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Old 03-20-2010, 10:45 AM   #1
Speedster
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Default "Clunk" sound in 2009 Malibu - advice needed

I have a 2009 Malibu LS with ecotec and 4A. Car now has 11,000 miles. In the past couple months, at about 9,000 miles or so, the car has developed an occasional "clunk" sound that seems to be coming from the rear of the car. The sound is heard when weight shifts -- either from braking, accelerating, or going over a dip in the road.

I don't know if this is just a body noise that would be impossible to diagnose, or maybe it is a loose suspension component? I'm not mechanical. I do know this - there was no clunking noise when the car was new. I'm the original owner.

I know I could take it to the dealer, but the sound is not loud, and I highly suspect the dealer will say "no problem found" because the clunk is not loud and it is intermittent and they won't be "in tune" with the car like I am. Any thoughts from this community that might help me when I go to the dealer to try to explain the problem? Has anyone else experienced this?
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Old 03-20-2010, 02:07 PM   #2
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Default Re: "Clunk" sound in 2009 Malibu - advice needed

If your sure it's from the back there isn't to much going on back there since it is a FWD car. My best guess would be a shock or bushing.
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Old 03-20-2010, 06:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: "Clunk" sound in 2009 Malibu - advice needed

Check your spare and any items you may have in your trunk. I had a gallon bottle of washer fluid with only a quart left in it. When I accelerated or stopped briskly it would make a sound. Sure was nice to find it had come out of the net and was just rolling around! Based on your description it's probably not in your trunk, though, but it's free to look and way faster than a trip to the dealer. Once you find it and fix it, please share with us.
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Last edited by DrivenDaily; 03-20-2010 at 06:33 PM. Reason: 252
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: "Clunk" sound in 2009 Malibu - advice needed

Thank you both. I am 100% certain it is not my spare or any cargo. I confirmed the spare is secured and there was nothing in the trunk. I think my next step is to take it to the dealer and *hope* they are willing to spend the time to diagnose and figure it out. Thanks again!
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Old 03-22-2010, 07:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: "Clunk" sound in 2009 Malibu - advice needed

Speedster,
Please excuse this admittedly dumb post. Fold the seats down the next time you drive the car. Again, not likely but it's free, and you'll have even more to share with the dealer service garage. If the sound disappears it could have been a seat latch.

Have you had anyone sit in the rear, or have you sat there while it was making the noise? I had an old Ford that had a buzzing sound that I swore was coming from the back of the car, but my son said it was coming from the front. We used that to "triangulate" the source and found it was a slightly loose screw in the dome light! One slight twist of the screwdriver and it was gone. I know that isn't the same as the thumping you describe but the method may help aim you at the source better than doing so from the driver's seat.

Again, an admittedly dumb post, but I'm just trying to help. I know how annoying a noise like that is.

And my doctor says I'm all better now!
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V6/A6, Red Jewel Tintcoat / Cocoa-Cashmere, Sunroof
Mods: WeatherTech mats, CHMSL Pulser

How-to: LEDs in mirrors :: How-to: 1-Wipe Wash
How-to: Remote express windows up/down


Traded: '09 2LT Black Granite Metallic V6 / A6 at 20,058 miles
Lost: '11 LTZ RJT V6 / A6 in flood at 44K miles
Muffler mod on '09

Last edited by DrivenDaily; 03-22-2010 at 07:09 PM. Reason: 260
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