Honda reports that some 2008 Civic models may produce a clunk or click from the front of the car when the steering wheel is turned at slow road speeds. One likely cause for the noise, says the Japanese carmaker, is loose retaining bolts at the rack and pinion gear.
To make the diagnosis, bring the car to the nearest parking lot and make a few quick left and right turns at slow speed. If you hear the noise, bring the vehicle back into your shop and put it on a lift. Now loosen all six steering gear-to-subframe bolts several turns. Next, tighten each of the bolts to 15 foot-pounds. Finally, tighten each bolt again to the revised torque specs shown in the illustration. To complete the fix, go back to the parking lot and make a couple of quick turns at slow speed to verify that the noise has been eliminated.
Owners of 2006-07 RAV4 SUVs may complain of a thump or knock from the front suspension when going over bumps or rough road surfaces. One likely cause for the noise, says Toyota, is the front coil springs bottoming out on the chassis. Installing new-design springs, spring bumpers and bumper washers should eliminate the noise immediately. Here are the part numbers you'll need: No. 48131-42580 (I4/2WD, front spring); No. 48131-42550 (I4/4WD, front spring); No. 48131-42520 (V6/All, front spring); No. 48331-42050 (All, spring bumper); and No. 48334-42010 (All, bumper washer).
Some 2007 Pontiac Solstice sports cars may produce a squeak or squawk from the front suspension while being driven over small bumps or rough roads. According to GM, the noise is most prominent in colder temperatures and is the result of the sway bar bushings rubbing against the sway bar or retaining clamps.
The repair depends on the type of suspension option in the vehicle. For FE2 suspensions, replace the sway bar bushings and install a pair of new-design retaining clamps, part No. 15784871. For FE3 suspensions, install upgraded bushings, part No. 25789241, along with the new-design clamps.
"Factory Fixes" is written by Jim DePalma, a 30-year veteran of the auto repair business who has served stints as a service manager, parts manager and ASE-certified technician. His column provides vehicle manufacturers' authentic factory technical service bulletins (TSBs) that have been condensed for easier reading. Mr. DePalma advises that techs always check with a dealer or repair information system for the latest revisions before starting to work on a vehicle. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]