Q: Front of car makes popping noise

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Something in the front of my car makes a pop noise when I apply the brakes. It makes a sound like something is going to break. For the past month this has been happening and today it started also making the sound while I was driving. When the noise started, I had just had the front brakes, both pads, and rotors replaced. I’m thinking it might be the ball joint or the tie rod. What would your diagnosis be?

This sounds like it could be a serious issue and should be looked at. Several items could cause a noise such as this when braking. A failing lower ball joint is one such possibility the other could be worn or damaged control arm bushings. One way to check the control arm bushings is to have someone drive the car slowly less than 10mph and apply the brakes. Observe the front tires if the front tire on either side just rearward as the popping noise is made this would indicate failed bushings. Ball joints (if you have the wear indicating type) need to be checked loaded, there is no allowable movement specification for the Cutlass Ciera ball joints for wear. You may want to enlist the help of a mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will have the tools and training to accurately inspect the front suspension system and make the necessary repairs.

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