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Popping and Growling


My '94 Cutlass began making an occasional popping noise a few months ago. This has now escalated to a growling. I think I can feel the vibration through the floor as well. I thought it was a CV joint but I didn’t see a rip in the boot. Also, a mechanic friend of mine took a quick look and said the CV joint looked fine. The popping noise began not long after a collision. I’m not positive if that’s related. Any ideas?


What are you doing when you hear the growling noise? Be very specific, are your decelerating while turning, accelerating into a turn, braking, accelerating straight forward?

If you were in a collision and you now have weird things going on like that then I’d suggest you stop into a reputable local body shop and/or front end shop. Describe exactly what happened and have them look it over.

The lack of a torn CV boot means little about the condition of the joint. You also can’t “look” at one to see if it is good. So hopefully your friend the mechanic did more than just “look” at it. Either way there is often no real way to verify a CV joint as a problem.

If you did describe the conditions under which this occurs, as kizwiki suggested, it surely would help people say stuff.

The growling noise seems to be continuous. When I speed up or slow down I can hear the acceleration or deceleration in the growling (I hope that makes sense). However, it still pops on top of the growling. The popping occurs when I change speed and also when I turn left (the noise also seems to be limited to the driver’s side).

I think you just need to have an experienced mechanic drive it and listen. Your description fits anything from a bad wheel bearing and/or CV joint - and maybe with some other front end problem (the pops) - to a leaky exhaust system.

If you sit still at idle and rev the engine as if you were actually driving is any of this noise present? I.e. if it goes with accel or decel, is the noise about what the engine is doing or is it about what the wheels are doing?

It has to do with what the wheels are doing, when I’m not moving I don’t hear the noise. Thanks!

Then I’d be looking at CV joints and wheel bearings. If the wheel bearings are growling then you still need to figure out the pop.

Thanks! I appreciate it!