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

Wed May 06, 2020 4:24 am

Nubo wrote:
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?
Great suggestion. I had done this (alternating D and R) before the previous trip to the dealer and wasn't able to replicate it that way. When I get the car back I will try this again and will also turn the wheel.
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gncndad
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Re: Clunk / bang when reversing in AM (gen 1)

Wed May 06, 2020 10:05 am

...and you're NOT braking when the sound occurs, simply rolling under very light (driveway) throttle? Will it make the clunk in neutral?

If you're on a slight incline, slowly rolling backwards, zero throttle, zero brake, will the clunk occur?
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Re: Clunk / bang when reversing in AM (gen 1)

Wed May 06, 2020 10:44 am

gncndad wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 10:05 am
...and you're NOT braking when the sound occurs, simply rolling under very light (driveway) throttle? Will it make the clunk in neutral?

If you're on a slight incline, slowly rolling backwards, zero throttle, zero brake, will the clunk occur?
Can happen under light braking, but less likely. It's hard to replicate because it tends to happen once daily at most. Not sure that I could replicate it in neutral, but since the reduction gear and motor are always connected to the wheels (unlike a conventional automatic or manual trans), I'm not sure it really matters.
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Re: Clunk / bang when reversing in AM (gen 1)

Thu May 07, 2020 7:22 pm

Picked up the car today. The service manager told me that the front subframe bolts were loose (some 3-5 turns) with a straight face. This solution was found at the suggestion of Nissan USA. Incredible. Not only was that a potentially serious safety issue, it suggests sloppy build quality and sloppy troubleshooting at the dealer. They've told me several times previously that they've tightened all the bolts, or something to that effect. Loose subframe bolts didn't cross my mind because I assumed that they had actually tightened everything!

Will report back after a few days of driving, but I'm hopeful this is finally fixed. Seems like a plausible cause.

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

Thu May 07, 2020 8:03 pm

I had the right idea, but it never occurred to me that it was multiple loose bolts. Yikes.
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Re: Clunk / bang when reversing in AM (gen 1)

Mon May 11, 2020 5:53 pm

Well, the noise still happens, but has been quieter. Sigh. The car does seem to track better in corners and the steering feels tighter, so tightening the subframe did help.
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Re: Clunk / bang when reversing in AM (gen 1)

Mon May 11, 2020 6:29 pm

The 'once daily' part makes me think that something isn't quite settled in place and has to find its 'happy place' once you start driving every day. But that would mean it creeps back to a different location while the car sits over-night (worse at cold?). Very odd and probably very annoying although I doubt it's a safety issue.

If it were my car, I'd loosen and re-tighten any and all suspension and drive train bolts I could find. Or have the dealer do it.

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

Mon May 11, 2020 6:46 pm

goldbrick wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 6:29 pm
The 'once daily' part makes me think that something isn't quite settled in place and has to find its 'happy place' once you start driving every day. But that would mean it creeps back to a different location while the car sits over-night (worse at cold?). Very odd and probably very annoying although I doubt it's a safety issue.

If it were my car, I'd loosen and re-tighten any and all suspension and drive train bolts I could find. Or have the dealer do it.
I would have been more inclined to take that view prior to loose subframe bolts having been found. That could have been a safety issue. It's time for annual maintenance (since we only drive it about 7500 miles/year), so I'll scope things out when I have it on stands. Then I might have to figure out how to escalate via Nissan USA.
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gncndad
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Re: Clunk / bang when reversing in AM (gen 1)

Tue May 12, 2020 7:03 am

I agree, the "once daily" clunk/shift just doesn't make sense if ALL the subframe bolts were loose. "3-5" turns makes even LESS sense. 3-5 rotations on a bolt is HUGE, and would have permitted major shifting of the subframe.

Hyper OCD here. How much damage could have been done to the bolts/unibody holes with "x" number of miles flexing/stress?

Based on the above informtaion, if I were you, I'd be dealing face-to-face with the dealership service manager, with the dealership owner in attendance. Loose subframe bolts sound serious to me. Following that, I'd find a legit FE shop and discuss all of the above with the owner.
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Re: Clunk / bang when reversing in AM (gen 1)

Tue May 12, 2020 7:48 am

gncndad wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 7:03 am
I agree, the "once daily" clunk/shift just doesn't make sense if ALL the subframe bolts were loose. "3-5" turns makes even LESS sense. 3-5 rotations on a bolt is HUGE, and would have permitted major shifting of the subframe.

Hyper OCD here. How much damage could have been done to the bolts/unibody holes with "x" number of miles flexing/stress?

Based on the above informtaion, if I were you, I'd be dealing face-to-face with the dealership service manager, with the dealership owner in attendance. Loose subframe bolts sound serious to me. Following that, I'd find a legit FE shop and discuss all of the above with the owner.
I'm skeptical the bolts were that loose, though good question about potential damage. With that amount of looseness I'd expect ornery handling and regular clunks. I'm guessing that it was 3-5 ratchet turns, so maybe half to one revolution? I tried to talk to the tech, but I was intercepted by the service manager.

I've been frustrated with multiple aspects of the service dept at this dealer, which is the closest to us and where we bought the car. (The actual purchase process was great.) They also appear to get the best online ratings for this area from multiple sources (which, of course, could just be good marketing and customer service rather than competent wrenching). I was plain in my frustration and disappointment with the service manager on the phone and then in person. He's friendly, but one of those veteran teflon dealership guys that doesn't really seem to care about making it right. He basically shrugged off and deflected my concerns.

So, I'm loathe to restart this process with another dealer, but maybe that's what I need to do. Otherwise I need to figure out how to get Nissan USA involved, assuming they would ultimately be helpful.
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