Ask the ex­pert

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Got a ques­tion for our Porsche tech­ni­cian? Email us ed­i­to­rial@to­tal911.com

I’m the owner of a 2002 996 Cabri­o­let with 95,000km on the clock. I bought it in Ber­lin in July 2008 and brought it back to Por­tu­gal. I’m very happy with the car.

The rea­son for my con­tact is be­cause when I run over bad sur­faces, I no­tice a noise at the very rear of the car. A strong ‘clank­ing’ sound; it seems some­thing like steel against steel.

I have taken the car to my lo­cal

Porsche cen­tre, Cen­tro Porsche Porto, to in­ves­ti­gate, but no me­chan­i­cal prob­lems arose. The brakes, sus­pen­sion, struts and nuts are all ok – they even checked rear brakes, muf­flers, arms… Porsche said it could be some wa­ter pipes or tubes which are pass­ing very near the body to make that strange noise.

I un­der­stand that you can­not make a di­ag­no­sis over email, but I won­der if you have any fur­ther com­ments to add which may help me. I’d love to be able to solve the prob­lem of this ir­ri­ta­ble noise. I have a fear that some­thing might have bro­ken, and if we drive on a high­way at high speeds it could be dan­ger­ous.

Fran­cisco Guimarães

Scott’s an­swer: This is very in­ter­est­ing. If you are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a metal-on-metal rub­bing noise only on rough sur­faces or bumps it could be a num­ber of things. I have seen a lot of is­sues with brake discs’ back­ing plates rub­bing against the brake discs in­ter­mit­tently, for ex­am­ple.

Al­ter­na­tively, if the noise is more of a clonk or hol­low knock­ing noise I would be in­clined to look at the rear trail­ing arm bushes, per­haps re­move them and check for play, which again is a com­mon is­sue.

Lastly, I have seen a few is­sues of golf ball-sized stones that have flicked up and sit on top of the lower arms that again in­ter­mit­tently can cause clonk­ing noises. Re­gard­less, fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion is clearly needed to solve the is­sue.

Scott Gard­ner Job Ti­tle Gold Di­ag­nos­tic Tech­ni­cian Place of work Porsche Cen­tre Bournemouth, UK Time at Porsche 12 years

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