2012 Xterra Front Thumping Noise - Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums (2005+)
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 07:42 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy 2012 Xterra Front Thumping Noise

I have a 2012 S mode with about 174k miles. A few months back I started hearing a thumping/bumping noise from the front passenger wheel area. I've since taken my vehicle to 2 Nissan dealerships, a local mechanic and a transmission specialist. The first Nissan dealership replaced the front passenger bearing. I've had the front rotors and brakes changed. New tires installed. The transmission specialist couldn't find anything wrong. The 2nd Nissan dealership seemed generally embarrassed because he couldn't find what was causing the noise. The thumping/bumping noise is most loudest at 30 MPH. When you turn to the left slowly on a curve and a load is applied to the right side, you hear the noise louder. Just recently I've started hearing the noise start on the drivers side wheel area. The noise does not affect steering. In other words, I don't feel anything in the wheel. This has been a very frustrating experience especially because the dealerships don't know what it is. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 09:01 AM
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IIRC... my friend had the swaybar bushings replaced to stop the thumping/clunking on her X. If I see her this weekend I'll ask what it was.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Update on the noise. Today I had the CV axle replaced with a new one but that did not fix the problem.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 04:36 PM
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I’d say suspension related. Blown shock (strut), bad bushing in end link, sway bar, ball joint.

Check all those first. Take your time. Stop throwing parts at it until you define the issue.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 06:55 PM
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May as well check for any play across the u-joints. Easy thing to check.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 04:51 PM
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So my friend said that the sway bar on her rig had broken. That is what caused the clunking.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 08:01 AM
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this is gonna sound silly, but I went through this with my '12 Pro4X and it was infuriating. The knocked was incredibly loud off road and nobody could figure it out. I took apart just about everything under the front end and it turned out to be the two stupidest things. The first stupid issue was the rubber stops under the hood that were in two tight so did not apply enough tension on the hood latch and caused a rattle. The other issue was I have an after market K&N CAI that sits in a box over the driver side wheel. The mounting bracket does not hold it up enough so the filter bangs in the inside of the wheel well., but the sound feels like its by your foot. I glued a foam block under it, no more noise.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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First let me say, thank you everyone for your suggestions. With that being said I still have the noise. I did check the u-joints and they were tight (I assume the dealership checked also). The sway bar (Bushings) is also tight. Rubber stops under the hood adjusted correctly. The sound seems to slow down or speed up directly with the speed of the car. You definitely hear it at 30mph but as you get above 35-40 mph its hard to tell if its still happening. I've had suggestions that it might have something to do with the transmission but I had a transmission place look at it already. They said its fine. I suggested to both the dealerships if it could be the strut but they both didn't think so. but I have my suspicions. The thing that makes me think its a suspension issue is between 30-35 mph, my foot off the accelerator and turning left on a curve the noise gets louder. The noise is a thumping/bumping/rubbing sound. It does not sound like metal on metal.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 08:23 PM
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record and post a video maybe? To me It sounds like a hub/wheel bearing or tire issue. Your mechanic should have checked each bearing but raising each wheel and checking for play is an easy test. also swapping tires from the noisy side to see if it changes at all is something you can try yourself.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 12:56 AM
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Replace the front sway bar bushings for $15 and twenty minutes of your time. You probably are due. Mine was making the same noise and it fixed it.
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