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    Thread: Bad CV joint sound?

    1. 05-04-2007 12:49 PM #1
      What does a bad CV joint sound like? I've got a sound on my passenger side wheel area that kind of sounds like a thump, thump -- almost as if the tire was moving in and out slightly. It's loudest at slow speeds. It speeds up the faster you drive, until almost unnoticeable at 65mph.
      CV joint?
      something else?

    2. Senior Member Mr. Knappy's Avatar
      Join Date
      Oct 10th, 2006
      Levittown, PA
      1991 GTI 16v
      05-04-2007 12:58 PM #2
      Jack it up and check out the wheels bearings.

    3. Member
      Join Date
      Jun 5th, 2003
      Cary, NC
      04 R32, 93 Corrado SLC
      05-04-2007 01:54 PM #3
      This is my experience w/ VW frt end noise, might as well share this hard-earned knowledge, by no means an exhaustive trouble-shooting guide:
      1. Wheel bearing failed: rhythmic noise varies w/ speed, if present while driving straight can go AWAY on turns (either left or right, not both), if not present driving straight will appear on turns (either left or right, not both), noise gets louder over time (200-1000 miles). Have fun guessing which side is bad.
      2. Tires: noise most noticeable at slow speeds (<10 mph) but heard at higher speeds, at low speeds may feel the steering wheel oscillate slightly in time w/ the noise, rotating the wheels frt/back will lessen the noise; run your hand around the tread of the tire & feel for a high/low spot or a noticeably "rougher" surface.
      3. Inner CV joint: initially heard a slight clicking noise when accelerating or decelerating (very slight for several thousand miles) in a straight line; very slight vibration in steering wheel (a "harder" feel to it than if tire is bad) under acceleration. Noise & vibration worsened suddenly (within 100 miles): very noticeable clicking noise on accel/decel, very noticeable vibration in steering wheel under hard acceleration (as if a cylinder were misfiring), didn't matter if wheel turned left/rightward indicating it was the inner joint; raised wheel of ground & trans in neutral, rotated wheel and felt a noticeable binding at one spot, separated axle from trans & inner balls in joint burnt & galled. This joint was dry, I'd recently replaced the left inner "dust" seal (pressed into trans drive flange) which had been out of position but neglected to refill the joint w/ CV grease (not sure what I was thinking ), this missing seal had allowed gear oil into the joint which acted as lubricant but then made a mess as it exited the joint + dropped the trans oil level; pulled the right inner this weekend and found its inner dust seal was MISSING & gear oil spilled out of the joint, installed a new seal & repacked inner joint w/ grease.

    4. 05-04-2007 01:57 PM #4
      Yeah CV joint should have a mean click to it when accelerating, and accelerating while Turning.

    5. 05-04-2007 02:19 PM #5
      Thanks! That's very helpful. I'm thinking bearings - forget figuring out which side - it's been 21 years on those bearings, I'll replace them both!!

    6. 05-04-2007 02:26 PM #6
      Wow 21 years on those bearings. That's amazing.

    7. Banned NorthernGTI's Avatar
      Join Date
      Oct 26th, 2005
      mk4 1.8TEEE
      05-04-2007 02:38 PM #7
      Well recently I might have had a similar problem as I changed my front brakes(to G60) and I also got spacers..Everything was fine untill last night where it would whine like a baby when turning right. Kind of sounds like bad brakes with no tread on brake pads but brake pads are brand new...??? Sorry to thread jack

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