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Old 12-15-2008, 04:22 AM   #1
BryanF
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2005 VUE 3.5L
Default Front End Noise

Hey everybody.
First post on here for me. Sorry if this gets too long, just looking for some opinions.
I bought my '05 V6 AWD Vue back in August. So far I'm happy with it, all I've had to do to it is change the oil. However, the front end has begun to devolop a very slight rattle/clunk, which I suspect is probably a strut/strut mount, or perhaps a sway bar link.
Now, the car as almost 37K on it, and as far as I know nothing major has been replaced on this car yet. When I got it from the dealership, I also purchased the Major Guard warantee. Although I have not confirmed exactly what is making the noise, shock absorbers are not covered on the Major Guard warantee.
What I'm trying to decide is whether or not I should recondition the suspension myself or have the dealership do it. If it does need struts, I'd have to pay parts and labor for the dealer to replace them, which would suck. I've done plenty of front end work on other vehicles I've owned, and I have my own air tools, so I would have no problem doing it. While I'm in there I would probably replace the sway bar links in addition to the struts and strut mounts. The ride quality has deteriorated slightly since I bought the car, and at 37K, it's gotta be about due for a little attention.

I guess what I'm asking is, what would you do in this case? Take it to the dealer or do it youself?

Also, does doing any work on the vehicle yourself compromise the warantee at all? I would rather do it myself if it would save me money since shocks aren't covered, but maybe not if it would void the warantee.
...
'05 VUE AWD w/Honda 3.5L V6
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:08 AM   #2
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2004 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: Front End Noise

Yep, probably strut mounts and/or sway bar end links.

If you're out of warranty and you know how to do this kind of work, absolutely do it yourself. I've done one strut mount myself and the other one is making noise again (dealer replaced it under warranty) so it looks like I'll be doing that one soon too. It's fairly easy- especially if you've done work like this before and have the air tools.
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Old 12-15-2008, 12:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: Front End Noise

I agree that it's more than likely the struts/mounts. Definitely do it yourself if you can. Also, I'd avoid the OEM parts. Monroe and KYB both make the struts and Monroe offers aftermarket strut mounts. Moog makes the swaybar endlinks which appear to be of better quality than OEM and cheaper too. Those are literally a 10 minute job. Once you're done, just have the front end aligned and you're all set.

Cheers,
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Old 12-15-2008, 01:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: Front End Noise

When I did my strut mount, I did NOT get an alignment. I know you're typically suppose to, but there was so little room for adjustment I didn't bother. Camber is not really adjustable- there might be a little slop in those bolt holes, but they felt pretty tight when putting them through. I figured toe was just as good as it was before since I didn't touch the tie rods.

2 years and many thousand miles later.... no noticable tire wear.
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Old 12-15-2008, 01:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: Front End Noise

Thanks for the replies.
I've priced out struts, mounts, sway bar links, tie rod ends, and rear shocks on rockauto.com, and came up with a total of $390.10. Might as well do everything at once

All the parts I selected on there are either Monroe or Moog, with the exception of tie rod ends which are AC Delco. I'd be fine with spending that on the parts, unless anyone knows somewhere that offers better deals?
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Old 12-15-2008, 02:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: Front End Noise

Bryan ...

First suggestion is see what is covered by your warranty.

I also bought a 05 Vue V-6 AWD this past summer and now have about 37,000 miles on the SUV. Based on my experiences I suggest you hold off from spending a lot of money to replace things which probably have several thousand miles of service life remaining.

You could inspect the sway bar end-links to see if the rubber is torn or there's obvious damage to ball and socket. Tie rod end replacement would be off the table unless there's excessive play in the ones installed. Don't rush into changing struts and shocks unless the front end feels loose or continues bouncing after hitting road bumps.

Do yourself a favor and try a simple experiment before starting to throw parts at the vehicle.

Buy a can of silicone spray to lubricate the rubber cushions which provide isolation between struts tops and chassis.

The preferred lube method is to open hood to gain access to top of struts. Have an assistance bounce the front end until you hear the noise. Spray the silicone (others use white lithium) into all the small openings around the center strut mounting bolt. Continue bouncing and spraying until the squeak and / or rattle disappears.

