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Old 11-06-2019, 09:16 AM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 311293
Join Date: Feb 2012
2012 Impreza wagon

Default Front driver wheel clunking after wet weather/long sitting

A 2012 Impreza, 35K miles (yes, lightly but daily driven), that is due soon to have its tires replaced, has become my backup/Mom's car over the last couple months, as I've moved on to a new Crosstrek. I've been trying to drive the car to work once a week to make sure it doesn't sit very long.

My mom drove it to an appointment just last week and did not notice any issues. Today, I backed it out of the driveway to take it to work for its weekly "exercise" and there is now a firm clunk coming from the driver's front tire/wheel (rotational noise, occurring on flat pavement). It doesn't feel or look like a tire issue, but I could be wrong. I didn't have a chance to do a real inspection after I turned right around and went home, because I had to go to work, but I'd like a sense of what to check for when I am able.

Edited to add: A later visual inspection revealed no debris on/in tire. Tire pressure normal. Stuck caliper seems ruled out because the rotational sound does not stop while braking - noise just slows down. (I've had sticky calipers several times and braking usually makes the noise stop) Maybe something is loose. I don't hear the noise at all when going in reverse, only when driving forward, at any speed. Also, there's no difference in the noise whether going straight or whether turning in any direction, which would seem to rule out a CV joint? If there is a vibration in association with the sound, it is not very dramatic, I'm not sure if there is a corresponding vibration or not actually. I am not really sure where it is coming from -- I think front, my mom thinks the rear.

The car really hasn't been sitting very long, just maybe about a week, but we had very heavy rain and cold weather during that week and I'm wondering if something has simply seized up somehow and it isn't that serious. Can someone just give me some basic possibilities that would have happened when the car was sitting still for a week?
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Last edited by Flopka; 11-06-2019 at 05:59 PM.
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Old 11-07-2019, 12:32 PM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 80465
Join Date: Jan 2005
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: Denver
2001 2.5RS
Black Diamond Pearl


Noises are damn near impossible to diagnose over text. If you can get a recording, post it.
Check the axle nuts and transmission fluid level, that's all I can think of at the moment.
You have 2 people, 1 drives while the other crawls around to pinpoint the noise. If you can get it on 4 jackstands, drive it while it's up and listen.
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