CV Axle (Meaning, Symptoms & Replacement Cost)

There are few things more annoying than hearing a click when you move the wheel, however, few things are as significant as the issue that causes the sound.

The CV axles of your car are a major factor in the ability of your car to move forward and continue driving normally. Leaving out the possibility of a problem could have disastrous consequences.

If you’re not sure about the subject matter or don’t know how to begin We’re here to assist.

The CV axle is a component of your car responsible for transferring power from the vehicle’s differential and transmission to the wheels which allow the car to move forward.

In this article we will discuss everything you need to know about your vehicles Cv axle, how it works, bad cv axle symptoms, its replacement cost, and how you can go about replacing it yourself

Let’s get started!

What Is A CV Axle?

The constant velocity axle (CV axle), also called a half shaft or a transmission axle, transfers power from the vehicle’s differential and transmission to the wheels. This allows the car to move forward.

A constant velocity axle (CV axle) is a shaft that has constant-velocity joints and transfers rotating torque to a car’s drive wheels.

You might also call it a half shaft or drive shaft. Two CV axles (CV shafts) are found on a typical front-wheel-drive car—one at each wheel.

Nearly all cars, SUVs, and crossovers (including electric) have CV axles. Some pickup trucks also have them.

How Does A CV Axle Work?

If a vehicle has independent suspension on its drive wheels, a CV axle is required in the car. Independent suspensions have the right and left wheels moving independently according to the road surface.

A CV axle must be able to transfer torque when the front wheels keep turning left and right under an angle to transfer it to the constantly moving wheels.

The shaft length must also be flexible. Two constant-velocity joints or CV joints are found on a CV shaft or axle: the inner  CV joint and the outer CV joint.

An inner CV joint typically has three rollers mounted on a tripod (spider), which can slide within the housing of the CV joint. This allows the CV axle to extend or contract as required. The inner CV joint can also work at a slight angle.

The outer CV-joint’s design allows it to transmit the rotation motion at higher angles. Both CV joints have grease in them and are sealed with rubber boots or plastic boots.

Bad CV Axle Symptoms

Here are some bad CV axle symptoms which you might notice on a car with bad CV axles.

1. Knocking Sound

A knocking sound is one of the bad cv axle symptoms you should Pay attention to, particularly if it is rhythmic. Although a bad CV axle may not always cause this, it is important to inspect the vehicle immediately.

You may notice that sometimes the knocking sound is louder in reverse. The best thing to do is have experts examine the problem immediately.

2. Grease On The Inside Or Edge Of The Tires

The CV axle joint is protected from leakage by grease-filled boots. If there is a leakage in the area around the boot, this could result in the absence of lubrication which can cause the CV joint to fail. Do not hesitate to take your car for servicing if grease is visible around the tire’s edges or inside.

3. Clicking Noises When Turning

Although it is sometimes described as a loud clicking or a popping sound, it is always obvious once you hear it. This noise is caused by worn CV axle joints and can be heard when the vehicle turns. This noise, like other symptoms, should be reported to the service center immediately to get your vehicle checked out.

4. Vibration While Driving

This bad CV axle symptom may be tricky to detect because many factors can cause vibrations when you drive. The CV axle may be responsible for vibrations that increase in speed or feel unusually “bouncy.”

It doesn’t matter what the reason for vibrations is; you should inspect your vehicle if you experience this. If your car vibrates excessively, it can make it more difficult to control and can lead to accedents.

CV Axle Replacement Cost

CV Axle Replacement Cost ranges between $900 and $1,200. The labor costs for replacing a CV axle are between $140 to $180, while the parts cost between $900 to $1000.

This range does NOT include taxes or fees and does not consider your vehicle and unique location. Other repairs might also be required. This range is averaged across all vehicles.

CV Axle Replacement Procedure

Follow the steps below to know how to replace a CV axle

  1. Park the car on a flat surface and make sure the gar is set to park
  2. Begin by disconnecting the battery, jacking the vehicle, and allowing permeating oil to get into any bolts used to reattach.
  3. Disassembled the suspension if necessary. Remove brake lines or other obstructions away from wrenches.
  4. Loosening but not completely removing the top mounts for the struts as well as the bushings on the end of the sway bar may allow for a bit more suspension movement for easier removal of the cv axle.
  5. Loosen and take off the wheel side axle bolts that hold it in place.
  6. Disconnect the axle from the wheel. Don’t allow the axle to hang over the differential or transmission as it could damage the oil seals.
  7. Carefully pull or remove the axle out of the differential or transmission. Be careful not to bend axle seals. Also, Be cautious not to damage the differential or transmission oil seals. You might notice that transmission fluid might leak when removing the axle. Don’t be worried about this as it would be little. Just use a pan to catch the leaking fluids.
  8. Before inserting the new cv axle, Do not forget to move any seals for the axle, ABS rings, or any other components from the old axle to the new axles.
  9. Insert the new Cv axle into the transmission spot where the old axle was taken out from
  10. Use the correct torque for the bolts on the axle. Examine the axle’s rotation.
  11. Reassemble the dismantled parts.

