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Gas Tank Loose?

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Hey guys,

Have a rattle from the rear only when going under 20kph. If I drive over some bumpy sections of road or pot holey stuff going slow, it sounds like something is clunking from the back end.

I have replaced the rear sway bar bushings with no improvement. All other suspension parts seem solid.

Even if I drive very slowly over a bumpy grass field it sounds like something is bumping or tapping under the car.

No funny noises happen while driving highway speeds going over bumpy sections or patched road.

Ive taken the back seats out and taken every single thing out of the trunk and drove around and noise still there. Sounds like a hollow noise coming from the middle rear area. Doesn't come from the strut areas.

To me it sounds like the gas tank but not sure. What things should I be checking for under the car.


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The noise could come from anywhere, and they can be darn hard to track down.

Personally I would get the car on jack stands or on a hoist, put on some dirty clothes and safety glasses, and get a rubber mallet.

I'd then start systematically rapping everything under the rear of the car from one side to the other. You might get lucky and spot the source. Also be prepared for not finding it, since the weight of the car may have to be on the wheels for the clunk to show up.

In that case, see if you can get a garage that has a drive on ramp hoist (muffler shop, wheel alignment shop) so you can do the same thing while the wheels are on the ground. Good Luck!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have a similar problem exception that the sound seems to come from the left rear area. If I go over bumps with only the left tire I get very little noise, but on the right side its plenty loud at low speeds. I can also stop the noise by driving over bumps with the emergency brake lightly applied, however this only says that if I bind up the rear wheels they are quieter.

I also have gotten into the trunk with the lid open and jumped up and down. This does not produce the noise, so forward motion is part of the condition needed to make the problem appear. It does not help to isolate the problem. I am stumped and I am not willing to spend money randomly and hope it works. Unless I come up with a definitive answer I will continue to use the car until I get a full failure even if it is irritating. Any ideas?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a similar problem exception that the sound seems...

I have ruled out the gastank, taken off the rear sway bar bushings and put back on again. If i push the exhaust (at very rear) fairly hard towards the rear left tail light I can make it smack off the heatsheild, or its the headsheild hitting the sparetire cavity to the left of that. Doesn't seem loose or anything (heatsheild). I wedged cardboard inbetween muffler/heatsheild/sparetire cavity so it was tight, and there is still noise when driving slow over uneven ground, and I am fairly sure anyways that the noise is coming from a 1-2 feet towards the front of the car from that muffler area.


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So I've been tapping around the underneath of the car last few days with rubber hammer. If i hit the gastank in certain spots and i can hear something rattling above it/on top of it.

When I hit a bump and the back end makes a noise it has to be something fairly heavy as it clunks.

What is above the gastank that could be rattling?

Any help appreciated!

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took to garage this morning. said its the struts, they have leaked all the fluid out of them. i now remember that in the trunk under the CD changer the little compartment underneath it had green fluid in it that i moped out of there, didnt put 2 and 2 together.

They quoted me around 575 to fix it.

I am going to get a complete parts list from them after work and then will probably order something off ebay. or what do you recommend i replace while they are doing this? Are the KYB ones any good I see on ebay?

What does everyone recommend?


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  • 3 months later...

Still hearing this noise coming from the lower back. Struts and mounts have been replaced. and sway bar links.

I noticed on RockAuto website that there is a gasket or something called "Coil Spring Insulator"

Could this make that noise?

The noise sounds almost like dropping a golfball in a bucket of water where it makes that "ploop" noise. But if i drive over rough ground or grass and sounds more like somthing rattling. It is really driving me nuts and makes the car sounds like a piece of junk really.

Can anyone list off some things that I can try replacing that are cheap? Thanks again.

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  • 3 weeks later...

My 98 has a very similar problem to yours, from the rear right side.

When I go over small bumps I get a knocking noise, but over large bumps nothing.

Was crawling around and smacking suspension components with my hand this morning and realized that when a grabbed the coil spring tightly the noise muffled considerably.

Inspected the lower coil spring insulator and found it torn in half, so the lower coil on the spring is metal-to-metal against the coil seat.

I'll be swapping it early next week to test my theory, I think it's where my noises are coming from. All else looks good and the Monroe struts are only 2-3 years old.

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