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Discussion Starter #1
I've had this issue for 1.5 years now.
Had it in 6 times for the dealers look at it and they couldn't hear it or find anything wrong. In the last few weeks its become very loud.

Video driving
http://youtu.be/md0apDR1aQM

Video in my garage
http://youtu.be/t9i9biDbRdA

I decided to do more research on this as there is various threads on here and on the Facebook group but no real cause or fix.

I then found Nissan has issued a few TSB's on this noise.

Interesting video of a Nissan with the exact same click noise.
http://youtu.be/WcxT7Vdbfuo

Nissan / Infinity service bulletin that address this noise and how to fix it.
http://www.infinitig37.com/TSB/1SB3.pdf

So Nissan's fix is to lubricate the axle to hub face as this is where the noise is coming from.

The other day on FB someone posted a axle shaft washer part number as the fix for their Volt's "click".
Part number 11547142, it fits many of GM's vehicles.

I looked into the service manual there is a reference to this washer.
Note: If there is no washer on the wheel drive shaft, install a NEW washer.
17. Remove and discard the washer (1) from the front wheel drive shaft (2). DO NOT re-use the washer, replace with NEW only.
So our Volts may or may not have this washer.

Further into the service manual it states
The front wheel drive shaft constant velocity joint is made with the Rzeppa joint design.
The shaft end (which mates with the knuckle/hub) has a helical spline. The helical spline ensures a tight, press-type fit. This design prevents end play between the hub bearing and the front wheel drive axle.
I then came across a few posts in the Corvette forums from 2006 with a great explanation.

This was posted by "3rd Childhood" who sounds like an engineer.
If the joint were worn out you would hear driveline clunk but the popping sound you describe is actually a slip-stick phenomena which can occur at the interface between the bearing and the CV joint (there is also a similar phenomena that can occur in the bearing but it's unlikely). So the guys who spray lube between the bearing and the joint are doing just the right thing
This is a well known problem within the cv joint industry. The noise is coming from the splines, but it is caused by motion between the bearing face and abutment face on the joint which sticks due to friction but then slips as it is overcome by torque. When it slips, lash in the spline connection is taken up in the opposite direction and you hear the pop. This is why many auto companies now use a press fit (created by a helical spline) between the joint and hub.

As I mentioned earlier the same can happen within the bearing but this is much less likely. The best way to solve your problem is to lube the other end of the spline as this will let lube get between the bearing and the joint. This will prevent these 2 surfaces from sticking together until overcome by torque, which then results in the pop you hear. Spraying lube on the nut end relies on the oil working it's way along the length of the spline to get where it needs to go.
I would just make one other suggestion. I would lightly grease the contact faces while you are in there. The popping occurs when these faces break loose under torque. The grease will prevent the sticking part of "stick/slip" which is the real root cause of the problem.
Just want to remind everyone that the real problem with the famous clunk problem (when shifting between forward and reverse) is a slip/stick issue between the hub and the outboard CV joint. Greasing the spline may work sometimes mainly because some gets through to the mating surfaces between the joint and hub. But the best fix is to put some lube on this interface.

None of this applies to clunks when just rolling ahead as ZO Quick mentions. This doesn't smell like a CV issue to me.
I know a bit about CV joints, but I don't know much about the specifics of our C5 halfshafts. But here's a couple comments for what they are worth.

I've seen a couple folks mention undertorqueing the nut to solve this problem. There a 2 types of bearings; one relies on the nut being torqued to properly preload the bearing, and the other is a preloaded
design which does not rely on the nut torque. Anyone know which we have? Undertorqueing the nut would be a bad thing if we don't have preloaded bearings.

Also, torqueing the nut on an oiled thread greatly increases the tension created as compared to a dry thread. Again, if our bearings rely on the nut to properly tension them, it will be impossible to properly preload the bearing if we oil the thread. So hopefully we have preloaded bearings.

While many of the forum members have discovered lubrication to cure the popping problem, I think the root cause of the problem is misunderstood, and this is why some of the cures have not been totally effective.

On a new car, there is very little lash between the joint and hub splines so there can be no relative motion between the joint and the mating parts (hub and bearing). If the splines deform a bit over time there is potential for this motion and only the torque of the nut is preventing it. So what happens is that, on torque reversal, we overcome the friction on mating surfaces and the splines "pop" as they take up the lash.

So lubricating the splines doesn't really help. The issue is the mating surfaces which are doing what's called stick/slip. If I had this problem, I would lube the face of the nut and the face of the joint which contacts the bearing. This eliminates the "stick" part of stick/slip and the pop should disappear.

