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Discussion Starter #1
Have an 08 3.5 AWD. Been hunting this noise down for almost 2 years. Has a banging when hitting bumps, mostly right side, sometimes left side and not as loud. Thought it was CV joints going bad.

About 2 years ago replaced struts and axles, new tires and alignment. Still was banging but not as load or often. Alignment shop didn't see anything looking bad.

Last year when doing brakes, replaced tie rods, ball joints, and uplinks, had tires rotated and another alighnment. Alignment shop didn't find anything again. Still banging. Tried to replicate the noise and looking for loose components with the car on the ground parked and on the stands, could not find anything. Has gotten increasing worse over the winter.

Put rear brakes on last month and rotated the tires. Front passenger side tire is shot on the inside, front driver side has wear on the inside. Started looking around and discovered a LOT of end play in the passenger side front axle into the transmission, even with tires mounted and sitting on the ground.

Even though I have never gotten a bad alignment from this shop I plan on taking it to get checked out at another local shop that does a lot more volume, so they have more experience with AWD, plus they have an in house transmission tech.

Is there a common issue with the AWD transaxle that would cause this or is it more likely I ended up with a defective axle from the get go or possibly didn't get the new axle seated in all the way first time around? I would think that if the axle wasn't in all the way during assembly we would have had a hard time getting struts and spindles to line up. It all went together pretty easy. If I recall correctly we had a heck of a time getting the drivers side axle out, but the passengers side went smoothly.
 

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Did you just replace the struts or the strut mounts too? I’m chasing the same problem in my ‘11 and now our ‘08 awd Sebring. I haven’t changed out the struts or mounts yet though.
 

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Hey there, welcome back to the active posting! Not knowing where you and ride are located for driving conditions that your now almost 11 yr old car goes thru, but will try and offer some suggestions.
First off it sounds as you have a couple of issues, as axles will NOT cause you front tire abnormal wear.
Are you doing inspecting work or having a shop do it?
Trans and motor mounts going bad can cause noises you describe and are known to go bad.
Also have you had the trans and diff section serviced with fresh fluid at all?
Your described tire wear indicates either excessive neg. camber or toe out of the tie rods.
You gave a pretty good list of parts put in but not much of other maint. being done, remember yours is a 1 yr only and not as popular in numbers as the other models. If you can give a little more maint /use history, I and others here may be able to suggest more options to you.
Don't give up yet and looking forward to hearing back from you.;)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the input rebel. We purchased the car at 110K and it is now 180K, so I doubt the trans fluid has been changed. even though it was purchased from a Dodge dealer. It is checked regularly (every oil change) for level and condition.

All of the suspension work I inspect and do myself and take it in for the alignment. First one was 4 4 wheel since I did shocks, second just the front.

I never considered a bad mount since it only happens with bumps and not on take off. My Kmodel-Lebaron only banged on take off when the mounts went bad so it never really occurred to me. I will be sure to take a look.

On the pass side, with the worse tire wear, the axle moves in and out at least half an inch and makes a noticeable noise bottoming out in the trans. That seems excessive to me, especially since the drivers side moves only about an eighth of an inch, with no noticeable bottoming out. Wouldn't that movement adversely affect the camber and/or toe while rolling down the highway, let let alone hitting bumps?

It also does have minor death wobble that I forgot to mention in the first post. It first appeared this winter after hitting a snow drift and went away, I figured snow in the rims. Then it came back this summer, mostly when braking, until this last tire rotation a month ago. Drove it today and noticed it a little while cruising. I am guessing while eating the tires again. Unfortunately it is the wife's daily and not mine, so I usually don't hear about problems until parts start falling off.

I am getting ready to do the timing belt, tensioner, and water pump as routine maintenance and am hopping to chase down the suspension problems to complete it at the same time.

One last thing, is the 3.5 known for using oil? This car has used around a quart an oil change since the day we bought it. No leaks and no visible smoke.
 

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This helps a lot, thanks for responding!:)
Where the right axle (pass.) may have problem, is a missing retaining clip or wear in the transfer case carrier bearing. BUT it does not play a part in tire wear, a bad front wheel bearing can cause that though.
Also, suspension banging noises seem to be common with all the Avengers, most common is the strut mount and bearing, followed by worn suspension bushings. Sorry but I can't offer a "pin point" part to "nail down" the exact one for you.
As for oil consumption...YES many have reported using oil with ALL models (pacifica,charger, Avenger)using the 3.5 motor. One quart in 4,500 miles is not that bad at all if using conventional oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks again rebel. I forgot to mention I did replace the wheel hubs the second time around. Drivers side was growling, I am a firm believer when it comes to brakes and suspension if something is bad on one side, replace both sides. Looking like I may have to let the alignment/trans shop take a crack at it. When I tackle the timing belt I'll go over the suspension again and see if I can find anything. I'll be sure to report back if I or they find anything that solves the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Did you just replace the struts or the strut mounts too? I’m chasing the same problem in my ‘11 and now our ‘08 awd Sebring. I haven’t changed out the struts or mounts yet though.
Brannigan, I replace it all with a quick strut. I am starting to think I ended up with a bad strut when I replaced them. I can't replicate the noise with the strut loaded (right side only up on a ramp). With the car sitting level, pushing on the right side it is sounding more and more like it is a strut.
 

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Brannigan, I replace it all with a quick strut. I am starting to think I ended up with a bad strut when I replaced them. I can't replicate the noise with the strut loaded (right side only up on a ramp). With the car sitting level, pushing on the right side it is sounding more and more like it is a strut.
I get a clunk when I’m driving over uneven surfaces. The sound has been there since day 1 (9700 miles). Dealer said everything checked out and they couldn’t replicate the noise...shocker! I’m at 109k now and the sound hasn’t gotten any worse. Maybe one day I’ll investigate.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I found my problem, hopefully. Had a loose uplink on the pass side. Noticed a worn area on the strut tab around the nut. Uplink only moved when the wheels were turned slightly to the right while sitting on the ground. This particular spot took enough load off of the nut to allow the link to move. With the car on stands the link appeared tight because the strut extended forcing the link to bind up. Nut must have been missed while reassembly. Tightened it up and greased the front end and no more banging. Hopefully that solves the wear problem too. We'll fine out next spring after 10,000+ on new winter shoes and a fresh alignment. Thanks for the help rebel.
 
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