I own a 2001 suburu outback. Recently therers has a benn a small popping noise coming from the right side rear of the car. It almost sounds like the noise when a house settles at night . Very faint . I took off my bike rack , thinking that might be the problem. Nope-it’s still there. Could it be loose bearings in my right rear wheel. Or could it be the frame of the back end? Very curious.
More than likely its a suspension component making noise. Could be a bad bushing or something of that nature. Bad wheel bearings would make a constant noise.
Is the noise there when driving and/or parked? If when shut down, the popping noise may be coming from a cooling exhaust system.
Sounds like the center drive coupling thingy is binding up. Does it happen primarily when going around corners?