Goodbar
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Clunk / bang when reversing in AM (gen 1)

Tue May 05, 2020 5:46 pm

I'm at wits' end trying to get a suspension clunk/bang fixed under warranty on our 2017 Leaf (30 kWh). It typically happens when reversing out of the driveway in the morning, and then not afterward unless the car sits for a few hours. The car is at the dealer we purchased from for the 10th visit since purchase in July 2017 and 5th visit that included a suspension noise. There's only 22k on the clock. This is actually the 3rd front-end noise: They've successfully corrected the axle clicking via a TSB and another clicking noise by fiddling with the brake pads.

It's getting worse over time, and tends to be exacerbated by cold weather. We don't use the e-brake unless parked on a steep hill. I found some other reports that appear to be similar, especially by

@jjeff viewtopic.php?f=30&t=21377&hilit=clunk&start=10#p452879

and

@jonedney viewtopic.php?f=30&t=21377&hilit=clunk&start=10#p510595

Anyway, here's my video. It's probably to hard to judge from the audio from my phone, but this is a loud noise. It can be heard inside and outside of the vehicle and felt through the brake pedal and/or steering wheel (can't remember!).
https://photos.app.goo.gl/FzHWtzthzqtACuaE7

As a former shadetree mechanic who has kept various old high-mileage cars going, this sounds like a strut mount or ball joint. I have not tried to diagnose this hands-on because I paid for a warranty with my new car... It seems like whatever's binding is "twanging" the right front spring. The dealer has been able to replicate it, and has seen the above video, but can't track it down and are potentially going to call it "characteristic". I will not accept that, but would be grateful to hear of others who have successfully had this diagnosed and repaired.

Thanks
2017 Leaf SV OpenEVSE 40A

Learjet
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Re: Clunk / bang when reversing in AM (gen 1)

Tue May 05, 2020 6:04 pm

It's not pressure on the parking Pawl when it releases?
2019 Nissan Leaf SL Plus

Goodbar
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Re: Clunk / bang when reversing in AM (gen 1)

Tue May 05, 2020 6:13 pm

Learjet wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 6:04 pm
It's not pressure on the parking Pawl when it releases?
It only happens when the car is moving, so I'm confident that's not it.
2017 Leaf SV OpenEVSE 40A

LeftieBiker
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Re: Clunk / bang when reversing in AM (gen 1)

Tue May 05, 2020 7:04 pm

I think that it's likely to be the disk brakes breaking a light coating of rust that is acting like weak glue. I notice it after I park mine in the garage after washing it, and then back it out days later.
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Goodbar
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Re: Clunk / bang when reversing in AM (gen 1)

Tue May 05, 2020 7:14 pm

LeftieBiker wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 7:04 pm
I think that it's likely to be the disk brakes breaking a light coating of rust that is acting like weak glue. I notice it after I park mine in the garage after washing it, and then back it out days later.
Take a look at the 1min video. Definitely not that.
2017 Leaf SV OpenEVSE 40A

LeftieBiker
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Re: Clunk / bang when reversing in AM (gen 1)

Tue May 05, 2020 7:29 pm

Goodbar wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 7:14 pm
LeftieBiker wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 7:04 pm
I think that it's likely to be the disk brakes breaking a light coating of rust that is acting like weak glue. I notice it after I park mine in the garage after washing it, and then back it out days later.
Take a look at the 1min video. Definitely not that.
For some reason it took multiple plays before the audio worked. Agreed, not stuck brakes. Maybe check the tightness of the strut bolts?
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
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gncndad
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Re: Clunk / bang when reversing in AM (gen 1)

Tue May 05, 2020 7:34 pm

22k miles, 3 DC winters. Too early for a defective/rusted coil spring? Are the springs seated properly? (I don't know exactly what they look like on the Leaf). After 5 dealership visits, I guess you can assume all of the appropriate nuts/bolts are torques to spec???

Are you applying throttle when the sound occurs? Does it always occur when on level ground, w/o any f/r change in weight transfer?

Just throwing out questions...I agree that it sounds like a spring thunk/clunk/strut tower bushing/ball joint. Does this car have traditional stabilizer bar links? Could one of them be worn?...although there would be other symptoms, not just a singular "clunk".
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Goodbar
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Re: Clunk / bang when reversing in AM (gen 1)

Tue May 05, 2020 7:44 pm

gncndad wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 7:34 pm
22k miles, 3 DC winters. Too early for a defective/rusted coil spring? Are the springs seated properly? (I don't know exactly what they look like on the Leaf). After 5 dealership visits, I guess you can assume all of the appropriate nuts/bolts are torques to spec???

Are you applying throttle when the sound occurs? Does it always occur when on level ground, w/o any f/r change in weight transfer?

Just throwing out questions...I agree that it sounds like a spring thunk/clunk.
It's been happening since the car was almost new, so probably not a rusty spring.

I'm applying very light throttle when it happens, but it usually does not happen at tip-in. Usually it happens within a few feet of starting. The video captured an unusually late bang in reverse.

It does seem more likely to happen on level ground, or very close to it. There's only one place that I park it from time to time that's on a significant hill. It tends to happen at the top of the hill after setting off.

The dealer seems to be allergic to replacing any parts. None have been so far. They always say they've tightened everything.
2017 Leaf SV OpenEVSE 40A

LeftieBiker
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Re: Clunk / bang when reversing in AM (gen 1)

Tue May 05, 2020 9:04 pm

The sound seems to resonate through the body of the car, so I think it's something attached to the body directly, rather than a bushing in a linkage. It could also be something that strikes the body, I suppose...
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
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Nubo
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Re: Clunk / bang when reversing in AM (gen 1)

Tue May 05, 2020 9:40 pm

What if you try applying some reverse torque while the parking brake is still engaged. Do you still get the clunk?
I noticed you're still working with polymers.

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