Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Rear end feels unstable.

asked by on

When I drive over a bump in the road, my car starts to "fishtail" a little. I've also noticed a clunking sound when I begin to move and turn from a stopped position. There is significant wear on the insides of both rear tires, and I notice a slight pull to either the left or the right sometimes while driving.

My car has 95000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Loose or worn suspension components can make the car feel unstable. Worn shocks or struts can make the car feel "bouncy" or unstable over bumps. If the struts/shocks are worn badly, chances their upper mounts may also be bad, causing a clunking sound as well as the bouncy feeling. Also, worn bushings can make the car feel like it is wandering or pulling. Work control arm bushings or cradle bushings will allow suspension components to move around excessively, effecting alignment and tracking. All of these can also cause tire wear.

A certified technician can inspect the vehicle and determine the cause, or causes, of the bouncy,unstable ride

Was this answer helpful?

Hi there:

Sometimes this issue can be a symptom of bad or failing lateral links. When the lateral link goes bad or wears out, it can cause the rear end to be loose, impact steering, and in some cases, create a very unsafe driving situation. To be certain that the lateral links on your Stratus are what’s causing this problem you’re experiencing, have a mobile mechanic complete a car is vibrating or shaking inspection first; as it could be a different rear end suspension component that is faulty.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Rear end feels unstable.

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Manual transmission won't go into any gears.

Hi there. It is possible that the transmission may have gotten into the wrong gear at the wrong time and could have damaged that counter shaft or the main shaft in the transmission. First drain the oil from the transmission...

Q: Driving with the parking brake on

Hi, thanks for writing in. As long as your brakes feel fine, I would say there is no immediate need to replace anything. It would be a good idea to have a mechanic check to make sure nothing is damaged...

Q: A warning beep comes on every 10 seconds (just one beep)

Hello there, many faults can cause a beeping noise in your 2004 Dodge Stratus. The most common would be the seat belt warning light. This can occur if the passenger seat sensor is faulty. A qualified technician such as one...

Related articles

What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.