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・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Ac stops being cold only at idle

Verify if the electric cooling fans behind the radiator are coming on. You can hear them and see them if you open the hood. Any time the A/C is on, the fan should run. When you are moving down the...

Q: My abs light is on

The ABS light can be on due to any number of faults. A bad wheel speed sensor, brake pressure sensor, or damaged wiring are just a few possibilities. It can just be a coincidence that the light is on now,...

Q: The car has no electrical power at all

Hi. I would recommend to have a technician check for any loose power or ground wiring. There also could be some corrosion present that is blocking the electrical current flow. I also recommend that the technician use a test light to...

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...
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 P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...