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Q: Clanking noise when turning left

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I just had a tie rod installed and now every time I turn left there's this clunking noise and it's hard to complete the turn. Will the alignment fix this or is it something else?

My car has 91200 miles.

A: Hello. I am sorry to hear of this issue wit...

Hello. I am sorry to hear of this issue with your 2009 Sonata. A clunking or clanking noise on turning could have multiple causes but certainly at the top of the list is a failed outboard (nearest wheel) CV axle joint.

If you look at the outboard ends (i.e., nearest the tire) of the CV axles you will see a rubber boot about 3-4 inches long; it looks like a bellows. Try to see if either boot (driver side/passenger side) is torn and if you can see any grease leaking out of the boot. The boot should be dry with no oil or grease on it at all. If it is leaking, that is a clue that something could be going on at the joint.

At minimum, a broken boot has to be replaced because the grease will leak out and if the joint is not yet ruined, it will be as water gets in there. Of course, even if the boot is intact, the joint could still be worn or broken; the Mechanic has to evaluate that, typically through a road test. It's not likely the noise is due to misalignment.

A car can be pretty poorly aligned and yet not make any "unusual" noises from the front end. On the other hand, a poorly aligned car will definitely prematurely wear out a lot of suspension parts due to the excess loads placed on these parts. The issue you are describing is probably pretty straightforward in terms of cause and YourMechanic could thus make quick work of both the diagnosis and repair of the noise. Even if the whole half shaft (CV axle with both inboard and outboard joints) has to be replaced, that can be done economically.

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