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I have a 2012 Kia Forte SX with about 140,000kms. I have heard a clunking noise in the front end of my car for about 2 months now. It started off only when my car would come to a full stop a second after braking and it sounded almost as if there was something in my car banging against my seat when I stopped but it started to become more noticeable and more consistent when letting off the throttle and going at low speeds. It can only be heard when going <60kms, more noticeable when going slow, and is much louder when it is hot out and I leave my car in the sun. It is mainly heard in the drivers side and middle kind of from the dash. I have checked my sway bar endlinks, gotten my front brakes redone, and gotten the strut checked and bearings done as well as some bolts tightened but the noise is still there and seems to be getting worse. My cars steering wheel will sometimes sway to the right and left but only when I’m not holding it and if the road is not completely flat. I drove a 3 hour freeway recently and the wheel was shaking a bit but not an uncomfortable amount, other than that the car felt fine at high speeds. The mechanic swore that nothing else was wrong with my car and whatever it is isn’t an issue but I feel like it is.
 

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So your vehicle had bad wheel bearings and loose suspension/steering bolts?
I got my wheel bearings replaced & some bolts tightened but not sure which bolts. The mechanic was sure it was the bearings that caused the noise but as soon as I picked my car up nothing had changed.
 

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you said you had the endlinks checked. Were they removed and just visually checked?
 

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.... The mechanic swore that nothing else was wrong with my car and whatever it is isn’t an issue ...
I got my wheel bearings replaced & some bolts tightened but not sure which bolts. The mechanic was sure it was the bearings that caused the noise but as soon as I picked my car up nothing had changed.
I'm not understanding what's going on with the two things you wrote above. Did this come from two separate mechanics?
 

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I'm not understanding what's going on with the two things you wrote above. Did this come from two separate mechanics?
Same mechanic but two separate times. The first time I brought it into him he changed out my wheel bearings and said that it was the problem but when I went back because the noise was still there he said that the noise came from the wheel bearings and everything else was fine and that the noise I’m hearing is probably in my head.
 

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.... and that the noise I’m hearing is probably in my head.
Well how about that the 'bad' wheel bearings were probably in HIS head.

IMO 'clunking' in Fortes is neither unusual or surprising, but it's normally something that happens when going over bumps or into potholes. My '11 has had this type of clunking just about since it was purchased new 8 years ago. And I've also read multiple reports from other owners describing the same type of noise, so it's highly likely to be a systemic issue with Fortes.

I was able to determine, very early on, that the clunking was a benign noise; most likely being caused by an incorrectly sized bushing which allows a minor bit of metal-to-metal contact between the parts it's supposed to be isolating from each other. So I simply decided to wait until some steering/suspension issue shows up. So far nothing outside the noise has occurred, so I'll just continue to monitor and wait.

However, with all of that said, the clunking that you've described has different characteristics than the noise in my vehicle, and most of the others that I've seen posted. The only other thing I can think of that's not been mentioned yet is motor mounts, and you might want to check the condition of those parts. Although I've not seen even a small history of Kia/Hyundai motor mount issues, almost any one-off issue is possible.

Beyond that, I suspect you'll just have to wait until something more significant and identifiable than the noise shows up. However, if you choose to continue to pursue the source of the noise, I recommend finding another shop than the one you've been going to, because that guy sounds like your basic part hanger.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well how about that the 'bad' wheel bearings were probably in HIS head.

IMO 'clunking' in Fortes is neither unusual or surprising, but it's normally something that happens when going over bumps or into potholes. My '11 has had this type of clunking just about since it was purchased new 8 years ago. And I've also read multiple reports from other owners describing the same type of noise, so it's highly likely to be a systemic issue with Fortes.

I was able to determine, very early on, that the clunking was a benign noise; most likely being caused by an incorrectly sized bushing which allows a minor bit of metal-to-metal contact between the parts it's supposed to be isolating from each other. So I simply decided to wait until some steering/suspension issue shows up. So far nothing outside the noise has occurred, so I'll just continue to monitor and wait.

However, with all of that said, the clunking that you've described has different characteristics than the noise in my vehicle, and most of the others that I've seen posted. The only other thing I can think of that's not been mentioned yet is motor mounts, and you might want to check the condition of those parts. Although I've not seen even a small history of Kia/Hyundai motor mount issues, almost any one-off issue is possible.

Beyond that, I suspect you'll just have to wait until something more significant and identifiable than the noise shows up. However, if you choose to continue to pursue the source of the noise, I recommend finding another shop than the one you've been going to, because that guy sounds like your basic part hanger.
Thank you so much for actually taking me seriously. You’ve definitely been more help than the mechanic I’ve been seeing. I think I’ll wait to see if any other issues arise, and if I do, I’ll definitely be seeing a different mechanic. Thanks so much for your advice, it’s greatly appreciated.
 

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I had low speed clunking with my '11 and it was the wheel bearings. They were replaced under warranty at 80k miles, since they are considered part of the powertrain. So, I'm not surprised your mechanic thought it would be the wheel bearings.
 

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I started getting a "clunking" noise at about the same mileage on my 2011 Forte. It happened whenever I stepped on the gas or let it go. Press on pedal - engine revs up - click - car starts going faster. Release pedal - engine revs go down - click - car starts slowing down.

Turned out to be gearbox mounting in my case (per mechanic, did not inspect myself.) I put it down to using the cruise control A LOT in my car, which feathers the throttle quite a bit, probably causing premature wear.

I left it until I had the clutch done a year or two later, when I also had the gearbox mounts tightened. It was better for a while, but started getting louder again over time. Replaced the mounts, again improved things for a while, but after a few years I can tell it's busy coming back again.
 
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