It came out of nowhere!



Last Sunday, I was driving on the freeway to pick up my boyfriend. I went to switch lanes to take the exit and I hit something (sadly I don’t know what it was, but was very large and dangerous) that was on the line between the lanes. It ripped a giant hole in the sidewall of my right rear tire (bummer on tire less than 6 mo. old). But my bigger concern is that sharp left turns at speeds over 20 mi. per hour result in a significant clicking sound under the car until I finish the turn and straighten the wheel. Unfortunatley, I haven’t been able to buy a tire yet and get off the spare, but I think the problem might be more than that. Please help! There isn’t any visible damage under the car when I look. : (


This car needs to be put up on a lift in order to do an inspection.
At this point, my best theory is that a CV joint boot was nicked and that a CV joint is failing. Clicking is indeed a symptom of a failing CV joint.

Yes, this would be very fast for a damaged boot to result in a failing joint, but since you didn’t share the model year or the odometer mileage of the car with us, anything is possible.

Since the symptoms are affected by turns, most likely a damaged CV joint and its boot would be on the front of the car, but since the car has independent rear suspension, there is also a possiblity of damage in the rear.


Normally, “clicking sounds” are symptoms of CV joints in the driveshafts going bad. If you keep driving, that may get very expensive.

Take the car to a good shop and do a thorough inspection. You MAY need a new CV joint and riveshaft (budget $250)

Please keep us posted as to what they find.


As others have said, you need to have the car inspected.

You also need to get a new tire and get off that spare.

Driving a Subaru with tires that don’t match in size can do significant damage to the AWD system, which is very expensive to repair. The tire is cheap by comparison.

If your Subaru has an automatic transmission I suggest installing a spare fuse in the FWD receptacle under the hood until you get the tire replaced. This will disable the AWD and prevent further damage. The owner’s manual should help you locate this receptacle.


Is yours one of the Subarus that requires disabling the AWD system when you install the spare tire? If it is and you haven’t done that, the noise could be from whatever is being damaged.


That is a very good point.
Driving for more than 30 miles or so on that donut spare without the FWD fuse being inserted will lead to damage to the AWD system. This is explained in the Owner’s Manual.

Get a new tire on that car a.s.a.p.
It needs to be matched to the diameter of the other 3 tires, so the new tire will need to be “shaved” to match the other 3. The only alternative is to buy 4 new tires.


The good news is that my tire was covered under warranty (Yay for Les Schwab). They said they can repair CV axles there so I had him look at it and there was no damage. The “significant clicking” is gone now that I am on the full size tire. The alignment is unchanged. Is there anything else I should be looking for? Oh yeah, the car is a 1997 with 168,000 miles. Thanks so much for all you help and advice!