I have a 2002 Mazda Protege5. It was showing signs of the CV joints going out (popping noises) so I had them replaced. Now there is still popping noises but they are different. They are less frequent. Instead of a pop, pop, pop… when turning it will pop,…pop,…pop… and it will only due this when it is hot outside. It also makes the noises when going over bumps some of the time. I took it back into the mechanic and had him look over everything again and he said that all the tie rods and cv joints and everything looked great. He thought it might be a wearing strut or an over tightened strut. Ive never heard of this and was just wondering if it made sense to anyone else.
The first thing that I would look into is the possibility that the strut bearings, where the struts attach to the strut towers, are bad. If this is the case, I would just go ahead and replace the entire strut assembly, as the 12 year old struts will probably need replacement in the near future–if they are not already worn-out.