Clunking noise when road is not even

Tiny
MARK-CRO
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 CHRYSLER SEBRING
  • 2.7L
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 167,770 MILES
I asked a mechanic about this and he said it was the strut mount. I then asked him if these were the right ones (LEMFÖRDER 31122 01).

https://td-docs.kvikymart.eu/22123/282570196896912#v5

and he said yes. I then went to my regular mechanic so he could install it and he said they're not the right ones. I don't know what to do anymore. I don't know if I have bought the right thing.

Please help, thanks a lot!
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Tuesday, December 10th, 2019 AT 5:52 AM

4 Replies

Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
The only 2.7L Sebring that this appears to be compatible with are the Saloon model. The Coupe and Convertible are not compatible. If you give the last 8 of your VIN and I can look up what the part number is for your vehicle.
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Tuesday, December 10th, 2019 AT 4:09 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I feel your frustration and I'm here to help.

The last thing you want to do is buy your own parts, then ask someone else to install them. That's like bringing your own food to a restaurant and asking them to cook it for you. If you don't like the taste of the food, who is to blame, and who will bare the cost of replacing it?

With car parts, repair shops mark the cost up a little, just like at every other store, then they assume the responsibity for getting the right parts, getting them replaced if they're defective or fail under warranty, or they damage it. When you supply the parts, you take on all that responsibility. If that part fails under warranty, it's up to you to take the car back to the same shop, have them remove it, then you have to send it back, wait for the new one, take it to the shop, hope they didn't roll your car outside to open up needed shop space, and wait to have the job done again. You can expect a bill for labor the second time too. When the shop buys the parts, they cover the cost of labor if the failed part is under warranty. The mechanic loses because he has to do the work over, and while the shop pays him since the problem wasn't his fault, the shop owner does not charge you for that second repair. The shop loses a second time because his mechanic is tied up on your car and can't bring in the next cars for those waiting customers. That's two repair jobs they lose on. All that lost income is made up by the little profit they make on the parts.

The exception to this is when you have an older classic car, a rare model, or one that needs a part that is hard to find. In this case they may ask you to locate the needed parts, but you should know ahead of time who will be responsible if the parts you find are wrong or defective. We don't like surprises when that happens.

The next problem is the person doing the diagnosis and the person doing the repair should be the same person. You're stuck between two people who don't agree, and you've made yourself the person who has to figure out the solution. Mechanics are held to much higher standards than are doctors. Some people run from doctor to doctor and get varying opinions, but if a mechanic misses with his diagnosis the first time, he is called "incompetent", "disreputable", "a crook", etc. You haven't indicated what type of noise you're hearing or when that noise occurs. "Uneven roads" is a valuable clue, but does that mean the roads tilt to one side so water runs off, or do you mean bumps like pot holes, or railroad tracks, and things like that. If the diagnosis turns out to be wrong, who are you going to fight it out with? The person who replaced the part as he was asked to do, or the person who didn't get the chance to take the strut apart and inspect it before putting that new part in? More on this in a moment.

To add to the frustration, there's multiple Sebring models to insure we all get confused. For 2005, it's down to two models, the coupe and the convertible.

The convertible uses an upper mount with four bolts sticking out the top of the inner fender, near the hood hinge. Those mounts are not replaced. They have rubber bushings, or inserts, that get replaced. By loosening those four nuts, that mount can be slid in and out on top to adjust "camber", one of the three main alignment angles.

The coupe uses the style of upper mount you found, but there's no indication if what's in the photo is for your application. What's worse, online stores often use generic parts photos only as a representation. It may not be a photo of the exact part you will receive. They could use the same photo in dozens of listings for other car models and brands.

