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.

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 1,000 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!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. thumping noise getting louder when driving the car

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: air vents not blowing air plus heater does not get hot

Hi there. It is possible that the blower actuator is the source of this problem, however, before recommending replacement it is possible that a different issue is causing your problems; such as a stuck vent control arm or even a...

Q: I am advised to change brake pads. Do I also need to get rotors turned?

Hey there. You should have the rotors resurfaced or replaced if cutting them takes the surface below the minimum thickness. If you would like to have the brake pads and rotors repaired for you, a certified technician from YourMechanic can...

Q: How do you know if the comfort ride is working on a 97 lexus es 300?

The ride would be comfortable if the air bag suspension is aired up all the way or deflated. There could be a leak on the air bag system or the ride control module could not be functioning. If there is...

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...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
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.