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Discussion Starter #1
My Ampera has now done 17,000 trouble free miles.
I've noticed recently that the suspension has become noisy and rattley on rough tarmac - not speed bumps, just minor uneven surfaces.
It's fine on good roads. This did not happen when new. It seems to be at the back.
The garage insists there is nothing wrong.
Has anybody else got this problem?
 

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Mine has tended to do this since I bought it but I forgot to get them to check it out when it was in for it's service. Whether it's just how I'm feeling, but it does seem to vary in significance. As you say, it doesn't do it over speed bumps etc. but on the road into one of our quarries which is concrete and slightly corrugated it does it over it's complete length. At it's next service I intend to get the local agent to test it along our road. I'll let you know what they say.

Clive
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Clive, yes, that's exactly the noise I mean.
The trouble with electric cars is you hear every rattle because it's so quiet - even luggage and items in the storage recesses.
This noise sounds to me like shock absorber ball joints. Go Vauxhall say it's normal - I say, not on a car of that price!
I don't recall it doing this when new. I made a point of test driving it over all the bad roads around here.

I look forward to hearing what your agents says.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I wonder if it's the GREEN tyres.
Apparently, they deteriorate with age and go hard, which is exactly the feeling I get. Even now I'm running them at 35 lbs or less.
I'm thinking of spending £400 and having them changed to a softer, quiet, comfortable make. Even at the expense of losing a little economy.
Has anybody else done this and if so, what tyre did you choose?
Reading about it on the net, it seems to be a common problem on lots of different car makes, and changing the tyres can transform a car.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good news!

I took the car to The Motoring Centre in Eastbourne to get them to check out the noise, as Go Vauxhall in Wimbledon insist there's nothing wrong with it.
I went there because there is space to test drive it, unlike the immediate congestion you get in Wimbledon.
Their Ampera specialist came with me on a test drive and we found a rough road. He said he could hear it and would investigate it.
They put it on the ramp but nothing was obvious, so they lent me a service car and said they'd investigate further.
That evening, they phoned and said they'd found a loose brake calliper on the front, and had ordered a replacement (Friday).

On Monday, they phoned to say the car was ready for collection.

Sure enough, the noise had disappeared and the car runs like new! Silent! I also got them to change the engine oil, even tough there was 20% life left.
I felt uneasy after 20,000 miles on the same oil. It only cost £80 or so.

I must say I found them excellent in every way. Nice premises, very helpful staff right down to the receptionist who made me coffee.
I would certainly recommend them, and the drive down there was easy and pleasant, although twice as far as Wimbledon.
 

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Really pleased you had great service from Eastbourne Motoring Centre as that's where I got my Ampera from, even though I live in Milton Keynes!

I've bought a number of cars from them in the past and have recommended them to friends, all of whom have been well looked after.

Big Paul
 

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That's great to hear Knightstonethornbird as I had booked my car in for its second service due to the oil life running out and was going to get them to check the noise in the suspension. I'll point them in the direction of the callipers. I think I will also copy you and and cancel the full service and get them just to change the oil as the service isn't actually due until the Spring - £80 is a lot better than £350 just before Christmas!

Clive
 

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I took mine in to the agent for the oil change (£124!) and had them take the car out to listen to the suspension noise which they agreed was very obvious on a slightly corrugated surface. I mentioned Knightstonethornbird's experience with his brake callipers and sure enough that was the problem with mine. They reassembled them and the noise I have suffered since the early days has gone. It feels a smoother ride than ever. I didn't think this car could get any better!

Clive
 

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Oh Dear!

We have had a kind of knocking from the rear of the car over the past couple of days. It only happens very occasionally and it seems only when going round a left turn/bend and only on certain road surfaces or slight bumps mid corner.

I did have a few things in the boot and I have taken them out to confirm it wasn't those but to be honest they have been there for weeks and I haven't heard anything until now.

I will leave it until I am certain that we have a problem before calling the dealer but it isn't looking hopeful at the moment :-(
 

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I have this clunking noise in icy uneven surfaces too,.. it kind is comes from front and back depending uneven surface placement. Sound is med-low frequency clanking, thumping. It sound bit like good old suspension "dogbone" starting to get loose but it should be no issue with these miles (40000km/ 25000miles) So are there any other causes beside brake caliper pins?
 

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Guys, this problem is almost certainly what I had on my Ampera bought at 17000 miles. Bellinger claimed they a) couldn' t find the rattle, then b) that they' d adjusted the backplate (!). The Astra J has same problem and fixed parts came out - seems these haven't made it to Ampera. See my thread Ampera Brake Rattle Solution for a quick and cheap fix. Andy.
 

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Skimming gm-volt as I do, there appear to be several possible noise-making modes from the suspension, a number being very similarly described by owners who later find quite different issues. I don't think there are any major 'common' faults but there are a few that come up more than once. It depends on what the noise really is, and I don't think an arm-chair/internet diagnosis is going to help much. I have a few which come and go, all very quiet stuff, largely because you don't have noisy mechanicals from an ICE screening them anymore.
 

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Donald, good point - certainly likely to be >1 possible causes! Mine's easy to diagnose, see the thread.

My particular rattle looks to me to be inevitable on all Amperas that haven't got the newer brake pins (or whatever the GM fix for Astra J was); as Bellinger had no knowledge of the Astra J fix, I strongly suspect that pretty-much all 2012 Amperas, at the very least, are likely to get my rattle. One of the caliper pins is hugely undersized, and there's a puny rubber sleeve to stop the rattle. Once that gets worn away, rattle is inevitable, and mine showed up best (=worst!) when driving over pebbley/cobbled type surfaces. I am really surprised that so few Ampera owners have had this particular rattle, as it was driving me nuts. It took my local Vauxhall gge about 5 seconds to find the rattle, but they weren't allowed to do anything about it! :mad:. So I expected Bellinger to find it as quickly and fix it under warranty, but they claimed they couldn't even detect it (what!!!) despite my telling them how to provoke it! Huh? Why not? :confused: Andy.
 

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I think you should be cautious in regards replacing that with a thicker pin, the reason being that it is possibly thinner to tolerate a bit of surface weathering due to less use than in a normal car. Just a thought.
 

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Surface weathering? Anyway I haven't changed the pin (which was immaculate), simply added 0.005" shim round it leaving appx 0.001" clearance. I recently changed a similar caliper (siezing piston) on a Mazda 6 - both pins were a super-close fit to the holes, none of GM's "leave-a-huge-gap-pad-half-the-pin-with-rubber" nonsense. If Mazda can make a caliper which doesn't rattle after 150,000 miles, why can't GM?
 

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Surface weathering?
I mean, a bit of oxidation (happens to all base metals to a greater or lesser extent) dirt, dust, salt, erosion, general grime. This stuff isn't wiped away as often as on an ICE due to regen.
 

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I had my suspension rattling/clanking/clunking checked and diagnosis was caliper pins and possible some slack in front strut.. pins I understand but loose struts is bit early... perhaps it is just rubber parts worn out from strut connections.. Do official repair centers know this pin issue, do they have a fix for that?
 
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