Clunking noise while turning only


Asked by May 28, 2015 at 06:58 AM about the Subaru Impreza

Question type: General

Driving my 98 Subaru down the highway I hear no rear end noise or clunking, turn right or left hear and feel clunking. I put the car on jack stands, run in drive no noise, steer right or left no noise, so I know it is not in the front CV joints, checked rear CV joints and wheel bearings all ok, stop right rear wheel from spinning and now I  hear and feel clunking in that side, stop left wheel from spinning no noise. Diff oil changed old oil very clean. What could be the cause? Car sat for 2 years before I began making exhaust and body repairs that is when I noticed the noise.

8 Answers


It could be one of your driveshafts. I had that same problem on my olds bravada and when I would turn it would clunk but when it was on jack stands nothing, so I took the front drive shaft out cause it's an awd vehicle like the Impreza so it could be a bad drive shaft.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

It sounds like you have a bad CV Joint. I would check to see it the rubber boot around the shaft/joint is busted or cracked. Sometime it is cost effective to replace the whole shaft vs. replacing the damaged end. It also eliminate a repair down the road for the inner side of the shaft (4wd)

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thanks for the suggestion. I inspected front and rear CV joints and wheel bearings. Now working on checking the axle suspension and sway bars. I will be sure to post what I ultimately find.


If the the joint in bad you will get that noise when you turn. The boot may not be ripped but you can yet have a bad joint.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

The strange part of this issue is; I can stop the right wheel from spinning and the noise is present, stop the left wheel noise goes away.


So think about it Dhahn, when you stop your wheel, everything stops, the rim/tire and the axle. The only things moving now are inside the diff housing. The splines on the axle are locked into the gear. Hence why I suspect you have something wrong with one of the side gears. Go here and scroll down to the moving image and change it from straight to turn. So your problem is probably opposite the side you feel it on. I would just start looking around on forums and maybe start a thread with the info you have and see if you can find some subie techs to chime in. Best regards,

Best Answer

Walth, thank you for the information, quite good and much appreciated. I was leaning in that direction and hoping I was wrong. I will dig a little deeper into the rear. I did drain the oil and run a magnet in through the drain hole, both oil and magnet came out clean, filled with Lucas Synthetic gear oil and have driven the car some miles. I noticed after driving some distance on back roads with lots of turns both left and right the noise is much less and. Odd isn't it! one thing I did notice now, of course I have not driving this car much in the past I hear the brake electric pump coming on when I am almost to a complete stop. does not do it every time any way the two are related?


that is odd.. there's no chance that one of the rear wheels is locking up or going slower than the other? You might check the temperature with a quick touch to the center of the rim (near the bearing / axle nut). The fronts are always warmer since the front brakes do most of the work. So if one of your rears is hot, you'll need to get it fixed. But at the same time, if you were able to spin /stop them by hand, then they should be free. I don't know man.. If the computer reads that one tire is turning more or less than the others, then it will divert power and braking differences. Seems complex and I'm not a professional ;) Google and forums are your friend though. You may also want to figure up your options on the car and figure out if it came with an open diff or limited slip in the rear. That way you have a better direction and more accurate answers from members here or on impreza forums or NASIOC

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