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Good luck with it. Drove my regular 90-mile RT commute today in the repaired Bolt, and despite mild PTSD symptoms whenever I went over a bump at low speeds, I never did hear the sound. For now, the axle replacement seems to have made the difference.
 

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Good luck with it. Drove my regular 90-mile RT commute today in the repaired Bolt, and despite mild PTSD symptoms whenever I went over a bump at low speeds, I never did hear the sound. For now, the axle replacement seems to have made the difference.
I brought it in yesterday, and they have now kicked it up to “GM Engineering” because they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it. Bolt is still with them. I’m having withdrawal symptoms. (The loaner is a Malibu.)
 

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I have the same rear axle noise on my 2017 Bolt, and it is very low mileage at ~9,000. The service department took several days to isolate the noise via largely a process of elimination, swapping out many components in the process - when they finally identified it, they brought me into the shop and demonstrated the clunk while the car was on the lift. The axle is designed to flex. By applying upward pressure (a jack) on one side of the axle, they can replicate clunk/click - it comes directly from the axle itself. They speculated that I probably heard the sound most often when one wheel goes high, torquing the axle vertically - running over a bump on one side, for example. Insofar as I can tell, that is correct. While the service dept does not believe that it presents a safety issue (after all, I have the "clunker" back, they have ordered the replacement to be installed in a few days. My car was the first one into the dealership with the problem, however, during the remainder of the week, 3 others came in for the issue.

They pointed out that since the Bolt is so quiet, and since the sound insulation is less than most cars, noises like this are more perceptible. But there was no hesitation on their part to order the replacement since they don't have enough history with the axle to know if it would pose a downstream hazard.
 

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I have the same rear axle noise on my 2017 Bolt, and it is very low mileage at ~9,000. The service department took several days to isolate the noise via largely a process of elimination, swapping out many components in the process - when they finally identified it, they brought me into the shop and demonstrated the clunk while the car was on the lift. The axle is designed to flex. By applying upward pressure (a jack) on one side of the axle, they can replicate clunk/click - it comes directly from the axle itself. They speculated that I probably heard the sound most often when one wheel goes high, torquing the axle vertically - running over a bump on one side, for example. Insofar as I can tell, that is correct. While the service dept does not believe that it presents a safety issue (after all, I have the "clunker" back, they have ordered the replacement to be installed in a few days. My car was the first one into the dealership with the problem, however, during the remainder of the week, 3 others came in for the issue.

They pointed out that since the Bolt is so quiet, and since the sound insulation is less than most cars, noises like this are more perceptible. But there was no hesitation on their part to order the replacement since they don't have enough history with the axle to know if it would pose a downstream hazard.
You bring up a good point here. I’ve actually done the last 2 tire rotations myself using a floor jack in the garage, and I’ve reliably been able to replicate the clunk / tink / annoying noise every time I jack that side of the vehicle up. As it turns out though, the Bolt is still with them and haven’t gotten back to me yet as to what they think is going on.
 

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Quick update: just got the Bolt back today. GM Engineering has suggested... A rear axle replacement. Part ordered, hopefully arrives at the dealer next week so I can bring it back to get it installed.
 

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Yup. GM is calling it an axle, so it is an axle. I believe I read that it is actually the metal sleeved, rubber pivot bushings that are making the noise. Before I'd replace all that, I try spraying the bushings, coil spring insulators, shock mounts, etc. with lube. But I guess the shops make more if they just replace whole parts. Seems like a disgusting waste to me...a totally brain-dead culture.
Axel is also a male's name. I know two Axels.

My vehicles have no rear axles. They have spindles where the wheel rotors ride on. I wonder if the Bolt EV was the same as it is a common design for FWD vehicles. AWD vehicles do have a rear axle.
Keep in mind our bolts do not, unfortunately, come with an independent rear.
 
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madmike
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