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I've been hearing this thumping noise coming from the front passenger tire area of my '03 1.8T FWD wagon. The sound only happens when i'm turning sharply to the left. First time I heard this was right after rotating my tires on the right side a few weeks ago. I put the tires back to their original positions and the sound wasn't quite as loud anymore but unfortunately didn't go away completely. I noticed a couple of the lug bolts didn't go in as easily as the others so I replaced with new ones.

Front passenger tire went flat today so I installed the spare which was brand new complete with stickers on the rim. Guess the previous owner never needed to use it in 95,000 miles of driving. Anyways, with the steel spare I can see that one of the lug bolts wasn't sitting flush against the rim even though it was tightened all the way down. Swapped it out with a couple of the other bolts until I found one that pressed flush against the wheel when tightened. Sure enough, no more thumping sound while turning sharply left.

I'll double check tomorrow but I'm pretty sure all of the lug bolts are the same length. Should I replace the wheel hub or am I looking at something more major? I'm glad simply moving lug bolts around got rid of the thumping noise but I'm thinking any of the lug bolts should be able to be used in any position on the wheel hub. Now that I think about it, it's a bit disturbing that I've been driving around with less than 5 fully seated lug bolts even though all were properly torqued. Thoughts anyone?
 

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You might need to have the threads tapped to clear them out. You might have had a cross threaded lug at one point and it screwed up the bolts as they are changed.
 
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