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I've heard a knocking sound underneath when I go up and down the driveway. Is there a way to check these if they are bad, or with my mileage do I just assume they are? What are the parts I need to get in order to replace them?
You should have your front suspension checked completely, not only your Lower Control Arms, but lower and upper ball joints, sway bar links, outer tie rods, boots and bushings in general.

Steer your wheels to have a clear view of the compliance bushings of your LCAs and check for any cracks and tears. These are the most commonly damaged bushings in the LCAs. My original OEM looked like this at 140,000 miles. This is the passenger side
524204

524205
 

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Never heard a knock from my LCA bushings when the compliance bushing ripped. Knocking came from tie rod ends, sway bar end links, sway bar bushings or strut upper bushings.
 

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Yeah, me neither. My damaged LCA bushings didn't make any noise.

However, a couple of years later I had an upper ball joint wear out. I could hear a clunking noise, and when I checked the suspension, the upper ball joint had obvious play in it.
 

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I had an upper ball joint wear out. I could hear a clunking noise, and when I checked the suspension, the upper ball joint had obvious play in it.
How do you go about checking these, as well as all of the suspension items mentioned above by Yal and Abe80 save the LCA bushings?

If it's on this site already, I can try a search...
 

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How do you go about checking these, as well as all of the suspension items mentioned above by Yal and Abe80 save the LCA bushings?

If it's on this site already, I can try a search...
The same way you check any suspension component on any vehicle: you stick a prybar into the joint and pry. Play = bad, no play = good.

But for me it was even more obvious. Once I jacked up the car and started taking off the wheel, I could feel the play, and by simply looking through the spokes and jiggling the wheel I could see the upper ball joint moving.

I guess that's where the advice the wiggle the wheel at 3 and 9, and 6 and 12 come from. 3 and 9 should catch a worn tie rod, 6 and 12 should catch a worn upper or lower ball joint.
 

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How do you go about checking these, as well as all of the suspension items mentioned above by Yal and Abe80 save the LCA bushings?

If it's on this site already, I can try a search...
The site has a lot of good info. But I'd also go to YouTube for a visual example on how to do a proper inspection of your suspension and steering. Sometimes isolating a sound can be tricky and also take some time. So don't get discouraged. The more you know about how the suspension works in your car the better. This is the perfect moment for learning something new. You will need a pry bar. You can start by buying one if you don't have any
 
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