My 2001 Camry has 160k miles on it. For a while it has been doing this popping and rattling noise in the front end when turning at very low speeds (like pulling out of the driveway), and also more of a rattling when going over some bumps. It doesn’t happen all the time, and is worse in cold weather. I pushed down on the bumper and cannot reproduce the noise. Any clues?
A popping noise can be caused from a worn lower ball joint. To confirm this, do the following.
Place a floor jack under the lower control arm of the ball joint to be checked, and raise the vehicle so the tire is 5"-6" off the ground. Take a 5’-6’ long bar or a 2X4 and place one end under the tire. While the ball joint is observed, pry up on the tire and release. If the ball joint is worn it’ll be seen moving up and down in it’s socket.
Thanks for the quick answer! If the ball joint is bad, is this expensive to get fixed? Is it dangerous and should be done right away, or just an annoying sound?
If it is a ball joint and it fails, the front wheel will fold to the ground and you can lose control of the vehicle. So it’s irrelevant on the cost to get it fixed. It must be done.
You might check your axle CV joint also.