearing" at the top of the spring. There is another thread with discussion of this issue.

Yea thats what my mechanic estimated without actually taking it apart, because it's under warranty, and I did read that thread a little bit. Nissan did note the issue was from the suspension in their "final" write up, chalking it up to be "normal".

I guess my issue is that no one wants to discuss the findings since they have declared it a "normal" sound.

SIde bar. I dont know if I would call the issue normal. Common might be the word of choice, since Nissan probably didnt intend for this noise to occur.
We recently purchased our 2018 Leaf from Carvana (on 3/11) and we already had them fix the axle nut (front-right) once which got rid of the clicking on start/stop, but it's starting to creep back in when stopping.

We have it in the Nissan Dealership now (for a separate issue), which is not an approved Carvana vendor (go figure), but they hit me with the deductible on the approved dealer anyway. So, I will ask the dealer's shop to look at it too.

I wonder if this will be an ongoing problem for years to come and whether it's actually a serious issue or not. Is it just the click or do I have to worry about major damage if it's left uncorrected?

Also, is this considering to be a "Drive-Train" warranty issue, once the 100 day Carvana warranty expires?