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: Battery keeps dying for no apparent reason

Hello. If the battery and alternator are fine then I would test the ignition switch. It will commonly stay on and cause this. If it is fine, then an amperage draw test needs to be done on the vehicle. If...

Q: Abs, brake, and vsc warning lights

Hello. Most of the time if the vehicle is running fine and the lights just came on then you more than likely have low brake fluid. If the fluid level is low then all of these lights will come on....

Q: Engine has difficulty starting

If the vehicle starts you can essentially rule out a problem with the starting or charging system. So, forget the starter. There are numerous potential causes for the symptoms you are experiencing, but one thing that comes to mind is...

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...
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...
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...