Thump, Thump, Thump from front wheel area - slow sharp turns


#1

I can use some suggestions. I replaced both 1/2 axles last week after one CV boot pretty much disintegrated. Since it is a 2005 Acura TL with 146K miles, I changed both axles completely. BTW - I had NO forewarning, noises, etc. before the axles died last week! I only perceived an increase in road noise, but did not hear noises squeaks, thumps, clacks, etc.!) The first day I drove the car after the new axles, I noticed a thump, thump, thump from the right wheel area when I made a sharp, slow turn out of my driveway. It only happened once, but it was a quick trip. The next day, I noticed it again as I pulled out of my driveway and later as I pulled into a parking spot. There are no other symptoms and it only occurs when the wheel is turned to an extreme (80-90 degree) at little to no speed. I tested it in an empty parking lot - slow circles in either direction will cause the thump, primarily coming from the right wheel area. I immediately drove to the repair shop and made an appointment. Any ideas why I’d develop a new thump immediately after getting new axles? I’m thinking something isn’t right with their installation. Of course, they say nothing is wrong with what they did - the problem now is that I need stabilizer links?!?! Sounds like BS to me - why all of a sudden do I need BOTH stabilizer links immediately after repair work? Any thoughts?


#2

My guess is you got a bad CV shaft right out of the box. Or maybe you just got the shaft. It happens, especially if you opt for “rebuilt” shafts.


#3

Sounds like BS to me too. I agree with MG.

Generally, that kind of sound will come from the inner joint. When you turn the wheel, the axle actually changes length. The inner joint is designed to accommodate this, but they can get worn in a way that allows the trifurcated bearing assembly to go axially outside of its normal operating range and cause that thunking. Rebuilt shafts bad right out of the box are sometimes bad.

One way besides getting a brand new half-shaft to reduce the chance of this is to be sure the axles are “remanufactured” rather than “rebuilt”. "Remanufactured shafts generally have all their operating parts completely changed out, “rebuilt” parts often don’t.

UNLESS they were able to actually show you what was wrong with the stab bar links and why they were making the noise. And, since you posted here, I’m guessing they didn’t. Stab bar links are very basic assemblies, just a metal rod with a ball joint on each end. If they’re bad, the shop will be able to show you. If they cannot, then they’re not bad.


#4

I’m in agreement with MG McAnick and Mountainbike. Over the last half dozen years due to some rebuilt shaft problems I never leave the parts store without taking the shaft out of the box and verifying by hand whether that shaft is actually good or not.

In one case of early shaft failure, the parts house had to order shafts 3 times before I got good ones.


#5

As a matter of fact, I tend to see more problems with new cheap chinese axleshafts versus remanned axleshafts


#6

Thanks for your input. As a single, middle age female, I’m always skeptical when a repair shop hands me an estimate or ‘recommends’ x, y, or z. I even hesitated to replace the second 1/2 axle because “it shows wear in the same place” - however, I did see a small corroded part and lots of black dust on the road where the initial one disintegrated, and was very lucky it happened where it did vs. while in heavy traffic on the interstate at 75 mph. So …I did both shafts. As you can tell, I do my online research and am not afraid to ask questions, etc. (I’ve only had 4 cars in 30 years (Accords/TLs), so I obviously know how to keep them maintained.)

That being said, I have no idea if they used new, rebuilt or remanufactured shafts… and I did not stay at the shop while they ‘worked’ on it yesterday since the problem was so ‘obvious’ to me. LESSON LEARNED. I’m not sure how to approach them after this, but I did make sure they knew I was ticked and told them the symptoms were common for CV issues, not the links. I made an appointment at a different shop for Monday afternoon. I mentioned the noise and will ask their general opinion before informing them about the new shafts. I just want to hear one more mechanically inclined person unhesitatingly say ‘CV shaft’ !

Again, I appreciate your advise and I will keep you informed - good to have someone confirming my suspicions.


#7

I don’t see how bad stabilizer links can go “thump-thump-thump” I agree with the others that it’s a bad half shaft.


#8

Update: went to a different repair shop today, and took the test drive with them. Their diagnosis: SWAY BAR LINKS! I told them my (our) thought re: defective CV. Crow doesn’t taste too bad, does it? I let them do the repair… It DID NOT fix the noise. No charge for that repair and a was given a detailed receipt to return to the original shop… New right shaft is now on order! Thanks confirming my suspicion and firming up my backbone to go with the BS feeling I had.


#9

Let us know how you make out.


#10

I’ll go a little off topic . . .

If I was the shop #2, and I was informed that the shop #1 just replaced axleshafts and there was a noise, I would have politely declined to do any work, and would have advised the customer to return to shop #1 and nicely ask them to recheck their work.

Sometimes the smartest thing you can do is nothing . . . meaning politely declining to work on a vehicle

No disrespect intended to anybody


#11

I’m in agreement with db4690 about it being best sometimes to stay out of a problem.

OP, if the shop is using rebuilt shafts you might ask them to rotate the joints on the shaft by hand BEFORE installing them. A rebuilt shaft that is faulty will often have a catch, or hitch, in the movement. The joints should rotate firmly and freely in all directions.


#12

After my ‘please check your work’ visit, I had nowhere to turn there - they KNEW it was the stabilized links. … And I was some under-informed b@tch. So, my choices were to forking over $190 to do the links before they, too, realized it was a bad shaft, or get an independent opinion. I never identified shop # 1 to shop #2, and they had looked and could see I had new half shafts before the test drive. It was their choice to proceed with their diagnosis and repair… Had they been right, shop #2 would have become my new car maintenance provider… And actually, the fact that they did not charge me, puts them into that role in the future. They acted in good faith all around. Shop #1 now knows who I went to for the second opinion, and they apparently have a good cross-referral relationship. Thanks again.


#13

Did shop 1 replace the half shaft?


#14

yes, they did a full warranty replace with a new 1/2 shaft. Now I’m questioning if they should have checked the wheel alignment - which I paid for when I got both 1/2 shafts. In general, should the alignment be checked, redone or what after this new 1/2 shaft is put in? (I’m thinking it drifts to the left now.)


#15

Thanks for letting us know the outcome! I would assume they checked the alignment. Check your tire pressures with a good gauge and make sure they are set to the Door frame sticker pressures. Over inflated tires will skate around. An imbalance in inflation can make it pull to one side or the other.


#16

Anytime major work is done to the front end a 4-wheel alignment should be done.