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Old 01-19-2012, 10:08 PM   #1
MikeHarrison
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Default Crunching sound from front suspension in cold weather

When the outside temperature is near freezing or below, going over a dip in the road, or anything that causes the front end to drop, will cause a momentary crunching sound. To some, it might sound as though the tires are hitting the inside of the wheel wells, but after driving several miles, the crunching noise goes away, as though something has 'warmed up.'

This is a 2007 Ion 2 4-door with 30,000 miles. Never been in an accident.

Any ideas?

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Old 01-19-2012, 10:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: Crunching sound from front suspension in cold weather

Front sway bar to frame bushings are the most likely cause of the noise. Common winter problem in the IONs.

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Old 01-19-2012, 10:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: Crunching sound from front suspension in cold weather

Is there any damage being done? Should I have them looked at?

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Old 01-19-2012, 10:53 PM   #4
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Default Re: Crunching sound from front suspension in cold weather

It couldn't hurt to have them checked. My current Ion makes this sound when it's cold out and my '04 did it, too. The only difference I've noticed is my '06 doesn't go through bushings as often as my '04 did.

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Old 01-20-2012, 10:08 AM   #5
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Default Re: Crunching sound from front suspension in cold weather

I'll have the bushings inspected.

Thanks! Much appreciated.

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Old 01-20-2012, 06:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: Crunching sound from front suspension in cold weather

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tethys View Post
It couldn't hurt to have them checked. My current Ion makes this sound when it's cold out and my '04 did it, too. The only difference I've noticed is my '06 doesn't go through bushings as often as my '04 did.
How often have you changed yours? I bought mine used at the dealership at 53k and they replaced them when I test drove it. I'm at 85k now.

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Old 01-20-2012, 07:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: Crunching sound from front suspension in cold weather

Haven't changed mine at all. Bought the car new in Dec 2006; it has just over 30,000 miles on it.

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Old 01-20-2012, 07:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: Crunching sound from front suspension in cold weather

Zoso, my current Ion went ~80K on its original front bushings. I had them changed out in late October. I bought the '06 new with just 6 miles on its odometer. The '04 Ion, also bought new, went through at least two sets and I only had that car for approximately 35K before trading it in on this one.

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Old 01-20-2012, 08:02 PM   #9
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Default Re: Crunching sound from front suspension in cold weather

Does this mean that GM recognized a bushing problem in the earlier models and have improved on them, or did you drive your newer Ion in 'less stressful' conditions?

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Old 01-20-2012, 08:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: Crunching sound from front suspension in cold weather

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tethys View Post
Zoso, my current Ion went ~80K on its original front bushings. I had them changed out in late October. I bought the '06 new with just 6 miles on its odometer. The '04 Ion, also bought new, went through at least two sets and I only had that car for approximately 35K before trading it in on this one.
Thanks! Mine haven't acted up since they were replaced 30k ago, but I'm figuring it in as regular maintenance since they're so problematic.

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Old 01-20-2012, 09:03 PM   #11
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Default Re: Crunching sound from front suspension in cold weather

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeHarrison View Post
Does this mean that GM recognized a bushing problem in the earlier models and have improved on them, or did you drive your newer Ion in 'less stressful' conditions?
I doubt they ever changed the design. Those GM engineers are lazyyyy. Kidding, but I would assume they didn't since we hear about them being worn across all model years so often.

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Old 01-20-2012, 09:28 PM   #12
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Default Re: Crunching sound from front suspension in cold weather

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeHarrison View Post
Is there any damage being done? Should I have them looked at?
Won't damage anything. Just really irritating.

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Old 01-20-2012, 10:46 PM   #13
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Default Re: Crunching sound from front suspension in cold weather

I've had mine changed once already, and my car has 39000 miles on it already. there really isn't much room for improvement on the current design for the sway bar or control arm bushings. the design is fundamentally flawed in the case of the control arms, and the rubber is at fault with the sway bar bushings.

poly bushings are ideal for the sway bar, and should last a lot longer, and poly bushings will be better on the lower control arm, but there's no fixing the design.

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Old 01-20-2012, 11:17 PM   #14
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Default Re: Crunching sound from front suspension in cold weather

You only have 39k on your car? You either live in the city or you never drive!

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Old 01-21-2012, 08:30 AM   #15
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Default Re: Crunching sound from front suspension in cold weather

I wouldn't call it a "city", but it's been driven almost every day since I bought it 5 years ago, including many 700+ mile (one way) trips and more 50-100 mile trips than I can remember. I plan my trips to be as efficient as possible, consolidate runs, ect... But I also periodically just go for a drive on a country road and drop the hammer between the increased power and the sway bar in the back, this thing loves the twisties, and I love to drive it, I just try to be smart and not pay a ton for fuel.

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Old 01-21-2012, 03:08 PM   #16
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Default Re: Crunching sound from front suspension in cold weather

That's a good idea. I consolidate my trips, but for me to go ANYWHERE I have to drive at least 13 miles. It doesn't help that I'm commuting this semester to school. I was supposed to be carpooling but the person I'm doing it with skips too much

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