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2004 VW GTI VR6 - single knocking noise from front left wheel.... HELP!

i own a 2004 VW GTI VR6, with 70k miles. i bought it used (at 40k) from carmax. ever since ive owned it i have had a problem with a single loud knock sound i can hear from my front left wheel.

it happens in two scenarios

  1. when i back out of a parking space and start turning my wheel - it’s only a single knock (hence i don’t think it’s the CV, and its been pretty constant for at least 2 years), and happens at about halfway through the steering wheel travel.
  2. it also happens when i accelerate hard, or decelerate. it’s a single knock, or pop, or clunking sound. it almost feels like something is loose, or reseating itself as the car puts pressure on the wheel as i accelerate, and then again once again when the car decelerates.

it’s pretty damn loud, and disconcerting… i can feel it in the steering wheel as well. it seems to be louder when the car has not been driven for a few days.

i’ve taken the car back to carmax several times over the past three years but they have not been able to find the fault. they have replaced my engine mounts twice (in 30k miles that i’ve had the car), which i also think is a little weird. they have also replaced all the tie rod ends, etc. - all the obvious stuff.

i am at my wit’s end here - carmax pretty much think i’m crazy, and my warranty has run out, but i think i’ve bought a car that was in an accident - i’m expecting my front end to fall apart one day as i’m driving…

anyone have any ideas?? what should i do?

Without a warranty find another shop especially one that knows VW or European.

Could be the strut top bearing/pivot. Take it to a good shop, like Andrew said, they should be able to find out what it is. They can also tell if it’s been in an accident.