National average cost of a a CV Axle Replacement for popular vehicles:
Avg. cost $288
Avg. cost $254
Avg. cost $392
What is a CV axle and how does it work?
A CV axle is a component of front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive vehicles. Also known as “half shafts”, these axles transfer power from the transmission or transaxle to the wheels. An individual axle is made up of a short, solid metal shaft with a special joint - the Constant Velocity joint - at each end. These joints allow for all of the up, down, in, and out movement of an independent suspension. They pivot in any direction to compensate for the suspension and steering while maintaining a consistent, or “constant”, velocity. Each CV joint on the axle is lubricated with grease and is encased in a rubber boot that also serves to keep it free from debris.
Signs that a CV axle needs to be replaced
Most passenger cars and SUVs on the road today feature either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. If your vehicle falls into one of these categories, it also features CV axles. Those components are important to proper function of the drivetrain, including the steering, suspension, and transfer of power to your wheels. When a CV axle goes bad, you might notice one or more of the following signs:
A clicking sound that can be heard when your vehicle is accelerating through a curve
A clunking noise upon deceleration
Excessive vibration at high speeds
Grease leaking from one of the rubber boots
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CV axle replacement is not generally a simple procedure. It requires that a mechanic first safely lift and support your vehicle off of the ground and remove the wheel and tire. While the procedure for replacing a CV axle differs from one make and model to the next, the mechanic will need to do the following:
Remove the large nut retaining the CV axle and carefully loosen the axle inside the wheel hub
Set back any wiring that is in the way
Remove bolts to detach the steering knuckle from the strut assembly
In some cases, remove the tire rod end and lower control arm/ball joint from the steering knuckle
Work the outer end of the axle shaft out of the steering knuckle
Dislodge the CV axle from the transmission/transaxle or differential (may be bolted or retained with an internal clip
Insert the inner end of the new axle shaft into the transmission/transaxle or differential, taking care to avoid damaging the part or the retainer
Insert the outer end of the shaft into the steering knuckle
Reinstall all other components and torque the fasteners
Check and top off the transmission fluid
Other questions customers ask
Can you drive with a broken CV axle?
It may be possible to drive for a short period with a CV axle that is going bad. Initial damage to the component often results from dirt or other contaminants entering the CV joint boots and wearing away at the joint. Over time, the component will show greater signs of damage and will eventually fail completely. It is difficult to know at what point that will happen. Since the CV axle is the only part that transmits power from your engine and transmission to the wheels, if it fails, you may be left stranded.
Should I replace both CV axles or just one?
The problems that typically arise with CV axles are related to damage or deterioration to the protective boots that cover the CV joints. The boots are filled with grease that lubricates the joints, and they keep out dirt and debris that can reduce the lifespan of the axles. If a boot becomes damaged by a foreign object on the road or other unusual event, you might get away with replacing only the damaged component. However, if the boots are getting old with high miles, it is likely that both (or all) axles will need to be replaced.
What is the difference between a CV joint and a CV axle?
A CV, or “Constant Velocity”, joint is part of a CV axle. Actually, there is a CV joint at each end of the axle, one on the inside that connects to the transmission/transaxle (or the differential), and the other that connects to the wheel hub. Each joint is capable of moving up, down, in, and out while maintaining continuous rotational movement. Having a CV joint at the end of each CV axle allows the wheels to keep turning under power while the steering and suspension moves in multiple directions.
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What parts are related to a CV Axle Replacement?
What are some other common services related to a CV Axle Replacement?
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