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Dave Nova
Dave Nova, Oldsmobile Tech
Category: Oldsmobile
Satisfied Customers: 19451
Experience:  ASE Master Certification. GM World Class Certification
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Oldsmobile bravada: 2002 Bravada makes clunking noise on smooth

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2002 Bravada makes clunking noise on smooth road, turns like stuck in 4wd when going slow

Hello and thank you for trusting me with your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do my best to help you with your Oldsmobile problem.


Are all four tires the same brand and size?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, good tires, maybe 4,500 miles.


The Bravada is full time all wheel drive. The transfer case has a viscous coupling inside that joins the front and rear drivelines together. It should allow for some slippage when turning, as the front and rear drivelines spin at different speeds when turning. If there is binding when turning then the viscous coupling is locking up and not allowing the needed slippage. This problem is common on the Bravada and requires replacement of the viscous coupling. The transfer case does have to be disassembled to replace this part.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thank you - in my research, there is a lot of information regarding the encoder motor going bad. Do you think this is a possiblity or most likely the viscous coupling. thanks again.


There are two different types of all wheel drive systems used on the Bravada. If you have the Smart Trak option (should say that on the dash) then yours has the encoder motor that engages an internal clutch pack and the encoder would be more likely.

If you do not have the smart trak option then the viscous coupling would be the faulty part.

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