Generally the bushings don't make noise. They might provide a little clunk if they are so far gone that the inner metal tube can reach the bushing holder or that the suspension part is hitting chassis. You would be able to see that the rubber was that deteriorated and be able to move the suspension part with your hand and see the slop.

As a general rule of thumb, if it's a cyclic sound it's something that goes round and round. If it's not cyclic it's something that goes up and down.

If your clicking is cyclic, check the wheel bearings and u-joints. Or check the trans-axle or even engine. If it's only when you're in gear, chances are you rule out the engine. Also, determine the rate of the click. An engine at 1000rpm would click some 16+ times per second. Gear reduction in the transmission would make this much slower at the wheel. So if the click is slower look between the transmission and the wheel.

If it's not cyclic, it will generally depend upon the suspension movement on the car; little while driving straight on a very flat road; lots while on a twisty, bumpy road. Suspension noises generally don't depend upon car speed or gear engaged, so you'd hear them in all gears. Another non-cyclic, though more of a one time noise at startup, are damaged engine and/or transmission mounts. Torquing by the engine can wear on these.

These are rules of thumb for guidance. There may be exceptions. Start with the rules of thumb to get you to one end (wheel or engine (cyclic)/chassis (non-cyclic)) and move towards the other end checking every joint or moving part out. Try jacking the rear up and hand turning the wheel with a quick jerk for cyclic, or just try to shake the wheel for non-cyclic.

Try some of these things out and let us know your findings. The collective wisdom and experience on this list should add up to the knowledge of a good number of master mechanics.


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