This is a well know problem in the industry and is why some car manufacturers use a helical spline on the joint so there is a press fit with the hub. This eliminates the lash but makes removing the halfshaft much more difficult.
So the fix is to either molykote that sucker or slap a washer on it. Then torque it correctly
• First Pass, 150 N·m (111 lb ft)
• Second Pass, Loosen the nut 45 degrees
• Final Pass, 250 N·m (185 lb ft)

Why does GM not put out a TSB? Why did some Volt's have the washer and other do not?
Nissan knows the issue and tells their dealers. GM also knows about it (hence the washer) but keeps it a secret, and lets us waste our time and the dealers waste GM's money.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
There seems to be two washers for the Volt...I'm confused as the axle is the same p/n for 2011-2015 Volts and 2014 ELR's

11611232 - WASHER,FRT WHL DRV SHF(BLACK)(ID 30.7, OD 54.7)
2011-2012 Chevrolet Volt Hatchback

11547142 - WASHER,FRT WHL DRV SHF(CODE 7142)(ID 31.7 ID 60 MD 44)
2014 Cadillac ELR
2013-2014 Chevrolet Volt Hatchback
 

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Very informative post, thanks for all the detail. My car makes some slight clunking noises and squeaks, often accentuated when driving around a parking deck with the windows open.

But seriously, you need to watch this and learn to use that smartphone camera as intended

http://youtu.be/Bt9zSfinwFA
 

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Hello All,
I was hoping this noise was not an isolated issue and I would see another owner with the same complaint. Mine is 2013MY. The noise you described began on mine about 6 weeks ago (about 34K miles). I chalked it up to a failing CV joint. But apparently this may not be the case. I went for a quiet windows down drive an hour ago and yes, the similar noise is there on acceleration and deceleration. Seems to be on the left side only at this time.
You say the dealer has not fixed this after 6 trips. Suggestions?

Thanks in advance,

RB
 

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Hello All,
I was hoping this noise was not an isolated issue and I would see another owner with the same complaint. Mine is 2013MY. The noise you described began on mine about 6 weeks ago (about 34K miles). I chalked it up to a failing CV joint. But apparently this may not be the case. I went for a quiet windows down drive an hour ago and yes, the similar noise is there on acceleration and deceleration. Seems to be on the left side only at this time.
You say the dealer has not fixed this after 6 trips. Suggestions?

Thanks in advance,

RB
See http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?193601-Clicking-sound-from-outside-car-starting-and-stopping-at-low-speed-(2012-Volt)&highlight=clicking

Includes dealership fix (which worked).
clicking.jpg
 

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I see Nissan listed above, add Ford Fusion to that list. I had my Fusion Hybrid to the dealer a couple years ago to get a TSB performed where they added a "thrust washer" to the axles, sounds similar to what the OP described. And now the Fusion Energi has started to do the same thing, so I will be taking that in next week to get checked out.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have been on the east coast for the last three weeks. When I get home I'll be visiting my dealer with the info above to have it fixed finally.
 

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I have been on the east coast for the last three weeks. When I get home I'll be visiting my dealer with the info above to have it fixed finally.
Hey HouseApe,

Thank you for sharing with us, I'm sorry to hear that you're experiencing a noise concern with your Volt. I'd like to provide you with additional support by contacting your dealer on your behalf to notify them of your concerns and assisting with scheduling an appointment for your convenience since I see you are currently out of town. If you're interested, please private message me your VIN, mileage, contact info, and your preferred dealer.

Thanks,

Vivian K.
Chevrolet Customer Care
 

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UPDATE: I just had my dealer tighten the left front hub and the click is GONE. No charge! Enjoy the silence.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
UPDATE: I just had my dealer tighten the left front hub and the click is GONE. No charge! Enjoy the silence.
I'm at the dealer now. If they pull that crap with me we will have a problem. That is not the correct way to fix this. If they over torque the axle nut the preload on the wheel hub bearing will be too much and would lead to a premature failure.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So I talked to the tech who worked on my Volt. He said he removed the shaft, cleaned up the splines inspected the washer,lubed the splines them put the shaft back in then torqued it according to the two-step process.

I'm not happy about them not replacing the washer and nut as per the service manual. The lube on the splines serves no purpose as the noise is from the hub face to cv joint face (where the washer sits).

