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Discussion Starter #1
2010 Pilot AWD with about 110K miles. I am hearing and feeling a rattle in my front suspension at low speed (less than 50mph). It is apparent when I go over bumps or cracks in the road. There is no effect on steering, but it feels like the wheel or suspension is loose.


I have checked the brake pads, sway bar link and compliance bushings. All these seem to be OK.



I don't feel any movement in the wheel (eg. bearings are OK I think) and the wheels are properly torqued to the hubs.



I don't see anything visibly wrong with my struts and the top mounting nuts are tight.


Any other suggestions what to check? Thanks.
 

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I second Freebird on the strut mount. I've had them fail before where everything is tight, but the cap and the bearing within is shot.. As you flex that strut (load/unload) it allows the mount to move around, hence the rattling and clunking. If you are at 110K on your original struts, I would consider replacing the entire strut assembly vs just the strut mount bearing cap.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys. I would like to try an diagnose the strut before replacing it. From the service manual it seems that the camber alignment is set through the lower strut mounting bolts. If I scribe a line on the knuckle will I be able to remove and replace the strut and get the alignment back to something reasonable?

Also, the service manual recommends replacing the bolts that hold the strut to the knuckle. Is this something that needs to be done every time?

Thanks your your help.
 

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I did look at the bushings and they seem OK. But I didn't disconnect the links or attempt to take the bushings off.
Sway bar end links! Easiest way to check is stand outside the vehicle on drivers or passengers side and rock the vehicle back and forth and you will duplicate the noise, let us know!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It turned out to be the left front shock...The rattle started getting worse, meaning, I was hearing/feeling it more often. At the beginning it was just at low speeds and not on the freeway, but it progresses to also happening on the freeway. I went so far as to take the front strut out. This allowed me to confirm that the sway bar link was OK. The shock boot was torn, but inside looked fine--no appearance of leaking or dirt build up. I didn't have a strut spring compressor, so I did not dissemble the strut assembly. I couldn't really see anything wrong, so I put it back in the car.


I ended up taking to my dealer and using "chassis ears" the mechanic did diagnose the noise coming from the strut. They replaced the shock absorber and the boot, and now the noise is gone! And my wallet is much lighter :|. Because of the cost, I only replaced the one that was making noise. The dealer said it is unusual for this part to go bad after only 100K miles, so I guess it's OK for now that I didn't replace both. If (when) the noise comes back I'll be more confident to replace the parts myself.


Also, I'll be watching ebay or checking with my local parts store to see if they rent "chassis ears". I have a similar noise on my son's BMW, so my work is not over yet.


Thanks to all for your help.
 

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Really can't think of how a strut could start rattling - it is a compressed spring. Most likely they stuck it to you for the strut and replaced the strut mount as well which had failed. Strut mount is a $40 piece so when you have to break out the chassis ears for a rattle in the other side you can consider just replacing that cheaper part.


I am really surprised the dealer agreed to just change one strut. I would think it would affect handling since each strut would now have different capabilities. You might look into sourcing an OEM part and finding a local shop to replace the other side if the price is right.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Freebird. I get what you are saying. When I took the strut out, the strut mount seemed solid, but I didn't disassemble the strut, so I don't know.


I think if the shock valves or piston seal are bad, then you can get some chattering. For example if the piston leaks in a certain position in the cylinder, then it won't move smoothly past that postion.


But I'll take a look this weekend and see if I can tell what's new and what's not.


Thanks!
 
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