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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:41 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:42 pm
Posts: 948


Earlier this fall I was leaving work and backed up in the Challenger. I heard a loud pop/clank and given that I was at work I figured I had run over a stick/piece of channel iron or something. I actually got out of the car expecting to find something. There was nothing.

I left work and headed home without issue, although I was carefully monitoring the feel of the car thinking there might have been something in the tire.

The next morning all the tires were right at 35 psi and I headed out. That night, when leaving work, I had the same thing happen. I continued backing up and the popping happened once or twice more. I circled around, hit the headlights and scanned for junk in the parking lot...nothing.

Over the next couple of weeks I had the same thing happen when backing out from work, but it wasn't every day. The bigger issue was I couldn't replicate it. I would hop in, back up...pop-pop...pull forward, back up again, just like previously done, and it was smooth sailing. I kind of wrote it off, but wondered if there wasn't something up with the suspension etc.

Sometime after Thanksgiving we had a really strong cold front come thru (yes, I really drive the car year round) and when I backed up from work the popping was worse than before. I pulled forward and was able to replicate it.

This went on for quite some time and I began to suspect the control arm bushings...Why? I saw that cast pos when I painted the brake caliper and couldn't have been more unimpressed...it just looks like it is going to fall from a stress fracture etc. I finally had it continuing and replicating itself so I filmed it. I then posted on AAM to see if anyone else had the issue. A few chimed in with potential causes and then someone mentioned several theads on this very issue. Great I thought....I can figure out what it is and fix it.

I was wrong...very wrong.

I did find the threads cited...a ton of threads. The problem was very complex though. No one knew what the heck was really causing the pop, clank, or vibration. Many folks had it happen under warranty and went in to get it checked out. As expected, most dealerships pansy out and "can't replicate it" (ie we don't want to spend time messing with your running car that is under warranty). I was pleasantly surprised to see a few dealerships went above and beyond the call of duty in genuine attempts to fix the problem.

The sad thing is how diverse their attempts were. Some put on new tires after blaming the sidewall. A few replaced control arms, sway bar end links, or motor mounts. The list goes on...A couple of posters even mentioned their dealership replacing so many parts that Chrysler got invovled by sending out reps and engineers to greenlight parts and repairs. The sad thing? No definitive issue.

I then asked around with a few people I knew that drove their Challengers year round...they all reported the issue, although they said it was spotty. I then found that LX rides had the same problem and checked with a friend in California. Her Charger pops in the morning (coldest out there I guess).

I then came to the shocking realization that this has been an on going problem since 2005 and we have no resolution?! Really? That is pretty sad and I expect more.

Between dealerships that don't care, ones with good intentions that can't resolve the issue, and individuals unable to remedy it with personal fixes what are you to do? Is this detrimental to your ride? Is it eating up a bushing, causing premature wear, or an indicator that something is about to fail? Who knows...the dealerships clearly don't.

All this time my Challenger's popping has gotten progressively worse. Not only is it louder, but where it once popped 1-2 times, then 3-5, I can now back up (same as always) and get 10+ pops! Plus, what is more concerning, is you can really feel them. Where it was once just a slight rise (as if you drove over something low profile or a big rock) it is now a jolt like you are riding a wagon over a cobblestone street.

It seems to be relegated to cold weather, although I have had it happen as warm as 50 degrees. Is it just a bushing, something to be concerned about, or what? Why has Chrysler not addressed and resolved this issue? No recall, no technical service bulletins, no reassuring that it is just a bushing getting hard and nothing to worry about...nothing!! Why? This is a VERY common issue and one that is prevalent across LX and LC platforms.

I just want an answer. What is the cause, why is it happening, is it detrimental, and how is it resolved? I am among the many who does not have a good dealership to head to...in fact, if they did take the time to hear and feel the pop, I have no reason to believe they would actually make the situation better more than they would make it worse. I will tackle the job myself, but I don't need to pay $$$ for everyone flipping component to resolve the issue. Chrysler needs to address this issue and find a solution. If I wanted to be chasing ghosts and deal with a corporate brain trust that could care less I would have picked up a camaro.

I am a true diehard and I expect more. I'm not asking for millions, a new front end, or anything of the like...I just want an answer. What is causing this, why is it happening, and how do we remedy it. If they say to change the control arm bushings I will drive to a decent dealership and have it done. If they tell me it is the control arm, I'll use it as a reason to upgrade the suspension sooner than I had planned, if they tell me it is the sidewall of the Goodyear tires I will live with it until I can get new tires. I, and you, deserve a genuine answer.

If you have had this issue please chime in...If you, or your dealership, have repaired or replaced parts post up what was done and whether or not it resolved the issue. Similarly, if you have been jacked around by a deadbeat dealership, or have yet to get a fix, post up.

The goal here is to once and for all identify the problem AND the solution. We are asking Chrysler for help, but if they won't oblige we will do it ourselves and let the world know.

Please share this post with anyone you know that has (or had ) the same issue...Let's get this figured out!


Founder, Amarillo Area Mopars
Founder, Lone Star Mopars


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