Clanking noise in driver's side front tire, but only when turning AND accelerating

Hello, I drive a '96 Infiniti I30, and recently the driver’s side front wheel has started making a mysterious noise. It’s not a grinding but a clicking/clanking noise. It’s only present when I’m turning and accelerating. If I let off the gas it disappears. The other strange thing is that i can feel it in the gas pedal. I looked at some other discussions and the only thing that was similar was a bad CV joint. I just wanted to see what other people thought. Thank you all for your help! If you need any other info please let me know.

One last thing, if it is the CV joint how soon should i get it replaced?


If it does turn out to be the CV joint, it should be replaced now rather than later. While the wheel won;t come off if it fails totally, it will leave you stranded.

Inspect the engine mounts. This sounds similar to a problem I had.

Can’t be certain, could just be a pebble got stuck somewhere and is rattling around, but most likely sounds like a CV joint on the fritz. Good idea to at least have the wheel pulled for a quck look-see for any pebbles, and get the boot inspected. If the boot is torn, dirt can get inside the joint, so that would need to be addressed straight away. At the same time they can give you an idea of how bad the joint is and how long you’ve got before it fails completely. CV joints are routine service items these days and on modern econoboxes at least are usually fixed by replacing the entire half shaft. On a 96 I expect the mechanic will recommend replacing both driver and passenger side half shaft, even if only one side is making noise.

One thing to be aware of if you in fact need to replace the CV joints: There’s been numerous complaints here of problems with offshore rebuilt half shafts. Ask you mechanic if he’s had this experience too, and can recommend a part’s vendor source to use that will avoid this problem. He/she may recommend you get the part direct from a dealer parts dept. In any event, ask the mechanic to double check before installation that the replacement half shafts are the exact same dimensions as the existing.

@gdwyer68901 I recommend EMPI cv axle shafts

I recommend AGAINST new “store brand” axle shafts. I’ve had too many bad experiences with them. Some of them were just as noisey as my old defective parts, and others didn’t fit correctly.

On the other hand, I have had good experiences with those little Mom and Pop shops that actually rebuild the axles you bring them. I did that once. The price was reasonable, the turn around time was fairly quick, and the guys were very professional.

The rebuilders you mentioned - how would they be listed in yellow pages? Are you talking about automotive machine shops, or a specialty suspension and alignment repair business, or …?

I definitely prefer rebuilding to buying factory products when possible. I use a local rebuilder of starters and alternators, but don’t know about getting axles rebuilt. Thanks!

@WesternRoadtripper One of my colleagues told me about the axle rebuilder. I’m not sure how they’re listed in the yellow pages, unfortunately.

I"ve seen them listed in the Yellow Pages under “Drivelines”.

There is, or was, an outfit in Oklahoma City that rebuilt CV shafts for every reasonable prices, sold retail, and also did installation work. CV shafts were the only thing they did.
I think the shafts were rebuilt using a machine grinder to smooth out the races (in the more severe cases) and oversize balls were installed in the joints with the oversize balls only being used in the less worn ones where the races were still good.

Given the age of the OP’s car and possible high mileage, the other shaft may not be far behind the noisy one.