Drive axles go bad. The trick is to know when they’re about to give up on you. There are symptoms that will indicate that the drive axle in going bad.
A clicking noise when driving, especially when cornering, is typical of a drive axle that needs to be replaced. It’s usually not hard to hear, unless you drive with loud music playing or really noisy friends/kids. When you hear it you need to get to a shop ‘cause you’re about to have an “unfortunate incident”.
Vibration in the wheel when driving is another symptom of a bad drive axle. Vibration can be caused by a number of different problems, an axle is just one of them. Whenever you have weird vibrations in your car you should have them checked out. None of them are good but most of them are benign. If there’s noise and vibration when cornering it might just indicate a problem in the CV joint, which is the most common axle problem and needs to be dealt with promptly. Where the axle is in very bad condition it will feel as if you’re driving a vehicle with a warped wheel.
With the vehicle jacked up and supported, and move the drive axle up and down. There should be no excessive movement (that is ½ inch or more). This can happen especially when the vehicle has a great deal of mileage on the clock, typically more than 100,000 miles.
Hope this helps. If you have any questions please call your Local Mechanic, All Tune and Lube Total Car Care. Complete Auto Repair and Maintenance.