Constant-velocity joints, better known as CV joints, are components of the drivetrain in any modern vehicle. When the transmission generates power, the CV joints transfer this power to the wheels under the vehicle. Another name for a transmission is a gearbox because it is comprised of gears that make the vehicle move a certain way. When you change gears and turn the steering wheel, it is the CV joints that allow these commands to be satisfied smoothly.
Every CV joint has a rubber protective boot that keeps out debris particles like dirt. It also has grease to lubricate the joint and allow it to properly transfer power to the wheels. However, a CV joint will only stay durable and functional for so long. If the lubrication diminishes and the rubber boot becomes worn out over time, it will limit the joint’s functionality. The more you drive your vehicle with a CV joint in this condition, the more intense the symptoms will become.
5 Bad Symptoms
If you notice any symptoms of a bad CV joint, you should take your vehicle to a mechanic and have the joint replaced. To help you recognize these symptoms, below are the top 5 symptoms of a bad CV joint.
1) Tire Grease
If you have a torn boot in your vehicle, then it is going to be susceptible to leaking grease. This grease, of course, is the lubricant of the CV joint that allows it to run smoothly. This grease could potentially be thrown into the edges of the corresponding tire as the axle is in motion. Once that happens, the CV joint will not be able to function the way it is supposed to. You will have no choice but to replace the CV joint.
2) Vibrating Vehicle
One of the most obvious symptoms of a bad CV joint is vibrations occurring in the vehicle. You will feel these vibrations more intensely as you apply additional pressure to the gas pedal so that you can go faster. The faster you accelerate, the harder it will be to control your driving under these conditions. Then you will be risking the lives of yourself and everyone around you on the road. It is better if you don’t take this chance. Just get the damaged CV joint replaced.
3) Bouncing Vehicle
As previously stated, CV joints provide a smooth driving experience for the passengers in the cabin. But if you have just one bad CV joint, it could potentially cause your vehicle to bounce while it is in motion. This will even happen if you’re driving on a flat road that doesn’t have any gravel, bumps, or pot holes. If you still experience bouncing on a flat road, you definitely have a CV joint that needs replacing right away.
4) Knocking Sounds
When your CV joint starts to go bad, it will make knocking sounds. If your vehicle has front-wheel drive, the knocking sounds will come from your inner joint. If you’re driving a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the sounds will come from the outer joints and inner joints. The sounds will be heard more in reverse gear as you go back and forth from deceleration and acceleration.
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5) Turning Noises
When you turn the steering wheel, do you hear noises that sound like clicking or popping? If so, you might have a worn out or damaged CV joint. In some cases, the problem may exist beyond just your CV joint. Sometimes the entire shaft assembly needs to get replaced too. Only a certified mechanic will be able to determine this. If you get your vehicle to the auto shop in time, you may avoid having to replace the whole assembly.
The total replacement cost of a CV joint is anywhere from $260 and $1,025. The cost of the CV joint part alone is between $90 and $225. However, the cost of hiring an auto service professional to perform the replacement job will not be cheap. Those labor costs are anywhere from $165 to $800, depending on the vehicle and how difficult it is to access the CV joints.