Watch this video to get more insight on the cv axle replacement procedure

Can You Save A CV Axle By Replacing A Broken Boot?

There are possible solutions if you find it early enough and make sure that the grease isn’t leaking out or that water hasn’t got in. If a CV axle boot has been broken for a while, the axle will need to be replaced. It comes down to the most cost-effective option, along with the time and availability of parts. Sometimes, the only thing that is required to replace is the cv boot.

Aftermarket boots can be fitted without having to remove the entire CV axle. However, only one side of it can be removed. These are known as stretch CV boots. They may not be top quality as OEM parts.

Also Read: How Many Axles Does A Car Have?

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a cv axle do

The constant velocity axle (CV axle), also called a half shaft or a transmission axle, transfers power from the vehicle’s differential and transmission to the wheels. This allows the car to move forward.

What does a CV axle do when it goes bad?

When CV axles are worn out, the joints can become loose and click when turned. You may hear the CV shaft corroded clicking on the louder or more prominent side during fast turns.

Can I drive with a bad CV axle?

The vehicle can still be driven even if the CV axle is beginning to fail. However, the damage to the CV joints cannot be reversed once it has begun. This problem will only get worse. If the problem is not addressed quickly, the CV joint could break down, causing severe damage to the suspension and steering, and potentially losing control. The vehicle will not be able to drive at all. It is important to replace the axle as soon as possible – before it breaks.

How long can you drive on a CV axle?

Let’s get to the bottom of it. It will vary from one CV axle or another. It can take weeks, months, or even years. The average life expectancy of a CV axle that is defective is, which is around five to six months.

Will a bad CV axle squeak?

As mentioned above, the sound caused by a bad CV joint is usually a clicking sound while turning – not a squeak.

Can a bad CV axle cause your steering wheel to shake?

A damaged axle could cause suspension vibration. This can often lead to quite a severe shaking. Damaged CV joints may cause suspension vibrations in your car and need to be replaced. If you drive with damaged CV joints for too long, your drive axles may need to be replaced. This will increase the cost.

What does a bad axle sound like?

A Loud clanking, clunking, or clicking
You may hear a clicking sound when you turn the vehicle when constant velocity axles stop working. This is because joints are loosening. These clicks can be heard on the side of the damaged axle shaft. They are usually louder during fast or sharp turns.

Is an alignment needed after CV axle replacement?

Yes. Remember that whenever you disassemble and put back together any parts of the connected components or a suspension, you will need to do an alignment after that.

what is a cv axle replacement labor time?

It will take a professional approximately one hour to replace an axle (i.e., one side), be it the rear axle or the front axle.

What causes the CV axle to break?

Why do CV joints fail? Shock loading is the main reason for CV joints breaking. This happens when a spinning wheel lifts off of the ground and then crashes hard to the ground. This can happen quite often with an independent suspension system due to the limited travel.

How much does a CV joint cost?

An individual CV joint can cost between $95 and $210. A mechanic will need to be hired to replace the CV joint. This can cost between $165-$800. It all depends on whether you are replacing a single or double axle.

Can you drive without a front CV axle?

You can drive your truck without cv joints. You will still need a part of the cv joints. This is if it makes sense. Make sure to remove other parts of the CV joint that have not been used. And if you happen to damage a cv joint, separate it and remove the joint of the cv closest to the wheel.

Can a CV axle make noise going straight?

The noises from the CV joints are often clicking or popping when driving straight, turning left, turning right or turning left, or braking, acceleration, or driving over bumps.

Can you replace the CV axle yourself?

Front-wheel drive cars’ CV axles can become brittle, lose grease, have holes, or leak. You need to change the boots and other components occasionally to keep your car running smoothly. Favorably, you can easily do this by yourself.

Conclusion

The CV axle is a component of your car responsible for transferring power from the vehicle’s differential and transmission to the wheels which allow the car to move forward.

A cv axle is an important component of your car, without it your car isn’t going to be able to drive properly. Take your vehicle to an auto service center to get it checked out immediately if you notice any problem with your cv axles

Scott Greene is a seasoned automotive technician for over 5 years and has been deep into advanced automotive diagnostics for a couple of years. He Loves writing about Automotive Diagnostics and Repair, Trouble codes, Buyer guides for various car parts and accessories, and lots more. 

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