The noise is gone. And they didn't just over torque the nut to get rid of it. I'm hoping for a lasting fix only time will tell.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So I talked to the tech who worked on my Volt. He said he removed the shaft, cleaned up the splines inspected the washer,lubed the splines them put the shaft back in then torqued it according to the two-step process.

I'm not happy about them not replacing the washer and nut as per the service manual. The lube on the splines serves no purpose as the noise is from the hub face to cv joint face (where the washer sits).

The noise is gone. And they didn't just over torque the nut to get rid of it. I'm hoping for a lasting fix only time will tell.
Well four days later and it's Clicking again. Wished the tech would have followed the instructions in SI or bothered to look at the printed instructions I gave the service advisor. They were sitting on the passenger seat when I got my Volt back.
So another trip for the same issue. I think this will be #8
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Finally got back to the dealer. They keep it overnight. Their fix was to clean the splines again and install new a axel nut. The noise is gone just like before.

I have serious doubts it's actually fixed. Should know in about a week.
 

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Finally got back to the dealer. They keep it overnight. Their fix was to clean the splines again and install new a axel nut. The noise is gone just like before.

I have serious doubts it's actually fixed. Should know in about a week.
Well I know you had your doubts about my repair, but I've put another 1,000 miles on the car with no clicks anymore. Frankly, I don't care if it causes minorly increased wear. A new bearing is what, $20?
 

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Well I know you had your doubts about my repair, but I've put another 1,000 miles on the car with no clicks anymore. Frankly, I don't care if it causes minorly increased wear. A new bearing is what, $20?
I'm happy yours worked out. Wished mine did the first time.
 

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FWIW: Parts shown above resolved my issue. Total cost for the repair was $18 ($5.30 for pair of axle washers & $12.70 for pair of axle nuts). Original factory nuts were 32mm size while the improved type now actually require a 36mm socket.

I also had this intermittent pop noize on my 2013 Volt w/45,000mi although not as loud or as persistent as the OP's.

Rather glad I replaced these parts to not only eliminate the annoying pop I was experiencing but also found the driver's side axle nut was actually loose (much less than the 185ftlb spec) while the passenger's side was well above 200. My torque wrench only goes up to 250ftlb and 'clicked' immediately with no nut movement on the passenger's side when set to 230ftlb!:rolleyes: yeah, the passenger's side axle nut was a bear to eventually get off!
 

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FWIW: Parts shown above resolved my issue. Total cost for the repair was $18 ($5.30 for pair of axle washers & $12.70 for pair of axle nuts). Original factory nuts were 32mm size while the improved type now actually require a 36mm socket.

I also had this intermittent pop noize on my 2013 Volt w/45,000mi although not as loud or as persistent as the OP's.

Rather glad I replaced these parts to not only eliminate the annoying pop I was experiencing but also found the driver's side axle nut was actually loose (much less than the 185ftlb spec) while the passenger's side was well above 200. My torque wrench only goes up to 250ftlb and 'clicked' immediately with no nut movement on the passenger's side when set to 230ftlb!:rolleyes: yeah, the passenger's side axle nut was a bear to eventually get off!
My dealer just doesn't understand those two parts are needed to fix this. Hell its even stated in the service manual.
If the noise comes back I'll be fixing it my myself.

The Volt is a great car. The dealers just plain suck. I will not be buying a new Volt based on the experience I've had from three different dealers. Why buy new and pay for a bumper to bumper warranty that's basically useless and costs my lots of time with repeated visits.
 

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Sorry to drag up an old thread, but I'm experiencing his issue at 82000 miles on my 2012. Somms, were you able to get the axle pushed in far enough to install the washer/spacer without separating the knuckle from the lower ball joint? If not, do you know the part numbers for the lower ball joint nut and bolt? The service manual says they're torque-to-yield and need to be replaced with new. Thanks!





FWIW: Parts shown above resolved my issue. Total cost for the repair was $18 ($5.30 for pair of axle washers & $12.70 for pair of axle nuts). Original factory nuts were 32mm size while the improved type now actually require a 36mm socket.

I also had this intermittent pop noize on my 2013 Volt w/45,000mi although not as loud or as persistent as the OP's.

Rather glad I replaced these parts to not only eliminate the annoying pop I was experiencing but also found the driver's side axle nut was actually loose (much less than the 185ftlb spec) while the passenger's side was well above 200. My torque wrench only goes up to 250ftlb and 'clicked' immediately with no nut movement on the passenger's side when set to 230ftlb!:rolleyes: yeah, the passenger's side axle nut was a bear to eventually get off!
 
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