You should be good to go for at least a thousand miles (in my case).
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: Front End Noise

Thanks, good tip.
My usual thought process is that if something in the front end is going, then the rest probably isn't far behind. And historically, it all gets replaced at once so I don't have to bother doing the job again.
But I'll give the a shot first .
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: Front End Noise

My only experience with struts was changing them out on a 84 Dodge Aries K.

It was my 16 year old sons school car and I regret to say he either heard some really bad words for the first time or he at least learned I knew them.

The Vue strut setup is probably similar to most modern cars as the upper mounting is a biscuit with rubber sausage. I've attached thumbnails depicting what I believe to be the configuration. Apparently as the center rubber sausage ages it creaks and groans as the vehicle encounters bumps in the road. I understand most types of rubber and silicone are compatible and I know what I thought was a mechanical rattle in the front of my Vue has disappeared ...
Attached Files
File Type: pdf strut.pdf (16.2 KB, 29 views)
File Type: pdf strut mount.pdf (18.4 KB, 24 views)
File Type: pdf strut-ipb.pdf (5.7 KB, 25 views)
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:59 PM   #9
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Default Re: Front End Noise

Quote:
Originally Posted by BryanF View Post
Thanks, good tip.
My usual thought process is that if something in the front end is going, then the rest probably isn't far behind. And historically, it all gets replaced at once so I don't have to bother doing the job again.
But I'll give the a shot first .
Yeah, I agree with the other poster's advice about the tie rods. They don't seem to be failure prone at low mileage. I'd ignore the rest and do the struts/mounts/endlinks. Those seem to be typical failure points and at relatively low miles. Rockauto seems to have good prices. I'd take Moog parts over AC Delco any day of the week.

Cheers,
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Old 12-15-2008, 06:08 PM   #10
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Default Re: Front End Noise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ritz View Post
Yeah, I agree with the other poster's advice about the tie rods. They don't seem to be failure prone at low mileage. I'd ignore the rest and do the struts/mounts/endlinks. Those seem to be typical failure points and at relatively low miles. Rockauto seems to have good prices. I'd take Moog parts over AC Delco any day of the week.

Cheers,
Yeah, perhaps tie rod ends would be jumping the gun a little too much. If you haven't noticed, I suffer heavily from the "while I'm at it..." syndrome
...
'05 VUE AWD w/Honda 3.5L V6
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Old 12-15-2008, 06:17 PM   #11
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Default Re: Front End Noise

Quote:
Originally Posted by far2grumpy View Post
My only experience with struts was changing them out on a 84 Dodge Aries K.

It was my 16 year old sons school car and I regret to say he either heard some really bad words for the first time or he at least learned I knew them.
I hear that, been there. I used to drive a Windstar which was the first time I did struts by myself. I had everything all apart and realized one of the coil springs was broken, so I ended up walking about a mile to Murray's for a new set of springs. And those suckers are heavy to carry home that far! Then I got everything back together and the car rode a million times better, but I didn't know I had to change the strut mounts too (hey, it was my first time). So I boughe the mounts, and essentially did the job all over again just to get those new mounts on, and after removing both strut assemblies twice and a couple too many six packs of beer, it was finally over with.

THAT was the day that I learned that struts and strut mounts get replaced together
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Old 12-16-2008, 01:35 AM   #12
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Default Re: Front End Noise

Dang, 118 views in less than 24 hours? Never realized this forum had this much traffic. I suppose that's a good thing though.

I went ahead and ordered the struts, mounts, and endlinks from rockauto. Provided that it arrives on time, I'll probably do all the wrenching on Tuesday next week. Hopefully it won't be too cold (9 degrees right now ). Maybe i'll post up some pictures if anyone would be interested.
...
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Old 12-18-2008, 03:22 PM   #13
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Default Re: Front End Noise

hehe will the white grease do anything to degrade the rubber? other than that get a loud stereo?
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Old 12-25-2008, 03:15 AM   #14
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Default Re: Front End Noise

So I got the front end taken care of. Replaced the struts and mounts with Monroe Sensa-trac's and the sway bar link with Moog's. Man, the thing is riding way smoother now. And all the goofy noises have gone away.

Sorry, didn't end up getting any pics though. Took maybe 2 and a half hours to do...it was actually more simple of a job than I thought it might be. You don't even have to pop the hub off of the ball joint on this vehicle.
...
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