Getting back to the noise, clunks and rattles can be some of the most elusive things to find, even for experienced mechanics. Often we see the same causes on the same models over and over, so we base our diagnosis on that past experience, but even then we get caught once in a while when something unusual shows up. In this case, being a suspension and alignment specialist for over 30 years, including ten at a very nice family-owned Chrysler dealership, I did run into worn strut mounts from time to time, mostly on trade-ins of other brands, but about 95 percent of the time, those clunks were caused by the struts themselves. The upper mount is held tightly sandwiched between the car's body, (inner fender), and the top of the coil spring. There's over 1,000 pounds of compression force on the mount, so most types of wear can't show up until we take the assembly apart. In fact, that is one of the things that perpetuates our bad reputation of selling you unneeded parts. We get asked to replace the struts, and it's when the first one is removed and disassembled that the upper mount falls apart, or we can see the center hole is rusted out, and that is when we have to find you and tell you more parts are needed. We hate having to do that. And you feel that as long as you keep saying, "yes", we're going to keep on finding more things your car needs. You leave angry when we had no way of knowing those extra parts were going to be needed. This happens to almost every mechanic every day.

Related to struts, there is now a common solution to needing more parts than expected, not diagnosing the cause of the noise correctly, replacing the struts, then needing to do the job all over again a few months later when a related part fails, and it removes the extreme safety hazard of taking strut assemblies apart. That is to buy a "Quick Strut". These are new struts that come with new coil springs, upper mounts, strut cushions and other anti-rattle hardware, all as a ready-to-install assembly.

To replace the upper mount, the entire strut replacement job is being done, plus one extra step. The coil spring has to be removed, and that is done by compressing it first with a special tool. That leaves the spring under compression and just asking to fly out and kill us. I saw one pop out of the spring compressor and take out an overhead light fixture, and I had one fly out and go bouncing out the shop and across the parking lot. It made so much noise, the office manager who was behind two closed doors came running out to see what all the commotion was about. That safey concern is gone when new complete strut assemblies are installed.

The last issue I haven't mentioned yet has to do with suspension ride height, or how high your car sits off the ground. There are published legal specifications for all cars and light trucks, but most people aren't even aware of them or their importance. All of the steering and suspension parts form very specific geometric angles and shapes that culminate in holding the wheel in proper alignment. They also cause the wheel to tip in and out on top as the car body bounces up and down. All of that contributes to tire wear and handling. To sum up a long story on alignment theory, if the coil springs are sagged, we can still set the wheels to proper alignment so the numbers on the computer look good, but with those wrong geometric angles, you will still have miserable tire wear and handling. No conscientious mechanic will take your money for an alignment if he is not allowed to correct sagged ride height first, but very few of them are good at explaining why this is important. They just leave you thinking they're trying to sell you more unneeded parts.

When we install these Quick Struts, ride height will be restored, the flying spring safety issue is gone, there's less chance of finding more worn parts, and the entire job takes a lot less time. You pay more for parts, but a lot less for labor.

Also be aware coil springs are under compression from the weight of the car, so they sag from age, not mileage. Struts wear from mileage, not age. You have to look at both the high mileage and the age of your car, and both suggest the Quick Strut is the best approach, unless some other service has been performed in the past.

If you're still confused, tell me which car model you have, any service or repairs that have been done to it already, the type of noise you're hearing, and any other observations or clues. You might also check out this article for more information:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/popping-noise
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Tuesday, December 10th, 2019 AT 5:03 PM
Tiny
MARK-CRO
  • MEMBER
KASEKENNY1

Vin: 1C3ALB6R35N615296

Thanks!
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Wednesday, December 11th, 2019 AT 2:15 AM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
The one that they provided is for a coupe (2 Door). Your vehicle is a sedan (4 door) correct?

Unfortunately, they do not have one part like they do for the 2 door. You need to order each part individually from the dealer and reuse the bracket or you can order a kit and reuse the bracket from the link below.

You body code is JR and is a sedan. So you can select any of these options and you will be okay.

https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/chrysler,2005,sebring,2.7l+v6,214102,suspension,strut+mount,7600

It may be the best idea to have whatever shop is going to do the work, take a look at your vehicle and then have them look at the site so they make sure they get what you need.
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Wednesday, December 11th, 2019 AT 6:15 PM

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