Clunk in rear when going from park to reverse

30

Asked by May 17, 2017 at 07:44 PM about the 2008 Subaru Impreza 2.5i Hatchback

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Apologies if this has already been addressed, but I am getting desperate. My Subie (2008 Impreza hatchback) has been in the shop for three days now because they can't figure out what's wrong. Here's what's happening...When I park on a slope, even a mild one, put my car into reverse, and take my foot off the brake, I get a loud clunk in the back (sounds like it's between the back tires). At first, they though it was busted sway bars, so they were replaced. That didn't do it. My local mechanic checked everything he could think of, and couldn't find anything. It's now at the Subaru dealership. Any ideas what they could/should be looking for? Thank you so much for any help.

23 Answers

875

Has a rear differential case in the back right? AWD If so I'd be looking at that rear jack in the box first. Often times the rubber mounting bushings get crackly crunchy and just slop around. If this is the issue it may be a concealed bushing that is hard to see unless you know the mounting points. Hopefully this is not actually a internal issue with the rear case but it might. Good LucK!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
30

Thanks. I need to return the loaner car tomorrow, so I'll mention this if they haven't gotten it yet. I think mechanics hate when people like me question them. lol

6,845

As Brian said, we hope it isn't internal. I was thinking internal slop on the rear diff but Brian brings up an excellent point about bushings that could be bad and allowing it to jar when engaged. I would also think there would be noise while driving if this is the case though. Hopefully nothing is wrong in the clutch pack area on the back of your trans, too. Do you use your ebrake when you park? Or do you put in park and let the weight of the car sag on the trans park lock? If you don't use your hand brake, try it, engage the hand brake, then put it in park (or vice versa) --- either way and then let off the foot brake. When you go to take off again, put your foot on the brake, then either select gear / disengage your hand brake and see how it reacts.

5,540

And so...internal or external?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
30

Sorry I haven't responded. Life happens, but in answer to all of you: It has been a week now, and Subaru still hasn't been able to track down the problem. They have a "master mechanic" working on it. Uh-huh. To answer waith: I haven't, as a rule, used the parking brake. I just never got into the habit of it. I guess it's likely that I hosed up the pin or whatever it is. If/when I get it back, I'll start using the brake more often. As to whether it's internal or external, I have no clue. To me, it sounds as though it's inside...between the back wheels (transmission, maybe?). If the dealership can't find it, I may take it to an independent Subie mechanic. Thank you all so much for your ideas!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
6,845

you...might wanna call and find out how much your bill is up to by now. And try to haggle it down if they "still don't know what's up" and then look for some independent shops around your area that might have previous master techs / import folks that can help you more. Plus, then you can get it and try a couple of my unprofessional theories ;) HTH

30

Okay. Update time. Got my car back from the dealer. They never did find the source of the clunk. But the ticket they wrote up said that the back brake pads had been out of adjustment. So, I'm left to wonder...could that have caused such a noise? I haven't head it since I got it back, and I've been trying to replicate it.

6,845

Drum brake rear? Idk if that would cause it but not saying it wouldn't.

6,845

I can't quite envision the relationship between engaging your trans and it causing your brake shoes to unjar. I feel like there would have to be slop in the diff/axle/knuckle to actually be able to turn the back wheel even just a fraction that might dislodge the shoes. Which I think would be highly evident if you had some crazy slop like that. Maybe they fixed it. I'd recommend you use your ebrake to park though. shift to park, pull the handle, then let off the pedal. It's much easier on your trans imo, even on relatively flat ground, not a bad habit to have. come back anytime and let us know if you have additional updates, questions, etc. Subscribed to your question. :)

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
5,540

The e-brake issue is probably a canard: frequent e-brake use (especially if pulled tightly) easily stretches the cables, suggesting tightening the adjuster nut on the threaded cable end below the handle. This is a 5-10 minute job and only need be done if you've now insufficient handle range to activate thew e-brake on your steepest hill. In general I recommend to my clients to NOT use the e-brake routinely, as they lock up with ice in winter so easily. So, the source of your noise remains a mystery....

