Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: thumping noise getting louder when driving the car

asked by on

I thought it was my tires, so I just replaced them and the noise is still there. Fairly loud and noticeable thumping or clunking noise while driving, especially noticeable at slower speeds and especially on turns. Drives fine, but this noise concerns me. Started about 2 weeks ago.

My car has 84000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: This is a sign of worn or failing CV joints...

This is a sign of worn or failing CV joints. All front-wheel drive cars have Constant Velocity joints or CV joints on both ends of the drive shafts (half shafts). Inner CV joints connect the drive shafts to the transmission, while the outer CV joints connect the drive shafts to the wheels. Many rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive cars as well as trucks also have CV joints. The CV joints are needed to transfer the torque from the transmission to the drive wheels at a constant speed, while accommodating the up-and-down motion of the suspension. In front-wheel drive cars, CV joints deliver the torque to the front wheels during turns.

There are two most commonly used types of CV joints: a ball-type and a tripod-type. In front-wheel drive cars, ball-type CV joints are used on the outer side of the drive shafts (outer CV joints), while the tripod-type CV joints mostly used on the inner side (inner CV joints). 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・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Lights staying on

Hi. You don't specify which lights are stuck on, so I'm going to assume you're talking about the headlights. The problem could be the headlight switch, a stuck closed relay, a short in the circuit or a problem with the...

Q: How to make a 3 years old, 45000 miles car driving like a new car

Hello. The vehicle may not ever feel like it did when you drove it off the lot. Overtime, wearing and driving over certain bumps can cause slight alterations to the feeling of the drive. In order to get the car...

Q: Engine idling and check engine light on

Carbon build-up on the intake valves is a common issue on the IS250. Lexus recommends to remove the valves and clean them while other manufacturers use anything from an intake cleaning solvent to sandblasting using walnut shells to remove the...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
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...
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.