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Any updates to thumping problem in rear?

5448 Views 68 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  jowilly
Any solutions to the thumping problem in the rear after going over bumps? My dealer tightened the swaybar but said the thumping was mostly due to the cold weather affecting the suspension. Is this legit? We havent been too cold here in wisconsin. It does it even after the car has been driven for a while and is warm. Also, I have an appointment for wednesday to have my speedo replaced as it registers 5 mph faster than I am really going.

By the way, I just purchased this car and do like it. I dont really have a problem with the way the interior looks because my previous car was a Sunfire GT. I am 35, have a 9 year old and a 1 year old. The 2.5S is perfect for me as my speeding days are over (or mostly over). I think the 3.5 looks hot, but I was looking for something that was good and didnt break the bank.

However, I do find it funny reading these posts when people talk about how this car beats that car, my cars better than your car...
I didnt buy my car to race a camry from a stopsign. If I really wanted to race, I wouldnt be driving a sedan. Just my 2 cents.
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Yeah, I noticed that tonight going over one of California's ubiquitous road bumps (in Western Washington, they called these things "Traffic Calming Devices."
jowilly from wild willy

Now u are starting to sound 35. I too am 35, but up until this point I have kept my mouth shut about the racing part. I really do not know where all of these guys are finding these races. Every time i pull up to a light next to a Camry or an Accord, I can not get the 75 year old lady to look at me , let alone race. I just watched fast and the furious for the 1st time, I would have really been into it 15 years ago. Don't get me wrong, the cars were awsome, but where in the hell can that shit take place? I sure would have loved to live there a few years ago.

The Old Man
I called another Nissan dealer here in Madison and asked if anyone had brought their Altima for the noise problem and he said "yes" and that I should bring it in. He said there are a couple of things that could be causing it. When I mentioned the reason from the other dealer (cold weather), he said he never heard of that affecting this car.
Re: jowilly from wild willy

wild willy said:
I really do not know where all of these guys are finding these races. Every time i pull up to a light next to a Camry or an Accord, I can not get the 75 year old lady to look at me, let alone race.
LOL, Willy. I'm a comparatively young sprout at 31 (remember that? No? Didn't think so ;)), but I couldn't agree more with the racing stuff.

I only really stretch the legs of my 3.5 on empty roads, and even then "stretching" hardly means I do my best Ayrton Senna imitation. It's more like Big Daddy Don Garlits from a 20-mph roll: Punch it in second and hang on when the tach sweeps past four grand. What a rush. Untrafficked freeway on-ramps in third gear are also a blast, but around here it's pretty rare that I'm not stuck behind a pickup truck.

Even though I *had* to have the 3.5, 90 percent of my driving habits would've been satisfied with the 2.5. That car is a long way from being a gutless wonder.

Jarrod K. Wright
'02 3.5SE 5-speed
'98 SE 5-speed

PS - I must come clean and admit there's a stoplight near my house that always gets the better of me. It's on a four-lane divided road, and just after the light the right lane ends and merges with the left. The sign is clearly marked "right turn only." Occasionally, I'll be at the head of the pack on red and *invariably* someone in a hurry to cut in line will pull up in the right lane, thinking he'll gun it at green, sweep in front of me and be on his merry way.

Suffice it to say I haven't been victimized yet. :D And one guy in a brand new white '02 Monte Carlo with some kind of NASCAR decal package -- what an ugly contraption that thing is! -- was utterly humiliated, as the guy in the Z28 behind me also gunned it and stuck to my bumper, while the late-model Prelude (I think) behind him *also* decided to make an example of this guy and made it a three-car freight train. Mr. Monte had to come to a full stop at the merge 50 yards ahead, very nearly ending up in a field of wild Dallisgrass. I keep thinking I'll run across the guy again and he'll have peeled off his stickers in shame...
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I don't know if this helps get rid of the noise but here it goes. I found the jack holder that just drops into that hole wasn't pushed down far enough. Add to that, I pulled out the lug wrench and found that it makes a clacking noise. Not a thump but a higher noise. I wrapped duct tape around it and forced it into the "retracted" position and I am not getting the rear noise any more. Of course it might be a different noise then your getting but it only takes a few seconds to fix.
I've started to notice the thumping a little as well. Has anybody taken out the jack and spare to see if that helps? For the folks that had the car to the dealer .... what did they say?
Empty Trunk = Thump

Last weekend I took everything ( there was nothing left but insulation) out of the trunk and it did not make a difference. I even got underneath to see if I could isolate the problem.
My dealers here in NC are not aware of any 02Altys with this problem yet . I do not want to be the first. Thanks for the updates and please keep us posted.
I emptied the trunk, I had it blessed by the voodoo priestess next door.....I'm beginning to think that the thumping is related to some kind of bushing installed in one of the pickup points in the rear suspension. I hope I'm wrong otherwise it would be a bummer for a recall.

