National average cost of a CV Joint Replacement for popular vehicles:
Avg. cost $27
What is a CV joint 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. This boot is called a CV axle boot.
Signs that a CV joint 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 with CV joints. Those components are important to proper function of the drivetrain, including the steering, suspension, and transfer of power to your wheels. When a CV joint 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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For many years, it was common for a mechanic to rebuild a CV axle by replacing one or both of the CV joints, installing new protective boots, and reinstalling the old axle in a vehicle. Over time, however, the cost of a new CV axle assembly has dropped so that today it is often more economical to simply replace the entire axle assembly than to service the old one. That said, if your vehicle needs a new CV joint on a CV axle, a mechanic will typically take the following steps
Remove the wheel and tire
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
Remove the retainers that hold the protective boot(s) to the axle
Disassemble the CV joint(s) and remove from axle
Slide off the old boot(s) and install new boots
Fill the new boot(s) with grease
Assemble the new CV joint(s)
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 CV joint that is broken?
It may be possible to drive for a short period with a CV joint that is beginning to go 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. You can recognize the signs when you hear a clicking or growling noise as you turn under power, such as when accelerating through the turn of a freeway entrance ramp. 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.
How long will a CV joint last once it starts making noise?
A telltale sign of a bad CV joint is a clicking or growling noise when you round a corner under power. This is often the case as you accelerate through the turn on a freeway entrance ramp. How long the CV joint will last once you begin to hear this sound may be anyone’s guess. You may have a few months before the joint fails. On the other hand, if it does fail completely, not only will you lose power to that wheel, other suspension components can be damaged. And you will be left stranded. Any problems with your steering, suspension, or drivetrain components should be addressed as soon as possible.
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.
What parts are related to a CV Joint Replacement?
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