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To start off, I had my oil changed at the dealship last month. The dealer told me that the car needs new joints and control arm bushings.

Recently, I've noticed that sometimes there is a click that I hear from the front of the car when I accelerate from a stop. What could be causing this? Is it cause for alarm?

  • Does it click a lot when you're maneuvering around parking lots? – Parker Jun 6 '12 at 4:14
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    Recommend you take care of the known issues before you waste too much time diagnosing this noise. The other issues could very well be causing the sound. – Brian Knoblauch Jun 6 '12 at 11:39
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    @BrianKnoblauch, you should rephrase your comment as an answer: I'd be willing to bet that the issues cited by the OP are the problem. – Bob Cross Jun 11 '12 at 17:28
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I've owned several FWD cars and the clicking, especially while turning or accelerating, is a pretty sure sign of a CV (constant velocity) joint going. So if your mechanic told you "joints," +1 to that.

Further info:

You can usually drive a ways (5000mi/8000km) before the sound becomes unbearable. I never got past the clicking phase, but I'm told you eventually start hearing knocking, then screeching metal, and finally it just busts, possibly taking other components with it. So, probably should fix it before that.

In case you wanted to try something DIY, I've heard some guys pull back the CV boot (the rubber sleeve) and repack grease to delay the job. Might be doable on your Volvo.

  • I got past the clicking stage; CV had been making a slight click for a while, but not so much that I thought it was seriously ill.. Waiting in traffic with full steering lock on, saw a small gap to run right in front of an oncoming bus, plenty of gas and dumped the clutch to make the turn quickly... Bang! Tip; if you have to tow a car with a ruined CV, run the engine and use the gears to turn the driveshafts at the speed they "should" be turning for the given wheel speed while you tow - it will considerably reduce the horrific graunching noises, reducing risk of damage to other components – Caius Jard May 10 '17 at 16:15
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I'd recommend you take care of the known issues before you waste too much time diagnosing this noise. The other issues could very well be causing the sound. Worn joints frequently cause clicking sounds.

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If it doesn't make a regular clicking sound when turning a corner (with the wheel all the way left or right) then it's less likely to be a CV joint issue.

I believe the click you hear is more likely to be "driveshaft ping". On these cars the end of the driveshaft is splined and fits into a spline on the wheel hub. A bolt in the end of the driveshaft retains it and stops it from sliding out of the splined hub. You can see this bolt if you remove the plastic "volvo" trim cap in the very centre of the wheel.

Whatever magic volvo do with their cars in the factory, they don't really make this clicking noise. Mine's made a click ever since I replaced a broken drive shaft, and it even does it since a pro garage replaced that same driveshaft some 5 years/50k miles later, post me breaking the CV joint and them not being able to find a replacement that fit the non-oem driveshaft I fitted years earlier. For the first couple of weeks after the repair, the tick noise was absent, then it returned..

The cause is a very slight rotational movement of the shaft within the splines of the hub, resulting in a ticking noise. If you put the car in reverse and lift the clutch with a reasonable "bang" it will spin the driveshaft backwards against the hub splines and make a tick, then if you select a forward gear and lift the clutch again with some vigour you'll hear the tick again. It shouldn't really do it again in the forwards direction, until you apply some action that rotates the driveshaft the other way, such as reversing. If it is driveshaft ping you'll also be able to produce the ticking sound regularly if you "kangaroo" (cycle on and off the acelerator, causing a jerking back and forth motion) the car in a forward gear as you drive along. The tick should be heard every time the car lurches forwards or backwards

The noise is relatively harmless; mine's been doing it for the last 50k or so miles without getting noticeably worse. If it ever did get so back that the splines in the hub or shaft wore completely away, it's a simple enough repair

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