I noticed this on my first test drive last November. The salesman said that the car hadn't been PDI'd yet and there may be stuff still loose in the trunk. I thought that was a reasonable explanation at the time and thought nothing of it.

BTW, under the triangular left wheel well cover is some kind of air diaphragm which I suppose eases the closing of the trunk by allowing the air to be displaced. This darn thing seems to act like a megaphone, amplifying every resonance in the trunk. Being an audiophile to boot sometimes is detrimental one's sense of well-being.
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Some of us had problems with sand and junk getting in through the vent behind the left wheel and that pressure relief door. I was thinking about getting some dynamat and putting it there and on the right side to reduce the resonance in that panel.
Funny you should be asking about the thumping. I just came in from being outside all day where I tore out everything behind the drivers seat to try and locate the thumping. Removed back seat, all the carpeting in and around the trunk and the gray stuff lining the trunk on the sides. Had everything down to bare metal. Then had my brother drive the car around while I was in the trunk. Found 2 things. First, If you have the sunroof, there are 2 clear plastic tubes that comes from the roof, down the rear pillars (1 Tube on each side), over the top of the rear wheel wells, down the back side of the wheel wells and then exit out the side of the car behind the bumper. These tubes were flopping around over larger bumps and creating a rattle. So I took a wire tie and tied them down to some holes that were in the vicinity. Rattle solved but still thumping. The thumping in the right rear is definitely coming from the underside of the car. I then proceeded to check the tightness on every bolt on the rear suspension. They were all tight. I think it has something to do with the gas tank, but I ran out of sunlight. Will investigate further next week if the temperature stays warm in NJ.

P.S. Dealers are morons and are clueless as to what makes a car tick (or in this case thump).
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You da man! alot more ambitious than I!!!!!! The tubes you speak of...........drain tubes i gather. I have not rattles up there, but do have the pesky one you now search. Would be happy to know what it is when you find it. i rolled around under mine a while ago and the gas tank was my guess also. I did not seem as tight as I thought it should be. Good luck!
When they had my tank out I noticed that there were some plastic/rubber hoses from the fuel pump to the right side of the car. It didn't look like they were hitting anythign but the looked low enough that a good bump would allow them to hit the top of the tank. The tank is plastic so I am wondering, if the sound changes with a full or empty tank of gas. If it does, then there is the problem. You can gain access to this area from the inspection port under the back seat.
As far as I have noticed, the sound does not change with gas level. pcsgrp, what was the problem with tank that they had to remove it? I was crawling under a G35 at a local auto show and noticed that it had a metal tank. It felt nice and solid.
for what its worth... I put dynomat on the forward and side sections of the rear wheel wells and on the large uncovered section under the back seat and now I can just barely make out the thumping where I could plainly hear it before.

They said that the service engine light came up with a code that indicated a slow pressure leak in the fuel system. They checked all the hoses that they could and decided to drop the tank. On the top of the tank there is a plug with some vent hoses, the fuel pump and fuel lines appear to be in a 5"dia assembly, and where that "plug" is solvent welded to the plastic gas tank, a leak occured. I don't know if it was a manufacturing problem or an over pressure problem with the tank from the pressure relief valve (that they now ordered because it was stuck) but they needed to drop the tank and send it back to Nissan.

Now the sway bar might be a possible source because I was driving this morning and didn't notice the thump. I did try tightning some things down prior to bringing it into them for the tank but when they drop the tank, they have to disconnect the sway bar. Perhaps when they put it back they tightened it enough to eliminate the noise.
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i wonder if I have same problem with tank. I occasionally can smell fuel.
2MPH Thump

I have posted about this problem before. I have the 2.5S and I hear the thumping when I back out of my drive @ 2MPH. So you don't have to be going fast or hit a hard bump. Please keep us up to date.:confused:
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