How to determine faulty axle (Clicking while driving straight)


Veteran Member
Mar 29, 2011
London Ont Canada
2003 Jetta Wagon TDI, 2015 Passat TDI, 2015 Touareg TDI
Hello all,

My MK4 alh wagon had the transmission dogbone mount come loose last spring and unfortunately I drove around with the car for a few weeks in this state while I could make time to fix it. When I did fix and install a new mount (dogbone - trans to sub-frame), I drove a few days and noticed I had a 'clicking' develop when driving straight.

The clicking is not from the swaybar and from what I could tell, only happens when driving straight. The clicking has progressively gotten worse so I parked the car, yet again.

I want to get this sorted and fix this issue and I believe that my drivers side axle has developed this problem but I want to be 100% certain before I order a replacement axle (OEM). My current drivers axle was rebuilt by myself maybe 15-20k ago with GKN joints and boots from IDparts. I feel that the continuous movement by the engine with the dogbone mount faulty has possibly caused this problem with my axle.

Does anybody have a way on how I could test the axles prior to taking them off of the car? I'd like to figure out which one is the cause of my issues and order an OEM replacement.

Thank you!


Veteran Member
Apr 7, 2016
2003 Jetta TDI wagon, 5 sp, 226K miles

When I had an INNER CV joint go bad it was clicking while driving straight like yours ( OUTER CV joints tend to make noise when turning But I cannot say for sure they might not also make noise when going straight) ...

Anyways, I went to a big parking lot and have a friend run along the side of the car to hear which side the noise was coming from ....

I suspected I knew which side my noise was coming from when I drove along side a brick wall of a building going both ways with the windows down but I wanted a second opinion.

Barring an athletic friend with good ears and / or a building you can drive along side of checking for noise each way , maybe you can safely raise the car up and let it idle in gear to self determine what is making noise.

Hope this helps.


Metal Man

Sep 29, 2001
Sunbury,PA 17801
1998 NB TDI, 2006 Jetta TDI, 2014 Tiguan gas, , 2019 E Golf X2
I would first check that the CV bolts are tight. If you're convinced it's a CV problem and since it sounds like you are mechanically inclined. I would order a set of joints and have some CV grease on hand and take one axle apart at a time and fully clean, inspect and grease the joints. Or you could replace the joints on one axle with new and if you still have the noise transfer the ones you just took off to the other axle. You will have either solved your problem or found out that it is not your CV's.


Top Post Dawg
Apr 23, 2010
2007 Seat Alhambra 2L tdi
My inner joint also clicked in a straight line on my mk4, the actual splines on the shaft were worn out. Sounds like you'll need to get in there and investigate