Banging noises when driving over bumps

Unfortunately we don’t always find ourselves driving over perfectly smooth, freshly paved roads. And while rough roads may cause some issues with your vehicle, they can also help diagnose potential issues. A banging noise while driving over bumps can be startling for a driver, especially if the same noise did not manifest itself on flat roads. If you notice a banging noise while driving over a bump, you should have it inspected.

How this system works:

Your vehicle’s suspension system is made up of many components designed to adjust when driving over rough terrain, to ensure a comfortable ride. When these components begin to fail, they may produce clunking or banging noises to let you know something has gone wrong. However, typically when suspension components like tie rod ends and ball joints fail, they will make a banging noise all the time, and not just over bumps. The fact that the noise only seems to occur while driving over a bump may be a sign of a different issue.

Common reasons for this to happen:

  • Bad Sway Bar Link: A vehicle’s sway bar or anti-roll bar, helps reduce body roll while cornering. Sway bars can help keep a vehicle from rolling over when going around a sharp corner. If the sway bar breaks or is damaged it may produce a clunking or knocking sound, especially when going over bumps. Your vehicle may also had more difficulty handling when the sway bar is damaged.
  • Worn Control Arm Bushings: The control arms on your vehicle’s suspension allow for movement up and down when driving on uneven terrain. Part of the control arm assembly are bushing, typically made of rubber or polyurethane. The bushings are designed to dampen any noise that might be created when your vehicle goes over a bump. If the bushing wear down, the noise is not dampened and you may hear a resulting bang when driving over bumps.
  • Loose Brake Caliper: Your vehicle’s brake calipers are pistons that engage the brakes when the brake pedal is applied. Calipers are typically secured with bolts and do not move. If a caliper bolt has become loose it may cause the caliper to make a banging noise when driving over bumps.

How important is this service?

A vehicle that makes a banging noise while going over a bump may reveal an issue with the suspension system. Not only does the suspension system provide a comfortable ride but it plays a critical role in the safety of the vehicle, especially when cornering and braking. If you notice a noise while going over bumps, you should have it inspected to make sure that the suspension is working properly.