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

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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.

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