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Q: Loud bang when backing up only

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When I back up turning to the left it makes a loud popping sound if I back up to the right sometimes it don't do it I changed the top ball joint and the bearings I'm thinking it's the lower ball joint should I change it it's only $20 for the lower ball joint or should it be the whole upper control arm that needs to be changed? And I'm really broke I have to fix this myself

My car has 194000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: If the only time the pop occurs is when you...

If the only time the pop occurs is when you are backing up and turning, then this isn’t necessarily something that must be fixed immediately. Many trucks will exhibit such noises and most of the time they don’t have any other problems. If the car drives straight without any problems and there isn’t any tire wear due to alignment issues, I personally wouldn’t do anything.

If for some reason you feel it still needs to be replaced, the lower ball joint is the most common culprit with popping such as this. Followed by the control arm bushings and then the upper ball joint. Of course, what is common doesn’t tell us what is making the popping on your truck. Ideally, having an alignment technician shake down your front end on an alignment rack would be the best way to know for sure. Barring do this, I would begin with the lower ball joint.

If you find you need control arm bushings, changing the entire control arm versus just the bushings will be determined by how they are sold and the capabilities you have to press bushings in and out of the old control arm. The lower ball joint could certainly be part of this equation. You may be able to purchase the lower control arm complete with lower ball joint and bushings. Also, cheaper parts often result in more problems. The front end of your truck experiences a lot of loads and stresses that do much better with higher quality parts.

If you should need help with any part of this repair, I recommend the following inspection; Clicking or popping noise to properly address this issue.

Good luck!

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