I have a 1995 Mazda Protege SE (or ES?) 4 cylinder, 1.8L Double Overhead Cam. Front wheel drive. I do NOT hear any weird noises or vibration when driving straight. However, whenever I turn left OR right, a hard knocking sound is heard and felt through the floor of the car in the front. It is felt on both driver's side and passenger side through the floor where our feet are. There is no vibration or wandering when driving straight or turning, but the hard KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK is heard on both sides and felt on both sides in the front when turning either direction. There is no noise coming from the rear of the vehicle. It first started on the driver's side of the car, and now includes the passenger side of the vehicle. This happens regardless of the type of road I'm on. I do not hear any noises when going over bumps or uneven roadways. The noise started about 3 months ago as an almost tapping or ticking noise, continues to get worse- louder and now makes the knocking noise.
My car has 100000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.
The steering rack and pinion assembly is mounted in rubber bushings; they may be deteriorated and allowing the rack and pinion to contact the sub frame making the knocking noise.
The other component to look at is the struts upper bearing and rubber bushing. These get dry of lubricant and should be lubed with a teflon grease when installed so the rubber will not get damaged.
Have someone feel the top of the strut mount under the hood while the steering is turned back and forth to see if the knocking or popping is in the strut. The rack and pinion bushings should be inspected from under the vehicle.
If either or both are bad then they will need to be replaced.
A mobile mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, can come to your home or business to inspect the knocking noise at your home or business.