Q: What could cause loud clicking/clunking sound from front. Temp gauge fluttering

asked by on

Loud clicking clunking sound started after making a sharp u-turn. Not when car is stopped and in Park. Temp gauge flutters from hot to mid-range and then back to hot and stays there.

My car has 198000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi There, it sounds like you may have two separate issues going on here. The clicking/clunking noise sounds like a bad CV joint. A CV (Constant Velocity) joint is a shaft that connects the transmission to the wheels, essentially transferring the power from the drive train directly to the wheels. 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, clunking or popping sound coming from this area as the weight of the vehicle puts pressure on this area and shifts back and forth and side to side.

The temperature fluctuation is a result of some part of the cooling system functioning properly. Overheating can be caused by a number of things such as low coolant levels, a faulty thermostat, a clogged radiator or a failing coolant fan switch. As you may know the coolant fan switch helps to maintain the proper coolant temperature by turning on and off at specific temperature thresholds. When this switch is not working properly, this can cause the fans to come on intermittently, all the time or sometimes not at all. When this happens you will notice a temperature spike and drop occasionally as the fan comes on and off. When your thermostat is not working properly or is stuck closed, this will not allow the coolant to properly circulate through the engine, which may cause the engine temperature to fluctuate erratically or in some cases just remain hot. You may also have a water pump that is beginning to fail. Water pumps often times will begin to produce a bit of a whining sound when they are starting to fail. A common problem also associated with this is the water pump may begin to leak around the water pump shaft due to the seal being damaged. In addition to leaking around the pump, you may have a leak elsewhere in the cooling system coming from one of the hoses going to or from the radiator. Lastly, you may have a failing cylinder head gasket allowing coolant to leak from the water passages into the cylinders resulting in the coolant being burnt in the combustion chamber with the fuel. If this is the case, you may also notice a bit of white smoke coming from your exhaust which is a product of the coolant being turned into a steam like vapor. I would suggest having an expert from Your Mechanic come to your home to diagnose and inspect your vehicle.

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. What could cause loud clicking/clunking sound from front. Temp gauge fluttering

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: Installing a trailer hitch requires cutting out a piece of the underbody trim panel.

Hello, thanks for writing in. Personally, if it was my new car I would check to see if there is another different trailer hitch on the market that does not require cutting any trim panels. If there is no other...

Q: Clunking

Hi there. Usually this a clunking noise from the rear end is typically related to damaged or worn out rear struts or shocks. However, it could also be due to faulty wheel bearings or the emergency brake shoe that may...

Q: Q: AC not blowing cold air

Hi. There are many different possibilities here. Most A/C systems stop working due to switches in the system failing or a bad clutch on the compressor. You may have also just overcharged you’re A/C system or have a Freon leak....

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 Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
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...