S4 suspension clunking

Grant Lenahan glenahan at vfemail.net
Thu Jun 18 05:48:04 PDT 2009

I doubt it is shocks. First, they rarely fail.  Second, they would  
not clunk, and even less at low speeds.

Third, in my case it was always the uppers that failed first.

But I am perplexed. Do your mechanics just blurt out random parts, or  
do they test?  You should raise the car, grab the wheel, and move it  
looking for play.

You might also look at the tie rod ends, whcih can cause a similar  


On Jun 17, 2009, at 8:51 PM, Richard van der Hoff wrote:

> For quite a while now, I've been chasing some clunking from the front
> suspension on my B5 S4, and I'd appreciate the list's wisdom on  
> where to
> go with this.
> The symptoms are that I'll often hear a clunk when turning the  
> wheel at
> low speeds; also when going over speedbumps or even just cornering.
> Basically the history is that a couple of years ago, the received  
> wisdom
> was that it was probably the lower control arms, and I had both the
> front lower arms replaced; that didn't really help much. At the time
> most of the clunking seemed to be coming from the right-hand side,  
> and I
> had the rear lower control arm replaced on the right-hand side. This
> seemed to help things for a while.
> But the clunking's gradually been coming back, so recently I went  
> to the
> local independent (not the same one that did the previous control  
> arms).
> Naturally I suggested that there was a fourth lower control arm that
> might need replacing. But his opinion was that the control arms were
> solid, and suggested replacing the front shocks instead.
> Now, it seems odd to me that shocks should be responsible for this.
> Perhaps he meant the rubber top-mount, and that he might as well  
> replace
> the shocks while he was there. Not sure.
> So, opinions? Is the shock in any way a likely candidate? Or should  
> I go
> back to replacing control arms? And if so should I (a) just do the
> fourth lower arm (b) replace the upper arms too (c) accept that the
> other lower arms now have 15000 miles of (spirited, at times)  
> driving on
> them and replace those too (d) all of the above? Obviously, the labour
> for having my suspension repeatedly torn apart and rebuilt is  
> beginning
> to add up...
> Thanks in advance!
> Richard
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Grant Lenahan
glenahan at vfemail.net
(201) 602-4702 mobile

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