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Old 04-23-2007, 03:40 AM
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2002 3.5SE weird front end popping

I just bought a one owner 2002 3.5SE 5Spd with 23K miles on it, garage kept, dealer serviced, etc. It's in great shape except for one thing. While taking the test drive, I could hear a pop in the front end, passenger side when taking off in first, sometimes when shifting to 2nd, sometimes when turning. Not really loud, but could be heard when air and radio are off. Former owner said he had never noticed, he is 65 or so, so maybe he just nver heard it.

We were able to reproduce the noise sitting still in the drive by turning the wheels back and forth. It would only pop once when turning the wheel, then I would have to back up or pull forward and it would (sometimes, not always)do it again. I found a couple of posts that seem to indicate strut or swaybar bolts being loose. Do those make sense given my description above?

If I could fix this would be a great car.....

Thanks,
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Old 04-23-2007, 03:49 AM
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Congrats. That seems like a great deal, 02 SE with just 23K Miles, how much did you pay?

Just take it to the dealer and have them check on that problem, could be an easy fix. Make sure they do all the recalls if they haven't been done already.
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Old 04-23-2007, 04:13 AM
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Sounds like it could either be ball bearings or axle boots. This happened to me in the fall and I had to get it fixed. Not really sure how to do a repair like this yourself, wish I could help more. Like you, I had a strange clicking when turning from left to right. Hope that helps at all.
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Old 04-23-2007, 09:24 AM
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The '02s and '03s were pretty notorious for this. My '03 did it for the entire 61,000 miles I had it. The dealer changed out the sway bar, checked all the entire front suspension and said all was well. As I left the lot, it popped as I made my right turn. That was when the car was new. 40,000 miles later, I got really tired of it, and found that there was a TSB on the problem. Trouble all the dealers I talked to didn't know anything about there being a TSB. I took it to a different dealer than the one where I bought it and told them it was driving me nuts, and that you could never predict when it was going to do it. The mechanic rode with me and I was able to reproduce the noise about 3 times. They took the car in and checked everything, and retorqued everything in the front suspension. It also popped on the way out of that dealership. Someone in an old thread said there is a big nut up under the windshield cowl (the plastic vent cover beneath the windshield wipers), that holds some kind of large suspension support or something. I never did look, because I was getting rid of the car. Anyway they said if you tighten that nut, the popping goes away. Good luck.
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Old 04-23-2007, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDesertFox1942
Congrats. That seems like a great deal, 02 SE with just 23K Miles, how much did you pay?

Just take it to the dealer and have them check on that problem, could be an easy fix. Make sure they do all the recalls if they haven't been done already.
I gave $13,800. With leather, Bose cd changer, heated seats, moon roof, 4 wheel abs, garage opener, climate control and all the airbags, side, etc. I thought it was too good a deal to pass up.

I checked, all of the recalls have been done, (previous owner gave me all of the dealer service records) to include one listed as an MBR recall, and listed parts including an oil pan gasket. Not sure what that one is about.

I will try and take a look at it myself, not all that confident in the dealers. We only have one here in town. The fact that it does it sitting still makes me believe it has to be in either steering or suspension and not drive train.
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Old 04-23-2007, 01:58 PM
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^As froedrick said, it's either that nut under the wiper cowl, or it's bad struts. These cars (especially early ones) were notorious for both problems.

So, if it's not the nut under your wiper cowl, it's likely to be bad struts. So if it's not any other suspension component such as sway bar bushings, links, tie rod ends, etc, then just have both front struts and upper strut mounts replaced with better quality parts and it will go away.
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Old 04-23-2007, 06:55 PM
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dogsled, I live in Las Vegas. Our population is nearly 2 million, now, with 4 or 5 different Nissan dealers and none of them had any knowledge of the front end "clunk" when I asked them. Didn't even know there was a TSB on it. Persevere, my man. It was never a recall, so it won't show up as having been done under recalls. Also, since it wasn't a recall, they'd only do it free if you were in for some type warranty work; if there's any warranty left. Your miles are good, but your 36 months have run out unless you've got an extended warranty. Also, as Il_signore said, it may also be the struts. Not a whole lot of mileage for the struts to go bad, though.
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Old 04-24-2007, 12:38 AM
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which TSB

Quote:
Originally Posted by froedrick
there was a TSB on it.

froedrick, I found a TSB for rear end noise going over bumps but not one that matches my issue. Do you have a link perhaps?

Anybody know what the torque spec is on this nut under the wiper cowling and how to get the cowling off?

I am going to order a repair manual, but any help between now and then would be appreciated!
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Old 04-24-2007, 01:44 AM
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^Look for any posts by "gtcompscientist" in this forum or the 2007 Altima forums.

In his signature, he has a link to download factory service manuals. He has so kindly collected a bunch of service manuals and hosted them on his website for us. So go and download your service manual from his site for free, and you can start fixing your car now without having to wait.
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Old 04-24-2007, 01:58 AM
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by il_signore97
^Look for any posts by "gtcompscientist" in this forum or the 2007 Altima forums.

In his signature, he has a link to download factory service manuals. He has so kindly collected a bunch of service manuals and hosted them on his website for us. So go and download your service manual from his site for free, and you can start fixing your car now without having to wait.
Outstanding. Thanks!
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Old 04-24-2007, 02:02 AM
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^no problem...

Let us know how you make out with the repair.
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Old 04-24-2007, 03:27 AM
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I had a popping...cracking noise with my 03. The dealer gave me the run around to find out that it was a bad wheel bearing. Not the typical noise a bearing would make. it was really weird. Anyway good luck and let us know how you make out.
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Old 04-24-2007, 06:08 AM
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Clunk

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogsled
froedrick, I found a TSB for rear end noise going over bumps but not one that matches my issue. Do you have a link perhaps?

Anybody know what the torque spec is on this nut under the wiper cowling and how to get the cowling off?

I am going to order a repair manual, but any help between now and then would be appreciated!
SERVICE BULLETIN:03002 NHTSA ITEM NUMBER:10001020

MFG Bulletin Date: 20030106

Component: SUSPENSION:FRONT

Bulletin Summary: AN INTERMITTENT CLUNK NOISE COMING FROM FRONT SUSPENSION AREA. *TT

Date added to datbase: 20030410
This is the best I could find in the way of info. The bulletin is for an '03, but it's the same for '02s. The website I was using for bulletins and recalls is not working right tonight, for some reason. Hope this helps. OK-more research and a link. Here goes:TSB Results : ODI - Office of Defects Investigation This does not, unfortunately, give the total report to the dealer for repairs to make. The NHTSA, and the other site I was using now charge for this info. Sorry; but at least you've got the link. Apparently the bulletin was for '02 and '03 only. The link will take you to their website and show an "error". Just click on bulletins and type in the number 10001020 where it asks for the NHTSA item number, and you'll be good to go.

Last edited by froedrick; 04-24-2007 at 06:40 AM.
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:15 AM
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Is this cover by warranty or a recall? Mine making exact intermittent clunk noise as stated below.

SERVICE BULLETIN:03002 NHTSA ITEM NUMBER:10001020

MFG Bulletin Date: 20030106

Component: SUSPENSION:FRONT

Bulletin Summary: AN INTERMITTENT CLUNK NOISE COMING FROM FRONT SUSPENSION AREA
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Old 04-24-2007, 06:15 PM
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I'm not quite sure how TSBs are handled. Just call your service dept. and ask them. I know that if there is a TSB and your car's in for warranty, service, or recall work, they'll take care of the bulletin, if they know about it. Every dealer, as I said before was dumb as a rock when it came to the '02 and '03 "clunk".
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