That’s not a mouse, and it isn’t a toddler who has just learned to click his tongue.

When you hear a clicking sound upon turning a corner in your car, it’s a sign that you’ve got a problem with a CV joint. CV stands for “constant velocity,” and there are four of these joints on the front axles of a front-wheeldrive car. Although most joints will give you 100,000 miles before beginning to click, they have been known to wear sooner if the protective boot that surrounds them sustains any damage.

A CV joint is made up of six individual balls held together in a type of cage. In a new CV joint, the balls will fit neatly into this cage, but as time and miles take their toll, the balls loosen and begin to move around. The noise is most evident when turning a corner because this causes the balls to move within the cage, hitting against each other. Many people notice the noise when they are in reverse or making a turn.

Once a joint has reached this point, it means it is seriously worn and that the protective grease in it has probably leaked out. A worn CV joint can be a threat to your driving because it can result in a loss of steering, accident, and auto repair . Should the joint lock, the wheels will not turn.

Don’t ignore the unusual noises a car makes. Bring your car to us in Vista, CA and your questions about noises to us. We can diagnose the problem and correct the situation to keep you safely on the road.