A constant velocity or CV axle is an important part of a vehicle because it takes power from the transmission and differential so that the wheels can move.
Basically, the CV axle is what’s responsible for allowing the wheels to propel the vehicle forward. And because the CV axle is important, you might want to make sure that your car’s CV axle is still in top shape, and if damaged your car could be written off or totaled.
How long do CV axles last?
Generally speaking, CV axles can last up to 100,000 miles. However, because different cars are driven on different types of terrain, there are still some instances where the CV axle can end up wearing out faster. That’s why you need to know the symptoms of a bad CV axle.
Because of how important the CV axle is, there is a need for you to know if your CV axle is still working as well as it should. Most of the time, cars can go for tens and thousands of miles without you having to worry about the condition of the CV axle.
But because there are some circumstances that can wear a car out faster, it still is important to know the symptoms of a CV axle going bad.
How does a CV axle work?
What are the symptoms of a CV axle going bad?
One of the most important components of your entire vehicle is the CV axle. That’s because the CV axle plays a huge role in how the car actually propels itself forward.
What happens is that the CV axle uses the power from the car’s transmission and differential and uses that power to allow the wheels to move forward.
In that sense, without the CV axle, the car won’t be able to function normally, as this piece of engineering is vital to your vehicle’s regular functions.
This also explains why you need to make sure that you are aware of the different signs and symptoms that would point out that your CV axle is going bad.
As such, here are some of the signs you need to look for when you want to know whether or not your CV axle is already going bad:
- There is vibration while you are driving
This sign can be quite tricky because there are different reasons why your car may be vibrating while you are driving. However, if you notice that the vibrations have become quite excessive to the point that they become more prominent as you accelerate or such that when you feel like your car is a bit bouncier than it should be, such vibrations may be caused by a bad CV axle. In such a case, it might be best to have your car checked because the vehicle will be much more difficult to control if the vibrations worsen.
- Excessive tire grease
The CV axle joint has small storage that contains grease as the axle spins. This lubrication is important so that the wear and tear on the axle are decreased while it is spinning and moving around. So, if that small compartment or storage develops a leak, what will happen is that the CV axle joint might end up failing. That’s why, if you notice that there is excessive grease on the edge of your tire, you might want to have your car checked.
- Clunking sounds
One of the sounds you need to look out for is clunking sounds that may also be similar to knocking sounds, especially when the sounds become a bit rhythmic. The reason is that these sounds can be an indication of a lot of different things, and not just due to a damaged CV axle. So, when you do hear such sounds, what you need to do is to take your vehicle to the nearest repair shop to have it inspected because the sounds might be caused by a bad CV axle or any other cause.
- Clicking when turning
Finally, one of the other noises you need to keep an ear open while you are driving is clicking noises that are quite loud whenever you are turning. This is a noise that is actually unmistakable because of how loud it is and how it resembles a pop. The sound is usually caused by a loose join in a worn CV axle. So, when you hear this sound when you are turning, it is best to have your car checked out immediately.
How long do CV axles last?
While you already know the different signs and symptoms that will tell you that your CV axle needs to be repaired or replaced, one of the things you should know is that CV axles are supposed to last for a very long time.
In most cases, CV axles will last for up to 100,000 miles, a number you can reach somewhere between four to seven years, depending on how often and how far you drive on a daily basis. But the fact is that CV axles will last for a very long time
However, because different vehicles are usually driven under different conditions, there are instances when CV axles begin to wear out sooner than they normally do.
That’s why it is more important to make sure that you know the different signs and symptoms of a bad CV axle and that you make sure that you have your car inspected when you notice them.
How often should CV axles be replaced?
Depending on how often you drive your car and on the driving conditions that the car goes through on a regular basis, you may need to replace your CV axles maybe once every five years.
But this depends on a lot of different factors as there are some vehicles that don’t even require CV axle replacement until their tenth year.
Should you replace CV axles in pairs?
When you are replacing your CV axles, there is no requirement that you need to replace them in pairs. If only one CV axle needs to be replaced, you don’t have to replace the other one.
You should only be replacing both axles when both of them are beginning to show signs of wearing out. But when the other CV axle is still working well, then you should only have the other one replaced.