So here’s what I’ve got:
An inconsistent popping noise that emanates from the front driver wheel area. It varies, but the the most typical is a series of two clicks (click-click) when moderately braking, then a prominent pop when accelerating. This happens when slowing to a full stop and accelerating, or when reducing speed (no stop) and then accelerating.
It does not always happen when traveling in a straight line (braking, accelerating), and happens more often when low speed maneuvering, such as in a parking lot. If the car is in Park, and I depress/release the pedal there is no noise.
I can sometimes get a very light CV click when turning left at > 30 mph. No CV click when turning full lock in either direction. However, when turning left near full lock, the steering wheel will pull itself to a full lock unless you fight it. Right turns do not do this.
Here’s what I’ve checked:
•Wheel bearing inspects fine.
•Sway bar endlinks inspect fine.
•Ball joint shows no play.
•Shocks, bearing/mount, and rubber are OEM new and inspect well.
•Brake hardware tight, no leaks.
•Tie rods are tight axially (no play when turning or when pushing in/out with the wheel in the air), however, I can rotate them with my hand and make the ball joint “ping”. This seems unlikely to be the source, but I’m including to be thorough.
•All suspension hardware checked tight to spec.
•CV seems tight when I grab it with wheel on the ground. No tears in the boots.
I did find my driver ball joint boot torn, but no play. It doesn’t make noise when driving over bumps, either. I will be replacing the ball joint later this month so I can use that time to further check the CV and anything else —if I know what to look for. I thought it might be a brake caliper or pad binding, but the brakes are not hot after a long drive and there is no pulling on the highway.