Having this issue that started recently. Hearing and feeling in the steering wheel and pedals crunch/pop sound when rolling slowly.

  • On/off brakes doesn't seem to matter.
  • In gear/off gear doesn't matter.
  • Idling or fully turned off doesn't matter.
  • Happens only when driving slowly.
  • Tried removing wheels, tightened the lugnuts.
  • Forward or backwards doesn't matter.
  • Seems to happen when rolling downhill more often.
  • Checked all wheel bearing - seems to be in good shape.
  • Lifted front wheels and with handbrake spun the front today by hands, no sound, but they were spinning in opposite direction, so I suspect only transfer case was involved.

Car details: - Stock rotors at 86k miles, so replacing soon because there is quite a lip there. - Pads at 60% just cleaned all of them today.

Initially suspected brakes, but that should go away when you get on/off brakes.

Now I am not even sure - is it diff pins? Transfer case? I can't make a video at the moment because I can feel it more than hear, so cellphone doesn't pick it up along with other noises in car.

If I was to describe, feels like when you drive over gravel and some rocks shoot out from under your wheel under the weight of the car... not rhythmic sound, more of random number of beats per second.

How do I diagnose what is aside from what I tried already? What can it be?

Vehicle: 2012 Mitsubish Evolution X

This video shows the noise in the last 7 seconds. You will hear a few distinct POPs, similar to when you drive over snow and it compacts. USE GOOD SPEAKERS OR HEADPHONE, otherwise they are hard to hear.


  • Did you check to see if there are rocks embedded into the tire tread? May 3, 2016 at 0:20
  • 2
    I'd still be leaning towards wheel bearings. How did you check them?
    – PeteCon
    May 3, 2016 at 0:29
  • 2
    Record the sound and upload it somewhere....
    – Moab
    May 3, 2016 at 0:38
  • 1
    You sure you did not run over a bag of Cheetos? ;-)
    – Moab
    May 3, 2016 at 0:51
  • 1
    Have you recently had new tires put on? I had this exact same thing happen to me after I had new tires installed, went back to the shop and told them I hear a noise at low speeds and they tried to tell my is was a cv axle. I said they were crazy and there was no sign of that and this didnt happen tell they touched it. Went to another location, we had the car raised bounced the passenger rear tear to examine where the noise was coming from and sure enough a metal piece had broken off the machine and made its way inside the tire. May 16, 2016 at 19:47

2 Answers 2


Ended up being left front wheel bearing. Shortly after the bearing started to squeal. After the replacement, all issues are gone.


Empty and change your diff fluid, gearbox fluid and transfer case fluid. When the fluids are out and in the pan, run a magnet through each to see if you can collect any metal pieces.

Being an evo, I'd be suspecting either diff or transfer case as the first thing to look at. When the teeth in the gears and clutch packs inside the diffs start to fail, they can roll around in there making all sorts of noises. As the rpm's increase, these pieces can end up more towards the outside of the case so it's less noticeable (until the moment of total failure).

If it where wheel bearings, you'd likely notice the noise at all rpm's I would have imagined.

  • Will do, sad though that I just changed fluids recently in all diffs.
    – Alexus
    May 17, 2016 at 16:40

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