Popping noise from front end

Messages
363
Location
Spokane Valley, WA
My 2007 Hyundai Accent is making a popping noise from somewhere in the front end. Tends to happen slightly more often when turning right, but does happen while driving straight, as well. It pops sometimes on bumps, other times not. Seems to be more steering related than suspension related. There is no play at all in the steering, no looseness in the wheels. Car does not wander when you let go of the wheel. No shakes or vibrations at all. My usual mechanic says everything is tight, and nothing looks or feels wrong. I have recently looked underneath and took some pictures with my phone. No torn boots, no leaking struts. Only evidence I found of anything out of the ordinary was some slight leakage (from a non-torn boot) from my right inner tie rod. Do you folks think that is the source of my knock? I know for a fact it is not my sway bar end links, as I have replaced those, and the noise still remains. Any help would be appreciated., Oh, the car has about 41000 miles on it.
 
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15,879
Location
NE,Ohio
well thats better than a popping noise from the rearend I always said..... All joking aside if you are the org owner.. those had 10y100000m warranty?
 
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1,262
Location
Cadyville, NY
Originally Posted By: Rand
well thats better than a popping noise from the rearend I always said..... All joking aside if you are the org owner.. those had 10y100000m warranty?
Suspension and steering are 5yrs/60k warranty. Check the front lower control arm bushings at the frame. If they have dropped out of their sleeves, you will get noises when the front end has a shift in weight. Stabilizer bar end links are good?
 
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01rangerxl

Site Donor 2021
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10,284
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Birmingham, AL
Did you replace the sway bar bushings when you did the links? Even if they appear okay visually, they can be a source of noise. You shouldn't see any leakage around an inner tie rod boot. It sounds like one of the seals in the rack may have gone bad, but you should clean it off and re-inspect to make sure it isn't seeping out from a hose and dripping on to the rack/boot. The boots aren't meant to contain fluid, and PS fluid will eventually eat through it and cause the rubber to crack.
 
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8,598
Location
Florida
Did he use a pry bar against the control arm bushings, and did he use a pry bar on the ball joints while the car was in the air? I see many people who work as mechanics, but don't do those 2 things. Sometimes when a power steering rack leaks, or a dust boot gets town, the grease gets so contaminated that the inner tie rod end gets extremely stiff, and sometimes it gets noisy. grab the inner tie rod end and twist it clockwise and counter clockwise with pliers, and listen for noise, and feel for rough, notchy, or stiff movement. You might as well check the other tie rod end while you are under the car. Since you mention you have a leak, that suggests to me that the power steering racks is what is leaking, and if that is true, it must be replaced. Be sure to get a premium one, cheap ones with carelessly applied black paint last about 1 year, or the included inner tie rod ends fail after 1 year. Pry on the control arm bushings, and if you can easily move them more than 1/2 of an inch, they need replacement. Also look to see if the rubber is separating from the control arm. Pry between the control arm and steering knuckle, and if you see any movement at all, replace the ball joint. How are the bushings of the swaybar? Sometimes when the links are in good shape, the swaybar to frame bushings aren't in good shape, or the bracket that holds them in place has rusted away. How are your engine mounts? Have a friend hold the gas pedal and brake while in drive, then while in reverse, and see that the engine doesn't move more than 1 inch in each direction. Sometimes while you do that test, the front wheels will move excessively, and if that happens, that typically means control arm bushings have failed. How are the upper strut mounts? That is often a cause of the noise, and if they have failed, I suggest getting Quick-struts or their equivalent.
 

bigdawg74

Thread starter
Messages
363
Location
Spokane Valley, WA
Originally Posted By: salv
Check the front lower control arm bushings at the frame. If they have dropped out of their sleeves, you will get noises when the front end has a shift in weight.
I looked at those, and I didn't really notice anything torn/worn. Nothing blatantly obvious, at least.
Originally Posted By: 01rangerxl
Did you replace the sway bar bushings when you did the links? Even if they appear okay visually, they can be a source of noise. You shouldn't see any leakage around an inner tie rod boot. It sounds like one of the seals in the rack may have gone bad, but you should clean it off and re-inspect to make sure it isn't seeping out from a hose and dripping on to the rack/boot. The boots aren't meant to contain fluid, and PS fluid will eventually eat through it and cause the rubber to crack.
No, did not replace sway bar bushings. I will clean off the rack and re-inspect in a few days. P/S reservoir is not reading low, BTW.
Originally Posted By: artificialist
How are the upper strut mounts? That is often a cause of the noise, and if they have failed, I suggest getting Quick-struts or their equivalent.
I don't know. My mechanic didn't seem to think they were the source, but I am not so sure. There is no real way to know without removing the struts, is there? No leaks in the struts whatsoever.
 

bigdawg74

Thread starter
Messages
363
Location
Spokane Valley, WA
Originally Posted By: knerml
Also, check your front brake pads. I had them start breaking up and causing the issues you are talking about.
Brakes were recently inspected, and all is fine.
 
Messages
17,501
Location
Clovis, CA
Originally Posted By: bigdawg74
Tends to happen slightly more often when turning right, but does happen while driving straight, as well. It pops sometimes on bumps, other times not. Seems to be more steering related than suspension related.
That's a dead ringer for transmission/motor mounts; especially being a front wheel drive car. Does it pop while driving slowly over speed bumps? What about making a sharp turn over uneven surfaces? When you're driving in a parking lot, does it pop while driving over a bump or a dip?
 

bigdawg74

Thread starter
Messages
363
Location
Spokane Valley, WA
Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
Does it pop while driving slowly over speed bumps? Not usually. What about making a sharp turn over uneven surfaces? If I am driving slow, and make a quick turn of the steering wheel like I am trying to avoid an object in the road, yes it pops then. When you're driving in a parking lot, does it pop while driving over a bump or a dip? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.
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Messages
101
Location
Sweden
My grand cherokee made a popping noise exacly like you describe that your car is doing. In mine it was the spring on the right side that was broken on the top and at the bottom. I could not see it, the techs that looked on it during the annual inspection did not see it. I saw it when i was putting a liftkit on an removed the old springs. I have a pic somwhere of the broken spring.
 
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Messages
17,501
Location
Clovis, CA
Originally Posted By: bigdawg74
Merkava: What should I be looking for if I inspect those?
Look for excessive movement of the engine while you're power braking and shifting through the gears while stationary. Usually takes two people to do this check.
 

bigdawg74

Thread starter
Messages
363
Location
Spokane Valley, WA
Well folks, I think I am going to take a shot in the dark here and replace the upper strut mounts. Rock Auto has the Monroe mounts for $32 and change for each. Now, the struts themselves are not leaking, and pass the bounce test, so they should be good to go, right? I don't see the need to replace those if they are still good.
 
Messages
17,501
Location
Clovis, CA
Originally Posted By: bigdawg74
Well folks, I think I am going to take a shot in the dark here and replace the upper strut mounts.
That's what I did when I had my popping noise too, but it made no difference. Took the car to a frame shop and paid the guys to inspect the car and find the noise. Best $35 I ever spent. They told me to replace the center transmission mount and the right side motor mount. I took the car home and did just that. The right motor mount was ok, but the center transmission mount was split in half. Replaced both mounts and no more noise.
 
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