2002 Chrysler Town and Country clanking noise

Tiny
MYSI6784
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 CHRYSLER TOWN AND COUNTRY
  • 3.8L
  • 6 CYL
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
Van was running fine, then all of the sudden there is a loud clanking noise when driving. I was told it might be the front drive shaft, but I took it off and it is still making the same noise. Please help. Any thoughts?
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Friday, August 8th, 2014 AT 1:32 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
What happened when the noise started? Where you able to keep moving? There's no front drive shaft like there is on a four-wheel-drive truck. There's two half shafts in front. If a joint on one of them broke, you would have had a real lot of vibration, noise, and plenty of warning before it broke. Did you notice anything like that? Have you actually looked underneath to see if anything is broken or obvious? Is there a small puddle of transmission fluid on the ground under the engine?

All-wheel-drive models do have a rear drive shaft and two rear half shafts. Problems with the rear half shafts are very rare. It would be more common to have a failed bearing supporting the front of the rear drive shaft. You'd be able to move yet with the front wheels, like all other minivans, but the rear drive shaft would flop around and make a lot of noise.
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Friday, August 8th, 2014 AT 10:45 PM
Tiny
MYSI6784
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Hi Thanks for the reply. It wasn't doing anything before this had happened. No shaking, no vibration, steering is fine. No fluid leaking. I looked under the van and there was nothing noticeable. I had someone look at it and they said it was the front half of the shaft going into the transmission.
But like I said, My uncle took that piece off and it was still making the same sound. I don't really know about car repairs other than what my uncle tells me. The original thought was the cv boot/ joint? Any thoughts?
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Saturday, August 16th, 2014 AT 6:04 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
CV joints and half shafts don't make much noise when they fail. All you hear is a clicking or light crunching noise, mainly when turning and moving, and it's easiest to hear at low speeds. If there's no vibration associated with the noise, you'll have to determine if what you're hearing has a pattern. Does it occur once per wheel revolution? Only when you hit a bump? Does the noise stop when you turn slightly or when you apply the brakes lightly? Those clues will help.

There's also a somewhat common transmission problem that will cause a noise, and if corrected right away, can prevent serious damage to the transmission case. If allowed to continue, a large steel pin will catch on the housing and crack it. That's a pretty expensive repair. To find that, you can run the vehicle in gear on a hoist, then listen to various points to determine the cause.

The best place to take the van is a tire and alignment shop. They specialize in finding and correcting the causes of noises and rattles.
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Saturday, August 16th, 2014 AT 8:04 PM

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