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Questions and Answers

Toyota Corolla CV Joints

Q. Hi Vince: My girlfriend has a 1993 Toyota Corolla DX with approximately 96,000 miles. She has an automatic transmission and the vehicle came with the basic 1.6 liter engine. While driving, she can hear a loud clunking noise every time the passenger side front wheel turns. She’s had three different mechanics tell her the R/F wheel bearing needs to be replaced.

Toyota Corolla CV Joints

About a year ago, one mechanic actually checked the wheel bearing and said it was okay. I spoke with a mechanic who said a clunking sound indicates a possible serious problem with the CV joint on the front right side. He said a wheel bearing would make a loud, whining noise, not a clunking sound.

We are going to bring the car into a local repair shop to have it checked and repaired. Do you have any suggestions as to what we should look for and is it possible she might need both a new wheel bearing and a new CV joint? Do you have any other general advice that will help us make a decision when the shop makes their service recommendation?

Thanks,
Robert

A. I think the second mechanic is correct, you probably do have a bad CV joint. What you can do is turn the wheel all the way to the right and look where the axle goes into the hub. You will see the black axle boot and if it's torn and there is grease all over the place, then it's a 98% probability the CV joint is, indeed, bad.

Bad wheel bearings don't usually make a clunking noise. It would be more of a steady growling type noise that would change when turning.

I would recommend getting a rebuilt axle rather than a new CV joint. It will be cheaper and you won't have to worry about it.

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