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.

A: If while driving the sound "changes&qu...

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・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Stalling at low speeds and idle.

You may have a dirty or failing idle air control valve. The idle air control valve reads the air intake as it is mixed with fuel prior to being injected into the engine at low speeds and at idle. Since...

Q: Alternator, Serpentine belt, or battery?

Hi there. It sounds like the alternator has failed. What the internet didn't tell you was that the alternator's voltage during idle and load as well as its output amperage during both conditions needs to be tested to properly determine...

Q: Question about damage to car

Hi. If your car has minimal or no body damage, a regular qualified mechanical technician can repair this situation. A body shop technician can also do this work, if they have mechanical technicians. Repair will probably involve damaged suspension, wheel...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.