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Clicking Sound from Front Suspension

I have a 2004 Honda Civic 5 speed manual 70000 miles. About 50% of the time when I engage the clutch (any gear), or when I accelerate or slow down quickly, I hear a clicking (sounds like metal hitting metal) from somewhere in the front of the car. The dealer told me I need new control arm bushings, but this wasn’t the cause of the noise. Any ideas about what this could be?

Do the clicks vary in speed with road speed, engine speed, or road bumps?

And does it change when you turn?

Clicking sounds in the front end of a 6 year old FWD car are often CV joints.

Thank you for the replies. Doesn’t seem to vary with engine speed or road bumps. It is loudest in 1st and 2nd and 3rd gears. I usually don’t hear it in 4th or 5th. If I’m cruising in 2nd or 3rd gear and abruptly let off the gas, I will hear it, but that doesn’t happen in 4th or 5th. It doesn’t seem to make a difference whether or not I’m turning. I drove with the windows down today to hear better and I think it’s coming from forward of the transmission, but ears can play tricks on you. I went outside and checked my control arm bushings look fine other than a few hairline cracks to be expected of 6 year old rubber.

Does it vary with anything?

Nope, just which gear I’m in.

Let me suggest a few ideas.

Pop the hood, put your head under, and rev the engine manually via the accelerator cable pulley. Can you hear the clicking?

Second, when it’s clicking going down the road push the clutch pedal in, let the engine rev down for a moment, and see if the clicking stops.

Post back with the results.

Thank you for the reply and the suggestions. I’ll try the accelerator cable pulley. Sorry, I wasn’t clear in the original post: it only clicks once. If I engage the clutch, it’s one loud click about halfway through the engagement process and it’s over. If I abruptly let off the gas, it’s just one click right when the car lurches back.

Engine Anti-Roll Device Worn ?


That changes things.

My best advice is to get the car up in the air (in neutral) and try rotating the drive wheels clockwise and counterclockwise by hand. The source of the click should rear its head.

Did they replace the control arm bushings or just determine they were ok? From what you have described, it’s likely a warn joint somewhere in the front suspension. Control arm bushing are likely but it isn’t out of the range of possible that a ball joint is bad. Ask around for the best alignment shop in town and have them check it out. Alignment guys have seen or heard every joint problem like this and might see something another general repair place or even the dealer has missed.

Possible it’s motor mounts, what with it clicking once on acceleration and once on decelleration.

I once had a similar issue - it was basically one click every time the torque changed a lot - as in changing from forward to reverse, or with reasonably hard acceleration or deceleration. It was one of the CV joints. That’s the only kind of noise or symptom it ever showed.