New tires, alignment, brakes and muffler, but my car is still "thumping". What gives?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Sep 01, 1999

Dear Tom and Ray:

I have a 1991 Buick Custom Century with only 19,900 miles on it. I'm getting a
loud "thump, thump, thump" every time I make a right turn. I took it to our local
Buick dealer, and he sent a mechanic out with it; when he came back, the head
mechanic went out with it. When he came back, he said my car was out of line and
said to get the wheels aligned and get new tires because they were cupped. I did
all he said, but now I still get the "thump, thump, thump." I have had the front
brakes renewed, and it's still there. I had a new muffler system put in, and
still the thump. I have spent more than $600, and it's still "thump, thump,
thump" on right turns. What gives? -- William

RAY: I don't think your car was "out of line," William. I think it was your
dealer who was out of line.

TOM: Your tires may, in fact, have been cupped, but I'm pretty sure your problem
is a bad constant-velocity (CV) joint. CV joints are complex universal joints on
the front axles that allow the front wheels to both move up and down AND left and
right to steer the car. And the thumping or clacking you hear on turns is a
classic symptom of a bad CV joint. Classic! Right out of the textbook.

RAY: So ask a mechanic you trust to check out your CV joints, William. Three
hours and $300 later, I'll bet your "thump, thump, thump" is ancient history.

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