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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this has been discussed in other posts, but ... I'm sitting in the dealership service waiting area and am hoping they read this forum :). The symptoms on my car seem more severe than others I read from 5 or so years ago. I have a 2012 Volt with around 118K miles on it now. Over the past few months, the car has started making a clank (clunk?) sound when I start from a stop and when I first apply the brakes. Also, if I brake while rounding a curve at a decent speed it will make the sound repeated times, but not from braking straight ahead. On the way here, tried an experiment and put it in low gear then started and the sounds were more pronounced than when it's in D. It also doesn't make the sound if I accelerate from a roll after already having made the sound.

Diagnosis: both front axle shafts boots ripped and leaking grease - $1400!

Any more knowledge gained on this issue over the past few years? Thanks!
 

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Did they take you out to the car and show you. GM parts direct have the axle assembly at $157.00 ea. ($314.00). My resources show flat rate labor allowance. 1.2 hrs (mfg warranty) or. 1.7 hrs standard per side.

I had the right axle replaced under warranty. I think it took the guy 45 minutes. But he had to go back redo some of it because the anti-lock light came on as I left the dealership. Turned out a shaving of metal had bridged the right axle wheel sensor during installation of the new assembly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Did they take you out to the car and show you. GM parts direct have the axle assembly at $157.00 ea. ($314.00). My resources show flat rate labor allowance. 1.2 hrs (mfg warranty) or. 1.7 hrs standard per side.

I had the right axle replaced under warranty. I think it took the guy 45 minutes. But he had to go back redo some of it because the anti-lock light came on as I left the dealership. Turned out a shaving of metal had bridged the right axle wheel sensor during installation of the new assembly.
Hey DMC - yeah, after I hastely posted this as the admin guy was standing there, he took me to the car on the lift and showed me the grease sprayed on the wheels and on the boot. ... from your math, it looks like it should be more like under $700 out the door...humm

I can also take it to my small-shop mechanic for the replacement. I could also try the new washer and retorque method first...I did take the opportunity to get a new 32mm socket and massive torque wrench (with it's own plastic carrying case!) and torqued to 185 ft lbs after having tightened it more than that with my breaker bar a month or so earlier to no avail. Maybe I just need to get the axles replaced anyway, and the reassembly should take care of the nut torque. ??
 

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My right axle was clicking. I had all the classic signs of the loose nut syndrome. I tightened the nut. It was loose. The clicking returned in a couple weeks. I just put up with it till I eventually got the Skill-saw sound from the infamous drive motor bearing failure. They fixed everything under warranty at 82k mi. I’ll be at 100k mi next week and its been silent for the last 18k mi.

Dealerships are fine for warranty work, but once you’re out. I’d stick to local small shop. Of coarse that depends on the dealer too. I have a local small hometown dealer that charges fair prices. Labor rate $85 ish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nice. I had the skill saw issue at 97K..perfect timing and fixed under warranty. Odd thing was, I had just starting to drive in L, especially to slow down. The experts say no correlation, but...well, I don't use L anymore.

I am familiar with a cv joint clunk, and it's definitely not that. I'm thinking, though, with the grease showing itself, maybe an axle fix is in order, anyway.

I would cut and paste the url for a long thread on my original topic, but they don't allow cut and pastes here. 3 pages of posts and very informative.
 

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I have to believe the physics of reverse torque loading of heavy regening through the drive axles has some effect on the joint wear and nut loosening syndrome. Normal braking via the brake disc/wheel hub takes all the decelerations. While driveline loading is minimal except what friction is in the rotating assemblies of the transmission/engine.
 

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If the boots are torn, those CVs need service regardless.

If they've been torn long enough to let stuff in ( as opposed to just letting grease fly out), they will develop slop. Because you say the issue happens not just on accel/ decel, but on turns, that does suggest CV more than just bearing tightness.

Another thing is it could be a broken motor mount. That would give a small clunk on accel and deccel, but it's harder to map that to any issues going around a turn. On my 2014, I did have an accel and deccel clunk that was a broken motor mount, something that was likely damage from a collision to the front left corner of the car. The motor mount fixed the clunking entirely - it was the correct diagnosis.

-Lumos
2014 Gen 1
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have read others with bad motor mounts - seems like it should be an unusual failure. Glad it fixed the problem for you.

With 118K on the car, I'm thinking the cv joint will need to be replaced at some point before 250K mi, which is how far I hope to drive this car...or longer if it's still good, and the wife will put up with a 15-20 year old car. Question - is replacing the CV joint the same as replacing the axle?
 

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Yes, the entire axle tends to get replaced instead of just replacing one of the CV joints ( there's an inner CV and an outer CV on each axle).

Years back, I'd changed CV boots on old Saabs, as as opposed to replace a joint, and replacing an axle was costlier. Now, the entire axles, with rebuilt CV's are relatively low cost, and there's less labor to replace the whole axles.
 
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