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Way to tell if my half shaft is for sure bad?

(1999 Ford Taurus)
in Salt Lake City, UT on March 31, 2011
When I drive I get a kind of grinding or rubbing sound from the passenger side of my car. When if first started my brake light would come on from time to time, but go back off. I pulled the tire and noticed that my pads were getting extremely low, but not gone completley so I replaced both set's, but the same exact noise is still there. In other car's i had and a cv axle went it would make noise while turning. The taurus actually kind of quiets when I turn the wheel. It's def in the drive train because the sound get's louder and faster. Goes along with the speed of things turning. About to drop money on a house and don't want to drop 70 bucks into a half shaft if it's not the problem. I know if the boot is torn then there is a really good chance that's what the problem is. Any other things I should look for? Any info or tips would be greatly appriciated. Thank you in advance

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Popular Answer
Look to see first visually if the CV rubber boots are intact, (not slit or torn). Next find a parking lot and do tight turns to one side and then the other. Which ever side you make the tight turn on makes a rattling sound increasing with the velocity of the turn has a bad axle.
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on April 05, 2011
Ok, so I have yet to get under my car and take a look, but I did take it to a parking lot and tried to see what i could hear and when i crank my wheel all the way to the left or the right the noise completley stops and it rolls smoothly, as soon as my wheel starts to near the center as i straighten out it starts back up. The sound is kind of like a rubbing of metal's.
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