• Menu
  • Menu
Rear End Clunking Noise When Turning

5 Reasons You Hear A Rear End Clunking Noise When Turning

If you have been driving your vehicle a while and you haven’t heard any noises, it can be disconcerting to have a clunking noise in the rear end when turning. On some Mercedes models up to the late 80s, the clunking noise was common due to the independent rear suspension. However, newer cars should not be making this sound.

A worn ball socket is the most common cause of this issue in newer model vehicles. When attached to the sway bar links, you might not notice it at first. However, when turning, you might find that the sound gets worse and it could potentially have a grinding effect. Replacing the ball socket and bearings will be the best course of action.

Dealing with significant issues like this can be daunting and when you have no practical mechanical experience, you might be wondering what is wrong with your vehicle. Fortunately, we have you covered and this article aims to ensure that you can diagnose the problem causing rear end clunking noise when turning.

5 Common Causes for the Rear End Clunking Noise When Turning

Since this can often be a frustrating thing to deal with, you must focus on figuring out what the issue is. If the issue can get aggravated, you will need to make sure that you can fix it or have someone look at your vehicle. Here are some of the most common reasons for rear end clunking noise when turning:

1. Worn Ball Sockets

car manifold
Photo by Pixabay

Problem: The ball sockets on the rear end is needed to provide the car with agility and the opportunity to turn. However, these components might get worn like every other part of your vehicle. Once they are worn, you might turn your vehicle and have a grinding or clunking noise. The worn ball sockets could be the reason.

Solution: Fortunately, this is an inexpensive part that needs to be replaced and you will have to replace both link assemblies. While this might seem daunting, you will only need to jack up the vehicle on either side to have it in the air and access the components. With the right tools, you can easily make this work at home.

2. Worn Out Shocks

cleaning wheels
Photo by Pixabay

Problem: If you enjoy driving over bumpy terrain, you will put plenty of strain on your shocks. With more strain on your shocks, you will inevitably wear them out. While the issue might not be prominent when turning, you will find that when scaling pumps or an uneven road, the clunking noise will be heard when turning.

Solution: Fortunately, shocks are another easy component for you to replace. You don’t need to put in too much effort and the part can be very inexpensive as well. You can replace your shocks at home by simply jacking up the car and gaining access to them. This will ensure you can effectively use your vehicle.

3. Sway Bar Link

sway bar link
Photo by Pixabay

Problem: The sway bar is made up of a variety of components that often help to turn the car. Since it has many links, chances are that you would eventually be dealing with a worn link. The worn link will be making a clunking noise while you are turning and this could cause some concern.

Solution: Once again, this is an easier issue to solve and once you have the car on a jack and locate the sway bar, you can easily compare some of the links. By comparing the links, you will find out if any of them are worn and this could hamper your steering. You will simply need to replace the link or consider replacing the sway bar.

4. Bad Rear Differential

car exhaust
Photo by Pixabay

Problem: One of the more daunting issues you could be dealing with will be the rear differential. Replacing this can be expensive, but numerous components could be worn on the differential. Symptoms of a bad differential will be a howling, whirring, or noise when cornering and should be fixed.

Solution: Diagnosing or dealing with this issue can be daunting and you will need to have someone assist you. The best practice would be lifting the car and having someone on the gas pedal to see what is happening when the car is driving. This will help you better identify potential issues and you can check each component. A safer bet would be visiting your local mechanic.

5. Power Steering Pump

cleaning car manifold
Photo by Pixabay

Problem: Most modern vehicles have power steering, and the power steering is designed to help the car turn much easier. If you happen to have a defect in the power steering pump, you could have a whining noise that comes from the engine when turning. The pump could have a few worn components causing friction

Solution: Dealing with power steering can be more daunting than other components of your car. The power steering can be expensive if you need to replace the complete components. If you cannot find any issue and power steering is the possible culprit, you should consider visiting a mechanic to help alleviate the issue.


What Makes A Clunking Noise When Turning?

Many of the above mentioned issues could be responsible for the clunking noise. However, you might have to keep the tie rods in mind. These could either be broken or loose, and you can check to see if they are in the optimal condition. Fixing them should be something you can do at home.

Is It Safe To Drive A Car With A Clunking Noise?

It is never recommended that you drive your car on public roads with any issue. If you are unsure about what is causing the issue, it becomes even more dangerous as you could lose control. You might even have to deal with bad handling of the vehicle and this could certainly place you in a spot of bother. We would not recommend driving with an unnatural noise coming from your vehicle.


An avid car enthusiast, I love spending time researching new cars and seeing how technology improves each year. With a passion for cars, I often find problems with certain vehicles and believe these should be addressed to ensure everyone can have a happy driving experience. I spend hours on the road each year and having driven numerous cars, I have encountered some basic and unique problems. I love sharing my knowledge and experience with you to help you prevent and even deal with some of these issues before they become fatal!!!

View stories

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *