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Old 12-17-2008, 12:06 PM
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Default Rumbling noise from front passenger side

My '04 AWD has recently started making a regular rumbling noise from the front passenger side. In the passenger seat you can feel some vibration, but it is not noticeable from the driver's seat. The best way I can describe the noise is it usually sounds somewhat like driving over highway "rumble strips", but (usually) not as loud.

The mechanic found nothing obvious and thought it was tire related. I had the tires rotated and balanced, but it did not impact the noise.

The noise occurs whether or not the car is in gear and usually only occurs at about 30 mph or higher. It seems to occur on smooth or rough roads. Sometimes it seems a little quieter when accelerating (could just be masked by engine noise) or braking.

Does anything stand out as a likely culprit or do I have a lot of troubleshooting ahead of me?

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Old 12-18-2008, 01:47 AM
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JPN JPN is offline
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Location: IPS, MA
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Default RE: Rumbling noise from front passenger side

Check to see if the tie rod end recall has been done on your XC90:

I remember one owner noted that her drive shaft was shot. It could be...

- Drive shaft/axle
- Wheel bearing/hub unit
- Engine mount
- Loose pax seat mountings

If you can do so safely, visually inspect for drive shaft, steering & suspension components for signs of damage (rubbing marks, etc...) and try shaking each component for looseness. However, I would do this with someone who knows how to jack up a SUV safely.

As I am not privy to the XC90s, this is all I can do for now. If you did not receive other replies in the next few days, try posting a thread in general Volvo Chat.

I wish you the best of luck,

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Old 01-16-2009, 02:57 PM
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Default RE: Rumbling noise from front passenger side

Problem turned out to be related to the drive shaft issue (that was also causing the clicking noise). Evidently when the joint lock up the shaft is now spinning out of balance which causes the rumbling noise.

There are two joints on the shaft - one at the front and one at the center. The(independent) Volvo mechanicthought the problem was the front joint and they ordered a replacement for it. When they actually took off the shaft, they figured out the problem was the center joint... Volvo does not offer a replacement part for the center joint, you have to replace the whole shaft (part about $1100)... however it turns out that the center joint and front joint are the same, so the mechanic was able to use the part ordered to replace the center joint.

I no longer have either the clicking or the rumbling noises... total cost was about $600 - a lot cheaper than the $1300 - $1500 to replace the shaft!!
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