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After a long trip (~500 miles) car started making weird crackling sounds, when it starts moving from full stop. Here's a video, and sounds could be observed from time 00:01, but there are multiple of them in this video. The noise sounds like drumming on the video.

Car is: Hondsa Odyssey 2003.

Recently replaced: lower control arms, CV axles, all engine/tranny mounts, and transmission. While replacing transmission, the whole bottom was naturally disassembled, so there's quite a few things which could have gone wrong, but maybe that sound reminds somebody here of the likely suspect.

Also, my own suspicion is sway bar links. The passenger side shows that rubber seals are torn. I wonder if some dust could have gotten into them and cause such a crackling. For what it's worth, I've filled them with grease, and put a duct tape over, but that didn't change a thing - car still crackles.

UPDATE: I have no idea what was it. The sound was very persistent and reproducible on every start. I washed the car and now it's gone. And it wasn't even a good carwash, the bottom clearly was still dirty.

UPDATE2: The sound came back next day. I replaced sway bar links, and it didn't help.

UPDATE3: Spraying the strut spring with WD40 removed the noise. I wonder if it's strut mount...

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Are you talking about the light drumming sort of noise (in the video)? The video really isn't very helpful as far as I can tell. It looks from the picture, whether or not the sway-bar bushing is causing the noise, it definitely need replaced. Start there and see if it abates the noise. –  Paulster2 Dec 30 '13 at 19:55
    
Thanks, will do. If you look at my update, the sound is gone, I have no idea how could it possibly have. –  galets Dec 30 '13 at 21:54
    
I would bet the water has lubed something. Don't be surprised it it comes back, but be thankful if it goes away permanently! –  Paulster2 Dec 30 '13 at 21:56
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2 Answers

I tend to agree with your suspension suspicion (ho ho, I slay me!) with one small addition: it could also be the sway bar bushings themselves (those that actually hold the bar and through which it rotates).

Here's the easy way to find out which it is if you can get it to happen again:

  1. Take a can of pressurized lithium grease with the little red straw for precision aiming.
  2. Lubricate one of the bushings (either in the end links or one of the main bushings).
  3. Drive according to your standard "make it creak" procedure.
  4. If that didn't fix it, return to step 2 and try a different bushing.
  5. If it did fix it, you know that those bushings need to be lubricated more often than you thought.

I get a similar issue in the winter from my main sway bar bushings. The original pieces were too squishy but they did have graphite impregnated in them. When the bar would rotate, the bushings would self-lubricate.

The replacement pieces will bind and release during small motions when dirty so I get your "crackling" when I come to a stop or go over small speed bumps. A quick wash will make them stop complaining until they pick up some more gunk. A nice spray with lithium grease will keep them from complaining for months.

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wasn't bushings.. i lubed all of them and replaced links. No effect whatsoever –  galets Jan 4 at 17:11
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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Just to recap. Cause of the noise was the strut spring. Can't tell exactly what caused it to move in the strut mount, so it's likely a worn mount itself. Greasing the spring where it touches the metal resolved the grunt

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