I drive a '05 Honda civic hybrid 5-speed with about 60,000 miles. This morning as I pulled into a parking lot shifting into first gear I turn the wheel and heard a squeaky clicking sound that I could slightly feel in the gas pedal. It happened 3 more times when I pulled out of my parking spot and into another lot. Any thoughts?
Sounds like one of your half shaft’s u-joint is going. It could be other things as well, though.
Find an empty parking lot and drive slow circles, left and right, to see what side it is coming from. You may need to bring an accomplice to listen from outside the car while you drive around, trying not to hit him/her.
It happens when I turn right
Should I avoid driving it?
I went to the parking lot and drove around for a while and it was clearly the right side. I stopped the car and sat there for a bit then started it up again and it didn’t make any noises and seemed to be driving fine. Any thoughts?
I’d get it checked out soon. It could still be something else but a u-joint that separates can be a potentially dangerous situation so you don’t want to run the risk of getting into a bad accident because of it.
A mechanic usually replaces the half shaft, which contains two of these u-joints because it is convenient. Some replace the offending u-joint, which is messier and takes a bit longer than just replacing the half shaft.
It isn’t a horribly difficult thing to do, though, so it may not cost you an arm and leg.
If you can look under the car, it is the shaft that goes from the transmission to the center of your wheel hub. There are two rubber boots, one on the wheel side, the other on the transmission side. More often than not, the rubber boot has worn and has allowed dirt to get in there, wearing the u-joint and allowing its grease to escape.
Is it still reasonable to suspect that that is the problem if it stopped making the sound?
It is worth investigating. Better safe than sorry.
This may be around the time when you first start hearing it.
Car problems tend to be like toothaches: they rarely go away by themselves.