Info: 2003 Ion-1 165k+ miles
I’m hearing a clunking/knocking noise in my Ion that sounds like the front driver side. It’s most audible starting about 30 mph. It grows louder as I drive faster and the rate of clunking/knocking is relative to the speed I am driving. It doesn’t change when I push in the clutch or when I’m in a different gear. It does not happen when I rev my engine in neutral. I even shut off my car while moving in a parking lot and no change. The sound changes when I turn (sounds like a more muffled/dull sound but still loud if that makes sense), and in my mind it seems to sound worse when I’m turning right than left.
I noticed the noise on Thursday of last week. It was at the point where I had to have my radio off to notice the noise. Since then it has grown louder and as of yesterday is now overpowering my radio when at reasonable volume.
I just replaced both the driver and passenger wheel bearing in the last 18 months, and I just got new Tier-3 Cooper tires 3 months ago. (I wouldn’t think the bearing would knock, but just as history fyi.) I was convinced by the troubleshooting guide in my Haynes manual that it was either the inner or outer CV joint so I replaced the whole Driver side CV Axle and topped off the Tranny Fluid with Dexron-III. No dice. I thought there’s a chance it could be my new tires, so I Rotated the tires on the left side F->B/B->F as well and the noise did not seem to change. Spinning the tires by hand while up on my jack stands does not seem to tell me anything (I’m guessing I’d have to have them spinning at about 20/30mph to hear anything).
My next idea at this point is to put the front end up on jack stands and have someone put my car in gear and give it a little gas while I stand nearby and try to pinpoint where the sound is coming from. I’m a little leery about this one, and I’m not even sure if it’s going to make the noise when not under load anyway.
Any ideas? Or any more tests to further diagnose?