Symptoms of bad CV Joint
CV joints also known as constant-velocity joints, are found on front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, and all-wheel-drive vehicles. If they fail you will hear a clicking noise when you make a turn, especially if you are trying to accelerate. Typically the outer CV joint is the culprit. CV joints are situated at both ends of the drive shafts. The inside (inner) CV joints connects directly to the differential. The outer CV joints connect the axle to the wheel. The CV joints transmit power to the wheels regardless of the angle of the wheels. Rotations are transferred at a constant speed without varying the rotational speed. The CV joints are protected by a rubber boot which is filled with a special type of grease. Outer CV joints simultaneously move up and down with the movement of the suspension.
Back to top
What a bad CV joint sounds like [SOUND]
A bad outer CV joint will typically make a clicking, popping, or grinding sound when going around corners and may get louder as you accelerate. At lower speeds, it may make a knocking sound every few seconds or so. Although a failure of inner CV joint is rare, this problem will make the vehicle shudder and shake as it accelerates.Back to top
Symptoms of a bad CV joint include
- Cracks or breaks in the rubber or plastic boot that surrounds the CV joint.
- Grease leaking from cracks onto the wheel rim or inside the wheel well.
- Hearing a clicking sound from the wheels when going around turns at slow speeds (indicative of damage to the outer CV joints)
- Hearing noises when the car is driving straight (possible damage to the inner CV joints)
- The vehicle shudders or shakes during acceleration.
Preventing CV Joint Damage
Visually inspect near the CV joint for grease leaks, especially on the exterior CV boot. In addition, check if the CV joint clamps are loose or broken.
The primary way to prevent CV joint damage is to practice safe driving - avoid going off-road and try going around obstacles instead of going through them whenever possible. In addition, visually inspect your CV joints frequently for wear, tearing, cracks, or other damage. Catching any potential problems early on can result in a less expensive repair process and will prevent more extensive damage to the vehicle's driveshaft, wheels, or whole CV joint.
Completely failed CV joint.
Back to top
How to Repair a Bad CV Joint
Early detection of damage to a CV boot is beneficial because in this case, the boot is replaced and the joint is repacked with new grease. Replacements are typically sold as a kit specific for the vehicle, and it will include a new CV boot, grease, and new clamps. It is less expensive than having to replace the drive shaft or entire CV joint.
Check the price on CV Boot Kit for your vehicle.
If the damage is worse beyond a cracked boot and the entire CV joint is too worn, it will need to be replaced. CV joints cannot be repaired, they have to be replaced with a new part. Furthermore, sometimes you will not be able to replace just the CV joint, because it will not be sold separately. You may have to replace the entire CV axle.
If you plan to do this yourself, instead of at a repair shop, you will need correct size socket to loosen the locknut holding the drive shaft in place.You will need to remove the ball joint will likely have to be removed and this requires ball joint removal tools.
Instructions for replacing either the CV boots, joints, or driveshaft will vary depending on your vehicle.
Replacing parts of the CV joint is a complicated procedure that will be made even more expensive if you have to purchase special tools to complete the job. That cost (as well as the time spent) can be weighed against the cost of completing the job at a repair shop.Back to top
How Much Does It Cost To Get a CV Joint Fixed
The cost of replacing a CV boot alone can vary from $350-$800. If you are going to the trouble of removing the CV joint to replace the boot, you may want to consider replacing the CV joint/axle. Because a new CV joint/axle isn't expensive, but the time required to replace a cv joint can be labor intensive. If you only replace the boot, there is a chance that months later or within a few years the CV joint will fail.Back to top
Signs of bad CV joint
One of the most common problems with CV joints is when the protective boot gets broken or cracks. The grease it contains will come out and dirt and moisture will enter. This will cause the CV joint to wear down faster and fail due to corrosion and lubrication.
Outer CV joint boots are usually the ones that get damaged first as they need to withstand more movement than the inner boots. That's because they are closer to the wheel which has to move up and down every time you go over bumps or pothole. You should regularly check the condition of the CV joint boot. If you notice a crack on the CV joint boots it needs to be replaced or fixed as soon as possible. The mechanic will look for tears, cracks or any other damage and recommend the best course of action.
One of the earliest symptoms of a damaged CV joint boot is grease coming out of a tear or crack. If the extent of damage is bigger than expected, you may also see dark grease spattered around the space inside of the drive wheel or on the inside of the wheel rim. The CV joint will deteriorate and eventually stop working if you continue to drive a car with a broken CV joint boot.
When you hear a popping or clicking sound when turning, it only means that the CV joint is damaged. The sound usually gets louder when increasing speed. In worst cases, a damaged outer CV joint may even crumble while driving. You won't be able to drive your car if this happens. Inner CV joints rarely fail. When the car side-to-side shakes or shudders during acceleration, the inner CV joint is damaged. Clunking may also happen when you"re changing from drive to reverse.
The CV joint is filled with grease. The grease is sealed from the environment with a plastic or rubber boot that is held in place with a few clamps. The CV joint itself requires no maintenance unless the boot cracks and leaks the grease. CV boots can last for an extended period of time - some for as long as the life of the vehicle - as long as the CV joint is always packed with grease. Problems occur when the plastic or rubber boot becomes cracked, as that lets dirt and debris enter, which can cause problems with its operation. Dirt, debris, or moisture causes the CV joint to fail quickly and eventually need replacement due to lack of lubrication, which is necessary for its proper functionality. Front CV joints are more likely to fail because they accommodate more movement due to front wheels turning frequently.
There's no need to replace the entire drive shaft or CV joint right away. If you detect and fix the problem early, you only need to repack the CV joint with new grease and replace the boot. Replacing the CV joint boot usually costs $180 to $350. While this may not sound very expensive, a considerable amount of labor is still required to replace the CV joint. You can buy a kit for your car that contains CV joint boot , new clamp, and grease.
A worn out CV joint cannot be fixed. It needs to be replaced with a reconditioned or new part. CV joints don't always come separately. If that is the case, you may need to replace the whole drive shaft. The repair shop may charge $380 to $800 for the replacement.
You can change the drive shaft or CV joint boot on your own, but you need the right size socket and a breaker bar or torque wrench to loosen the hub nut or CV joint lock-nut. The lower ball joint will need to come out as well and it's hard to do without the right tools. Once you've finished fixing the CV joint boot, you have to re-torque the hub nut to the specified torque.
Back to top