Outdoor Tips for Northern California and Southern Oregon outdoorsmen
New Feature

Click on Columnists  to access travelogues, field reports, advice, humorous tales and answers to your Q’s! 


Website of the Week


Is that clunking noise just annoying or dangerous?

Before and After by Don Stec, author badge, myoutdoorbuddy.com

he caller said. My car makes a clunking noise. Could you tell me what it is and how much it will cost to repair it?

It’s incredible how often we get phone calls from people expecting us to analyze their vehicle problems over the phone. I never want to just blow away the caller with a “you have to bring it in for me to see it,” attitude remark. I realize time may be a problem and people hate to be without their vehicles. Plus no-one enjoys the expense of a repair bill. We do owe vehicle owners a respectful conversation over the phone, even if their questions are often impossible to answer without an inspection of the vehicle.

I ask questions such as “when does the noise occur? The purpose is to find out several conditions that typically cause clunking noises. Not to diagnose the problem, but to alert the driver if the condition is dangerous. In the majority of cases I have to recommend the vehicle be brought in for inspection. Sometimes I have to recommend the vehicle be brought in by a tow truck.

Vehicle owners often want assurance from me that the vehicle is safe to drive for a period of time until they can bring it in for inspection. Unfortunately, without inspecting the vehicle I can never recommend doing so.

I got a call from an old customer that had moved out of the area. The questions she asked were pretty much as described in the above paragraphs. She was just looking for information because the clunk had been there for some time and she wondered if it was something to be concerned about.

It was just a little clunk but it seemed to be getting louder. From the information she gave me, I told her it sounded like a typical clunk sound that occurs from a suspension part that was badly worn or had a loose bolt. I recommended getting the vehicle to a repair shop immediately. I felt...if her description was accurate the vehicle was dangerous to drive.

A few days later; she called regarding a repair estimate from a local shop. Well, she delayed having the vehicle inspected and additional damage had occurred. She explained, she had driven to work several miles away and then driven home. As she made a hard right turn to pull into her driveway the right front suspension came loose from the vehicle frame.

It was fortunate that the speed at the time was probably less than 5 miles per hour and there were no injuries. Imagine what could have happened at highway speeds. It’s terrifying to even think about it. This time it was to ask me if so many parts had to be replaced and if the cost of the repair estimate was fair. I replied, the estimate did look typical for what had occurred.

The delay was just long enough for a bolt to slip out of a suspension part. I suspect there was some lack of urgency with the owner because it was just a little clunk that could only be heard upon starting and stopping.

A photo of suspension failure, photo by Don Stec
Suspension failure, photo by Don Stec

A squeak or a rattle in the passenger compartment may be an annoyance and something a person can live with, if it is proven not to be a safety issue. A noise that emanates from the underside of a vehicle should not be ignored.

Here are some hints on what to pay attention to If you experience a clunk from the underside of your vehicle. This will be of great value to your mechanic.

Pay attention to when it occurs: Is it upon starting, stopping or both, on a turn or straight ahead, at what speed did it occur? What were the conditions of the road when it occurred? What portion of the vehicle did the clunk come from, did you feel the clunk also, was it in the steering wheel, through the seat or floorboard? The more information you can give, the easier it will be to find the problem and perhaps save some money too.

Coachmaster Collision repair* -- founded in 1969 is the best equipped body and paint shop in the North Valley. Contact Allan Gordon for an estimate or information on your collision repair needs and the many other services Coachmaster provides. Call 530-243-1310 or visit the business at 6851 Eastside Road, Redding California. *Click here if you are using a smart phone or other mobile device.

More Hunting Tips

B&C Cookbook kabobs the competition

Grilling season is here. The Boone and Crockett Club is sharing a kabob recipe from a cookbook that skewered the competition recently in a national book awards. The Club's first-ever cookbook, "Wild Gourmet... Full Story

How to Keep smilin’ after the Shot

A man in Camo stoops over and searches the area for signs of animals and their tracks
By Jason Haley
They returned to camp grinning ear to ear. I had a hunch what that meant and was hoping for the best -- a short trail, happy hunter and me in my tent before midnight. I knew better. As we gathered packs, bags, and extra... Full Story

How to Stay Sharp for When the Shot Counts

Daisy Pellet Rifle, Powerline 1000S
By Jesse Bible
I would like to share a method for honing shooting skills. Here in Northern California, the odds are that you will be taking a close shot at a deer that has more than likely seen you first. Once you...Full Story

How to handle firearms safely

Hunting seasons come and go but gun safety should always be on our minds. With that said, Budweiser and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), two longtime partners in wildlife conservation and responsible outdoor...Full Story

How & when to purchase a firearm for a special occasion

By Gary Heffley
There are many gift givers and gift recipients every year who expect to give or get a gun for Christmas (or other special occasion) who, because they are unfamiliar with gun purchasing laws in the state of California, become discouraged...Full Story


Your outdoor adventures have only just begun
Northern California Fishing News, Northern California Hunting Reports

Fishing News

Northern California and Southern Oregon offer superb fresh and saltwater fishing. Before you make a trip, make sure you have
up-to-date news about where the fish are biting!

Hunting News

This region is also famous for its world-class hunting opportunities. Make sure you are armed with the absolute latest news by checking
the reports being filed daily at MyOutdoorBuddy.com.

Northern California Outdoor News, Northern California Outdoor Reports Outdoor News 

If you like to explore the great outdoors your choices are essentially infinite in Northern California and Southern Oregon. Use our news pages to plan your next outing!

Northern California Destination News, Northern California Destination Reports


So many places to visit and so little time, but if you scan
these pages you'll know in advance what lies ahead and what
not to miss in the almost-mythical State of Jefferson.
Buddy Photos

You are there! Towering mountains, vast valleys, unique shorelines. Land, water and air bursting with life. Opportunity presents itself. Llghting is right. Click! An image is captured for the ages.

Photo Galleries, MyOutdoorBuddy.com

Photo Galleries

A preview of coming attractions...if you are planning a trip to this area be forewarned: What photographers have captured will whet your appetite for what will be an outdoor journey filled with wonders.  

Product & Services Directory

Don't let anything come between you and a wonderful weekend, vacation or or auto tour in this region. The fine product and services providers listed here will have what you need to enjoy your visit.  

Come back to MyOutdoorBuddy.com for more Northern California and Southern Oregon fishing, hunting and outdoor news, reports, information, opinions and photos.


A friend to all who love the outdoors since 2006

Website Design Photo Credits: MyOutdoorBuddy.com thanks the following individuals for contributing photographs for use on our Home and Section pages: Anders Tomlinson of Tule-Lake.com, Casey Allen of Bayside, CA; Jason Haley of Medford, OR; Steve Breth of Burney, CA; Tracy McCormack of Eureka, CA; Grant Thompson of Grand Junction, CO; Richard Bott of Shingletown, CA; Ron Loftus of Yreka, CA; Scott Caldwell of Montague, CA; Lorissa Soriano of Alturas, CA and the late Dave Menke, formerly with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Website Design by Anders Tomlinson

©Copyright 2005-2015 by Frank Galusha, Editor and Publisher. Articles and photos are copyright protected and are published exclusively on the Internet by the publisher and may not be copied, displayed, reproduced or published in any other form without the express written permission of same who reserves all rights. Material supplied by others is the copyrighted property of the respective authors. Re-use of any MyOutdoorBuddy content, graphics and photos without written permission by the author(s) for any purpose is strictly prohibited.