5,540

Further, it's REALLY unusual for a rear hybrid drum-disc rotor have internal mechanical or corrosion issues BEFORE it rusts externally and requires replacement. I suppose there's a chance the e-brake internals are knocked out of alignment, but again that's rare.

6,845

I would think more use would reduce seizure of the cable to the sheathe or whatever. Our festiva's notoriously have issues when people either don't use the handbrake or they leave it on and park it for years.

6,845

But I'm also in VA and don't drive my festiva when they brine the roads. She doesn't use her handbrake too ern ;)

5,540

No; the culprit is pads rust- or ice- seized against the drum.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
30

Thanks for all the advice. I appreciate it very much. I don't fix 'em; I just drive 'em. I do want to get as much out of my car as possible, so all this advice is good. Thanks again.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
6,845

I am cool with that. I don't expect everyone to work on stuff but it is easier working with folks who want to understand how things work to save money, get more longevity out of something.

30

Keep your foot on the brake until it engages because their transmissions are delayed. If you don't your rolling back and when it engages it's going to be rough ever reved up a car and put it in gear before idle comes back down?? Same concept, I've seen multiple questions about the same thing now I've had multiple customers complaining about it,

5,540

Doesn't describe the thread-head's issue, ST.

30

If they've done that multiple times couldn't that have caused rear differential issues? Ujoints in axles? Damaging hubs which subs are good for?

6,845

As far as we know, her issue went away.

5,540

ST: Sure, but a Subie wrench should've spied that stuff easily...especially over three days!

30

Ack. I'm sorry. I had forgotten that I had posted here. Update: I had it at the dealer for a week, and they couldn't find anything. It sat in their parking lot more than it was in the maintenance bay. When I picked it up, the clunking noises were gone, and they stayed gone until about a week ago. Now I am getting clunking noises again, so I'm thinking maybe it's just due to wear and tear. I sure don't want to take it to Subaru again.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
6,845

Welcome back. Are you getting email notifications about our replies? I subscribe to everything I answer in case someone replies. Well, I think I'd try to find an independent shop with decent google reviews that will actually investigate the issue.

Your Answer

Impreza

Looking for a Used Impreza in your area?

CarGurus has 18,978 nationwide Impreza listings starting at $2,200.

ZIP:

Subaru Impreza Experts

  • #1
    TheSubaruGuruBoston
    Reputation
    940
  • #2
    F_O_R
    Reputation
    580
  • #3
    Nick Eidemiller
    Reputation
    480
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Subaru Impreza WRX
51 Great Deals out of 1,273 listings starting at $3,365
Used Subaru Impreza WRX STi
41 Great Deals out of 651 listings starting at $9,990
Used Subaru Outback
406 Great Deals out of 33,618 listings starting at $1,500
Used Subaru Legacy
220 Great Deals out of 14,235 listings starting at $2,449
Used Subaru Forester
420 Great Deals out of 33,654 listings starting at $1,295
Used Honda Civic
827 Great Deals out of 72,772 listings starting at $1,000
Used Mazda MAZDA3
324 Great Deals out of 26,426 listings starting at $950
Used Toyota Corolla
911 Great Deals out of 57,317 listings starting at $1,488
Used Honda Accord
1,102 Great Deals out of 61,486 listings starting at $999
Used Ford Focus
737 Great Deals out of 52,814 listings starting at $999
Used Honda CR-V
805 Great Deals out of 54,164 listings starting at $1,750

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Subaru Impreza For Sale
16 Great Deals out of 8,120 listings starting at $16,871
2016 Subaru Impreza For Sale
25 Great Deals out of 657 listings starting at $14,888
2015 Subaru Impreza For Sale
28 Great Deals out of 684 listings starting at $9,850
2014 Subaru Impreza For Sale
37 Great Deals out of 1,015 listings starting at $8,995
2013 Subaru Impreza For Sale
17 Great Deals out of 608 listings starting at $5,995

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.