Loud Popping Noise From Rear Of Car—What Could Be Wrong?

If you hear a popping noise coming from the rear of your car, you have a right to be concerned. Unfortunately, not many people know the source of this popping, so it is typical not to know what it is attributed to. That's why we have researched for you to help pinpoint what is wrong with your car!

If you are hearing a loud popping noise from the rear of your car, then it could be due to the following:

  • Rear bearing issue
  • Propeller shaft
  • Dirty air filter
  • Faulty spark plugs
  • Rear differential
  • Worn CV joints
  • Bad struts
  • Rear pinion seal
  • Loose hose clamps
  • Rear brake drum
  • Bad shocks
  • Faulty gasket
  • Faulty bushings
  • Differential pinion seal
  • Bad ball joint
  • Leaking differential cover
  • Worn drive belts
  • Worn tires
  • Bent axles

As you can see, there are several possible reasons why you are hearing a popping noise from the rear of your car. However, before taking it to a mechanic, it's important to under the function of each of these parts to understand why this could be happening. In this article, we will take a closer look at each of them, so read on!

Pickup car chassis bottom view. Loud Popping Noise From Rear Of Car—What Could Be Wrong

Loud Popping Noise From Rear Of Car—What Could Be Wrong?

Sooner or later, you will have car issues, and some are more difficult to understand than others. For example, it can be pretty confusing and a little scary to hear a loud popping noise coming from the rear of your car. Let's take a look at the most common reasons as to why this is happening:

Desperate man after car breakdown

Rear Bearing issue

There are two bearings in the rear of your car. One is on the driveshaft, and another is on the axle known as the wheel bearing. If one of these bearings becomes loose, it can cause extra stress on the hose clamps leading to that popping noise.

Propeller Shaft

Driving around corners, downhills, or even stop-and-go traffic can cause the propeller shaft to become stressed, which will result in a popping noise.

Dirty Air Filter

Engine concept of an ac air filter

This is a prevalent issue as well. If your air filter gets dirty, it restricts the airflow into your engine, putting unnecessary stress on it, and can cause a popping noise.

Faulty Spark Plugs

If your spark plugs are going bad, it can cause your engine to not operate at its best and eventually lead to a popping noise within the rear end of your car.

Rear Differential

The rear differential is one of the most common places where you will hear a popping noise. The differential takes the energy from your engine and splits it between your wheels, which can be attributed to this problem if you hear popping noise.

Worn CV Joints

This is a common issue with cars that have more than 100,000 miles on them. When you accelerate quickly or go over sharp angles, you can feel a popping sound because the CV joints will be worn down and make popping sounds.

Bad Struts

If you have bad struts, it will put a lot of stress on the rear end of your car because as you hit bumps and encounter sharp angles, it will cause the struts to compress, resulting in a popping sound.

Rear Pinion Seal

The pinion seal is responsible for keeping all of the fluid within your rear differential, so if it has issues, it can cause severe damage to your vehicle, which will show itself with a popping noise.

Loose Hose Clamps

The hoses that are on your car are what allow you to drive around without overheating. However, if these hose clamps become loose, it can cause the hose to be stressed, eventually leading to a popping noise in the rear end of your car.

Rear Brake Drum

This is a common problem on older vehicles, and it can cause you to lose control at specific points. If this drum becomes loose, it could lead to the hose clamps becoming stressed, leading to that popping noise.

Bad Shocks

If your shocks are bad, it will cause the rear end of your car to bounce and lead to a popping noise and other issues on your brake system.

Faulty Gasket

Typically, this popping noise comes from the rear differential cover. Also, if there is a small crack in your gasket, it will cause the fluid to leak out, which will lead to this popping.

Faulty Bushings

Sometimes your rear axle can have some wear and tear, resulting in a popping noise as well as issues with your brake system.

Differential Pinion Seal

This is another common issue with some of the older vehicles that we see. In addition, if you have a bad pinion seal, it will eventually cause fluid to leak, which can create other problems with your car if not taken care of immediately.

Bad Ball Joint

Again, this is another common issue that is typically seen with older models of cars. If your ball joint becomes bad, it can cause the front end to become unleveled, eventually leading to your hearing popping noise.

Leaking Differential Cover

This is another issue that I have seen a lot of lately. If the cover becomes faulty, it can cause fluid to leak, eventually creating other problems within your car.

Worn Drive Belts

If you have bad drive belts, it will put a lot of stress on your engine, creating vibrations throughout the vehicle, resulting in a popping noise.

Car with worn bald tire unsafe and poses traffic accident risk

Worn Tires

This is also another common issue that I see all too frequently. If your tires are worn down, it can cause the rear end of your car to bounce up and down, which will eventually lead to a popping noise and other problems.

Bent Axles

This is an issue on some of the older models of cars, and if your axle becomes bent, it can cause you not to accelerate correctly or even lose control of your vehicle.

Can a wheel bearing make a popping noise?

Yes, a wheel bearing can make a popping noise. If you hear a popping sound coming from the front of your car or the rear end, it could be from this problem.

Typically, people will need to get their wheel bearings replaced every 80-100,000 miles.

In most cases, you will be able to tell from the noise that your car is making. However, you can also do a quick check by taking your car out for a drive and ensuring that it is speeding up properly.

What does a bad rear axle bearing sound like?

Typically, you will hear an almost rhythmic popping noise when you have a bad rear axle bearing. In addition, consumers state that they can also make whining or chirping noises. Therefore, when you are accelerating in your car, it can make this noise as well.

In most cases, a bad rear axle bearing will lead to more significant problems down the road. If this is not taken care of immediately, it can cause other issues within your car and become dangerous.

How much does it cost to fix a wheel bearing?

Man checking the wheel and bearing of the car, Loud Popping Noise From Rear Of Car—What Could Be Wrong

The price to fix a wheel bearing on a car can vary depending on the rear and model. However, you can expect to pay between $300 and $400.

It is crucial to get your wheel bearing checked out because it could lead to other issues such as a blown tire, which can cause you to get in an accident. If you notice a popping noise while braking or hear it when you start accelerating, this is a sign that you need to replace your wheel bearing.

How can you tell the difference between bad CV joints and bad wheel bearings?

Typically, if you hear a popping noise in the front end of your car, it could be from your bad CV joints. On the other hand, if you hear this sound coming from the rear end of your vehicle, it is probably more than likely your wheel bearing that is not working correctly.

In addition, consumers say that CV joints and wheel bearings will make different noises than the popping noise. For example, CV joints can make a clicking noise when you are making a turn. A bad wheel bearing can make an obnoxious roaring noise, increasing pitch as you increase speeds.

How do I know if my CV joints are damaged?

Typically, the first thing that you will notice is that your car starts to shake, and you will feel it through the steering wheel.

If this becomes severe, it could mean that you have a fluid leak and should bring your vehicle in as soon as possible for an inspection.

In addition, if you start to hear the clicking noise as mentioned above or popping noise, then this is also a sign that you have CV joint issues!

Under old car closeup rear wheel axle suspension and exhaust chamber. Loud Popping Noise From Rear Of Car—What Could Be Wrong

Final Thoughts

As a car owner, it is always important to be aware of the problems that your vehicle could experience. For example, if you notice any popping noises coming from your car, make sure to bring it in right away and have a mechanic check it out. It is crucial to catch these issues before they become worse!

If you're looking for more maintenance guide articles, then you should also check out:

Do Starters Go Bad From Sitting?

Do Fuel Pumps Go Bad From Sitting?

Are Car Engines Waterproof? [A Look At Gas And Diesel Engines]

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