Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: There's a heavy vibration under my car - is it the U-joint?

asked by on

when i drive its extreme vibration. sometimes when i turn steering wheel it locks and pops for a split second and makes clunking sound. just want to verify if this can be the problem

My car has 130000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

If while driving the sound "changes" when you turn the steering wheel that would point toward bad outer CV axle joint(s). If the noise is as bad as you are describing, that will probably be easy to diagnose and indeed "see" visually if, say, the outer CV joint boots are torn, too (not unusual; those rubber boots do have a limited life). If it is the axles, not to worry, as replacement is fairly straightforward and not at all unusual. The main "problem" indeed is selecting good replacements. The best source, by far, for the axle is the dealer. If you by a rebuilt axle, you’ll want to talk to the mechanic and get his advice about getting a reasonably high quality replacement unit. In my experience, the quality of rebuilds is all over the map so much so that I would say if you intend to "keep" the car buy a new axle(s) from the dealer and save yourself potential headaches. If you do end up replacing the axles, you also have a decision to make regarding the rubber seals on the output side of the differential (transaxle) through which the axle is placed. If the axles are removed, ideally those rubber oil seals should be replaced to prevent leaks. There again, the seals are a rubber product and do not last forever. The problem is if a leak develops after your new axles are put in, the whole job has to be done all over again just to get to those seals. If you desire that YourMechanic evaluate this issue for you, and possibly replace the axles, too, if they are judged defective, by all means please schedule a diagnostic and we will assist you. Any other questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to re-contact.

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: Coolant Temperature Gauge

Hello. This potentially sounds like a combination of a faulty thermostat that may be stuck open and possibly a faulty coolant temperature switch that is causing the cooling fans to not come on. For a more precise diagnosis, I recommend...

Q: how much for rear brake pads, turn rotors on a 2015 Infinity Q70?

Hi there. If you would like to receive a price estimate for this service, please click this link and then select the blue Get a Quote button on that page. Once we receive your vehicle data and location, we'll be...

Q: I have a 2004 Dodge Ram quad cab with a 5.7 liter 8 cylinder engine. When I put truck in 4 wheel drive and move I hear a clucking.

Hi there. The noise that you are hearing could be either the front axle engagement solenoid or the gear lash on the pinion and ring gear on the front axle could be too much. Check to see if the front...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...