2003 Olds Alero clunk when turning

2.2l '03 Olds Alero, 89k miles

My car has an unsettling noise. It is a loud clunk in the front end that can be felt. It only happens when turning right (just past where the wheels are aligned) when going forward. I believe it also happens when backing out of a spot to the left. It is only one solid clunk. This clunk isn’t always loud, and can be subtle. If I do a figure eight, the clunk will be the loudest with the first wheel turn to the right, then will either get quieter or disappear all together. Let the car sit for a while, and the first turn will be the loudest.

Things that have been tried:
Full Strut/shock assembly replacement on both sides of the front suspension.
Sway bar link replacement on both sides.
Both front control arms, complete with ball joints and bushings have been replaced.

Possibilities I haven’t changed or on the list to examine/replace:
Sway bar bushings
Wheel bearings
CV Joints
Engine mounts
Tie rod ends

What should I be looking at first? Is there something I am missing? It’s been to the mechanics a few times. For a week after the control arms and sway bar links were replaced it was ok, or dull enough not to hear. Now it’s back as loud as before. Any suggestions, questions, or ideas are appreciated.

My bet is on CV joints.

If it only makes one clunk, it’s not a CV-joint. CV-Joints will make a repetitive knocking/clunking noise while turning.

You might want to check the bushings for the engine/transaxle cradle. These can make a single clunk sound while turning.


Thanks for the suggestions so far. I will look into them.

Not sure if it would help, but shifting weight when turning into a corner does not appear to be a requirement. I can back out of a parking spot going quite slow and still get the sound. The clunk will almost sound like a pop. Makes me imagine something slipping and then falling in or out of place. Oddly enough, I cannot get it to make noise while sitting still and turning the wheel. Also the wheels seem to be solid when in the air with no play at the sides or top and bottom.