Not sure if it's a common problem but I'd figure I'd share my mom's story.
Last Saturday, going down I-95 in the left lane (mom has a lead foot) we started to hear some bad clicking. Car didn't jerk too much but my mom was so scared she pulled right over to the left shoulder. We weren't so much on the shoulder as we were towards the end of an on ramp that merged with the left lane of the 3-lane highway.
Anyway, tried to move it in drive, inched it a bit and heard a meticulous clicking. Then, nothing. It wouldn't budge. Not it D, 2, 1, or 4WD. Called AAA and after 2.5 hours of waiting, the State Trooper called his own tow truck to take us off the highway. Winched it up since it couldn't move and he noticed the clicking too. After shaking it off the truck with some WD-40, he suggested to get the CV axle changed since he thought it was the rear axle joint. I did some research on the interwebs and this site and thought he was right. I neglected to ask if it not being able to move made a difference. So we got the axle and tried to drive it to the mechanic about 2 miles away from our house.
Barely made it down the street when it wouldn't drive anymore after stopping at a red light. I put it in reverse and backed into a nearby parking lot (no clicking noise in reverse) and waited for another tow truck to take me to the shop.
Put the old girl on the lift and spun the wheels in drive and 4WD and the mechanic speculated the front diff. Knowing my mom, it was probably leaking fluid at some point and she never noticed it. Called up the junkyard, they had the front diff with the correct gears (lucky us!
) and I picked that up for $150. $200 of labor later, the car made it home on its own!
If the front end is clicking and doesn't drive, it might be the front diff.
Mom has an 05 Liberty Renegade, ~91k
Hope it helps some of you and learn from our mistakes.