Clicking/thumping sound in front end

My friend has a 2005 Subaru Impreza RS (2.5 L) that just (today) started making what amounts to a clicking or thumping sound once the car reaches about 30 mph. I’m sure it does it at slower speeds, but I was unable to hear it. It is definitely in the front end. And seems to be coming from the drivers side. I asked if she had hit any large potholes recently, and the answer was no. Around three weeks ago she had studded snow tired mounted on the car. I don’t think the tires are the issue. But perhaps the installation process may have played a part since the care was placed on a lift. I have a few ideas as to what it may be. But I’m not a Subaru guy. So I’m in need of some help. Thanks.

Does the speed of the sound vary consistent with the car’s speed?
Does turning affect the sound?
Is it a clicking or a thumping?
How many miles does the car have on it?

Usually when someone talks of a clicking or thumping sound in the front end I think “CV joints”, especially of it’s affected by turning. But there’s insufficient information here to make any guesses (he says just after guessing).

@the same mountainbike It’s not my car. But the quick drive I took, it does vary with speed. Did not seem to be effected by turning in either direction. It’s a clicking sound until about 40 mph. Then it seems to change to a thumping sound. The mileage is roughly 180,000. But the car is well maintained.

Sounds like it would be the inner CV joint on the left half shaft. If it’s not clicking in a turn.

"The mileage is roughly 180,000. But the car is well maintained. "

Maintenance is not really a factor when it comes to CV joints.
At 180k, if the joints are the originals, then it is extremely likely that the noise is coming from a CV joint that is about to fail.

Replacing both front axle shafts would be the way to go if it does turn out to be a bad CV joint.

@"the same mountainbike"‌ , @knfenimore‌ and @VDCdriver‌. It would seem that the garage that changed the tires admitted to damaging the CV boot and replaced the damaged parts free of charge! Which I have to admit, did shock me. But it was good of them to do so. Thanks for your input.

I’m shocked too. Most places would say it was age. Still don’t know how changing tires would kill a cv joint. Thanks for letting us know the outcome.

Since the tires were recently replaced, have someone check if the lug nuts are still tight.


“…have someone check if the lug nuts are still tight.”

My son-in-law told me he’s had increasing noise from the front end of his Grand Prix. I looked at it and asked him, “How long have these two wheel studs been broken?” WHAAAT??? He had the tires rotated two weeks ago, and the remaining three lug nuts could be turned by hand. It’s back at the shop now. I always check the lug nuts if anyone touches them, including me.