I recently turned and my dad was generous enough to...

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Jun 01, 1994

Dear Tom and Ray:

I recently turned 16 and my dad was generous enough to get me a 1984 Dodge Aries for my first car. This nice vehicle has served my transportation needs well for four months. However, it has developed a sizable side to side shake when accelerating from 35 to 45 mph. Our mechanic tried rotating and balancing the tires, aligning the engine pulleys, and checking the engine mounts. None of those things have helped. Do you have any idea what could be wrong?

RAY: Gee, Doug, I've been trying to find a car for my college-age son for years, but I haven't been able to find the right vehicle for him. He keeps turning down the cars I offer him because they're not "cool" enough. But I hadn't thought of an '84 Aries!

TOM: Yeah. As soon as he sees one, that '87 Dodge Dakota you offered him is going to look awfully sweet by comparison.

RAY: My guess that you have a bad constant velocity (CV) joint, Doug. When a CV joint on one of the front wheels sticks or binds, it creates a little "tug" on that side, as if you were applying the brake on that wheel for an instant. Then it frees up, sticks again, frees up, sticks again...and the result is a feeling of "shaking."

TOM: The CV joint probably needs to be replaced. But for similar money, you can get a whole rebuilt axle, and that's what I'd recommend, Doug.

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