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mseibel

AWD creaking & groaning on cornering @ low speeds

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My 2014 Journey SXT AWD has been creaking and groaning while cornering at low speeds... pulling away from a corner, turning into a driveway, etc.  At first is was just on left turns and it sounded like driveline windup.  Obviously it doesn't happen on a loose surface.  It was pretty bad all last winter, then disappeared during the summer.  This winter it came back with a vengeance.  It is the kind of noise where one day I fully expect that I will twist off a drive shaft.  It has done is since it was nearly new, and I've had it back to the dealer who was unable to hear any unusual noises.  (Another unusual noise that this car has had was just before the 2-3 upshift there was a heavy clunk... always just before the upshift.)

So my first question since I suspect the fluid coupling is this: Is the fluid coupling/rear diff serviceable or do they replace the entire unit when there's a problem.  I saw another topic where a Journey owner has had theirs serviced, but when I look through the online parts catalogs, they only show the diff assembly.  I also wondered if there's a servo that operates anything in the rear diff that may be inoperable or stuck.  Last time that I had it jacked up, I could turn one wheel while the other was on the ground and the vehicle in park, so that tells me that something engages/disengages somewhere sometime.

I've looked through the other topics and have found some fluid coupling issues, but nothing like mine.  Any ideas?

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