Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Clunking noise when accelerating, only in drive

asked by on

I have a 1994 Toyota Camry with over 200,000 miles on it. For a while, the car has been violently shaking only when I accelerate. The shaking is not noticing until about 40 mph and grows in intensity as velocity increases. I have been led to believe this is a CV Clamp, which I have plans to fix. However, just last night my car suddenly started making a very loud clunking noise when I press the gas pedal in drive. It starts loudest when I first press the gas from a stop, and grows quieter and faster as velocity increases. It seems to be in time with the cadence of the wheels. Turning has no effect on it whatsoever, and it does not make the noise in reverse, park or neutral no matter what I do. The only thing at all that seems to make the noise or have any effect on it is pressing the gas pedal in drive, and the velocity of the car.

My car has 210000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

As you may know, this is a common sign of a failing CV joint. A CV (Constant Velocity) joint is a shaft that connects the transmission to the wheels, essentially transferring the power from the drive train directly to the wheels. The CV joint is packed with a special grease and sealed tight with the rubber or plastic boot, that is held in place with two clamps. The most common problem with the CV joints is when the protective boot cracks or gets damaged. Once this happens, the grease comes out and moisture and dirt get in, causing the CV joint to wear faster and eventually fail due to lack of lubrication and corrosion. When the CV joint becomes damaged or worn, you may hear a clicking or popping sound coming from this area. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and inspect your CV joints.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: No sound from cv joint in Cruise mode

This problem will need a closer, more hands on approach to diagnose as I don't have any information on the type of noise or even the type of vehicle. There may be something malfunctioning under the hood. Consider hiring one...

Q: Wires to headlight not working correctly

It is possible that the connector could either be melted or have corrosion that is preventing electricity from getting to your headlight. I would ask one of the mechanics at YourMechanic to take a look at your headlight so they...

Q: Car ran out of gas now runs very rough and oil light stays on. I am stumped. Help?

Hello, It sounds like you may have a faulty oil pressure sensor. The oil pressure light will usually come on when a few things could be happening. Either the motor is in fact low on oil, the oil pump could...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.