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VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old March 12th, 2012, 20:44   #1
sqhschief
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Question Making popping noises in the front end

2000 Jetta TDI. So it's been doing this for awhile now. When I am turning in either direction onto another road or an intersection for example, I hear these loud pops coming from the front end, somewhere near the tires. It also makes these sounds when driving straight/slow over a bumpy road or over speed bumps.

I'm pretty good with these engines, but everything else baffles me. Any help is appreciated.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 05:01   #2
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It is most likely in the struts, and usually the washer looking thing that is on top of the strut. These washers crack often. Also, the bushings on top of the struts are a wear item. I went with Bilstiens HD with shine springs. This setup will give you about a 1 inch lift. If you change the struts and springs, be careful. The springs are not under much pressure, and you don't need a spring compressor to re-assemble.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 06:30   #3
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Balljoints, LCA bushings, swaybar bushings, etc.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 13:05   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2005TDI_1994IDI View Post
It is most likely in the struts, and usually the washer looking thing that is on top of the strut. These washers crack often. Also, the bushings on top of the struts are a wear item. I went with Bilstiens HD with shine springs. This setup will give you about a 1 inch lift. If you change the struts and springs, be careful. The springs are not under much pressure, and you don't need a spring compressor to re-assemble.
How would I check this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LNXGUY View Post
Balljoints, LCA bushings, swaybar bushings, etc.
Could you elaborate? Thanks.

EDIT: Would any of these things be something major that I have to get fixed immediately?
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Old March 14th, 2012, 04:50   #5
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No easy way to check that I know of. I would check the struts for any oil residue, if so they are gone and need replacement.

Does the car have any tracking issues? or steering wheel play? If so, then most likely balljoints or bushings.

With that many miles on the car you might need to refresh the entire front end including the struts. I got mine from Kermi, he has a good selection, but the web page is no so good. If you order from Kermi, call Paul and he will make sure you get what you need. I have also ordered from idparts, there web page is much better.
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Old March 14th, 2012, 13:40   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2005TDI_1994IDI View Post
No easy way to check that I know of. I would check the struts for any oil residue, if so they are gone and need replacement.

Does the car have any tracking issues? or steering wheel play? If so, then most likely balljoints or bushings.

With that many miles on the car you might need to refresh the entire front end including the struts. I got mine from Kermi, he has a good selection, but the web page is no so good. If you order from Kermi, call Paul and he will make sure you get what you need. I have also ordered from idparts, there web page is much better.
No tracking issues or any play in the steering wheel. I wonder if there's any other way to check the struts.
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Old March 14th, 2012, 13:58   #7
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Sounds like a bad cv joint to me. Is it a rhythmic popping or is it an occassional clunk?
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Old March 14th, 2012, 19:16   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rackaracka View Post
Sounds like a bad cv joint to me. Is it a rhythmic popping or is it an occassional clunk?
Not rhythmic, just a loud clunk/pop. It does it mainly when I am turning in somewhere.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 02:39   #9
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Jack the car up and look at the back of the lower control arm. You should be able to see if its the rear bushing (It will be ripped). Most likely it is your rear lower control ar bushing or the sway bar bushing.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 03:18   #10
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Thanks, I'll check it out this weekend.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 03:35   #11
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My Jetta does the same thing. I notice it more often when I'm backing out of my driveway and turning the wheel sharply to the right. One loud "pop". I've had my suspension done with the bilstien tc's and it still does it. It doesn't seem to be getting worse, so I just try to not turn so sharp while backing up.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 07:03   #12
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Mine does this, has for a long time. I had a look while the wheel was turned side to side and it is the spring going *boing* when the strut-top bearing doesn't turn smoothly.

Much worse when turning the wheel while parking
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Old March 15th, 2012, 09:59   #13
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I had similar symptoms about two weeks ago from the front end. If I turned the wheels either while stopped or running, I had popping noises. Driving along a bumpy road at slow speeds. I could also push down above the Front Left fender well and it appeared worse on this side.

After reading many different versions of this from searching on the forum, I figured it was the strut bearing. I jacked the car up by the frame, removed the left front tire, and then used another jack to raise the spindle and put pressure back on the strut. I could reproduce the popping sound then.

Turned out that all of this "loud" noise was coming from that "little" ball joint....

While having someone turn the wheels back and forth, you could "feel" the binding in the joint. I happened to have a "needle" adapter for my grease gun and injected the rubber boot with about 5 pumps on the gun. Worked the suspension up and down and the sound changed. Drove it to work and back the next day (80 miles) and the popping was gone.

I will replace it in another week or two as my timing belt is approaching it's change time..

Good Luck!
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Old March 15th, 2012, 10:19   #14
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My 2-dr was doing this on occasion and it was the roll bar bushings.

Basically, there's lots of things that can do it. Good luck sorting it out.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 00:20   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Powder Hound View Post
My 2-dr was doing this on occasion and it was the roll bar bushings.
Basically, there's lots of things that can do it. Good luck sorting it out.
So when I check these bushings or joints or whatever, do I just grab on either side of the joint and see how much it moves around? I'm just not understanding what I should check here. Also, how might I test the CV joints? Thanks.

EDIT: Oh and to comment on your signature Powder_Hound, it's not called dope because it makes you dumb. Dope is short for Dopamine which is a chemical known as neurotransmitter that is involved in reward system of the brain. Stimulants such as Methamphetamine, Cocaine, or Nicotine act as agonist's increasing Dopamine levels much higher than normal, thereby increasing sensed pleasure by the user. That's why it's called "dope". I just felt compelled to clear that up lol.
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