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I am at house in Florida 500 miles from my dealer. I developed a slight popping sound in the front end mainly going over rough surfaces and is pretty much constant now so getting worse. Yesterday, we put it u on a rack and the guy down here, not a Lotus technician but a former Porsche technician, though it to be in the rack in pinion as it kind of pops when turning the wheels side to side. It now does it when I push down over the front right wheel. Is this a shock or the rack and pinion?

I need to get the car to a dealer, but don't really want to have to pay to flat bed the car on my own dime 500 miles just to get warranty work. The steering is not lose, but I am not sure if it is safe to drive.
 

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Sounds like your steering rack has developed some slop in it, once the popping starts it gets worse pretty quickly. Mine was replaced under warranty at about 24K but had been bad for sometime. It is a common failure, search "steering rack" for more.
 

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It's impossible to tell but in general it's more likely to be the shock as the bushings can go or they can bend. Check the attachment points too. A mechanic's stethiscope would be a good tool to help locate the problem. I wouldn't be afraid to drive a car with shock problems but a loose rack could be dangerous.
 
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