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CV Joints, Safety Considerations

I have a '98 Honda Civic. Recently, I have noticed that when I turn left, there is a slight grinding noise near the front end of the car. Initially, the sound was intermittent, but is becoming increasingly noticeable. I’m thinking it’s the CV joints. I going to schedule a tune-up, but can’t do that until early next week (since tomorrow is Thanksgiving). Can I drive the car in the meantime? What are the safety considerations in relation to faulty CV joints (if indeed that is the problem)?

A bad CV-joint would not make a grinding noise, but a clicking noise, especially while accelerating during a turn. If there is a grinding noise while turning left when you are not accelerating, I doubt a CV joint is responsible. For more info on CV joints check this link: http://www.aa1car.com/library/2004/bf100434.htp
If your problem was a CV joint, you’d be fine so long as you took it easy accelerating around turns. I don’t think the problem is a CV joint. Avoid driving the car until you can have it checked out.

That sounds more like the wheel bearing to me.

When you do take the car to be serviced, NEVER use the phrase “tune-up”. A modern, computer-controlled, fuel-injected car does not need a “tune-up”. This phrase will tip off anyone at a repair shop that you do not have a clue what you are talking about. They will try to sell you EVERYTHING. (Blinker fluid, mirror rotation, spark plug wax, etc).

That said, the other posters are correct about the CV joint. You should double-check that you are not simply hearing a loose plastic part rub on a tire in the front wheel well.

Use the car for short trips at slow speeds but do not drive the car to Grandma’s house three states away until you have the car fixed.