The CV or constant velocity joint is an integral part of the axle shaft. This part is very important because it affects the functionality of the vehicle’s transmission.
The most common cause of CV joint issues is a lack of grease, so the part is not adequately lubricated. This inevitably leads to all sorts of debris getting into the joint, which causes significant wear over time.
It is important that you know about some of the symptoms of a bad CV joint. The sooner you are able to spot this issue, the less money you will end up spending on repair or replacement work.
Symptoms of a Bad CV Joint
Some of the more common symptoms of a malfunctioning CV joint include:
1. Knocking Sounds While Turning
The most common symptom of a bad CV joint is knocking sounds from their car while turning. This can be due to the joints not being lubricated at all or just worn out. The louder the noise is, the closer you are to total breakage.
This is all the more reason for all car owners to listen carefully to the sounds their vehicle makes on a daily basis. It probably won’t be very loud at first, but it becomes more noticeable as the wear on the part increases.
This sound can also be described as a screeching metallic noise. It is often most noticeable when accelerating and turning the steering wheel. Once you notice this happening, it probably won’t be long until the part breaks completely.
2. Excessive Vibration
If you have a CV joint that is on its way out, you’ll probably notice a lot more vibration than usual. In some cases, these vibrations will be incredibly strong and make normal driving virtually impossible.
This is when you need to take your vehicle in to get looked at by a professional. Even minor excessive vibration is cause for concern though.
3. Problems with Steering
If it gets to the point where you have difficulty turning your car, the CV joint is most likely on its last legs. While there could be numerous explanations for steering problems, this particular part is often the culprit.
The real danger here is that your vehicle will stop going forward or backward completely if you snap the part.
4. Grease Leakage
When you a broken CV joint, grease tends to leak out from the boot. If you have noticed grease under your car or on your tires, you should take it in to get looked at immediately.
This is definitely one of the more common signs that you have a problem with the CV axle. If it has gotten to this point, an entire replacement is probably required.
5. Problems with Controlling the Vehicle
A lack of control when driving is often due to a worn out and damaged CV joint. This can be anything from issues with turning to maintain a straight course on the road.
If you find that your car is especially bouncy even on a flat road, this part could be the problem. The more the part wears out, the worse this will get. It can be extremely dangerous if the joint gets worn down enough.
Replacement Cost of CV Joint
If you need to get your vehicle’s CV joint replaced, there are a number of factors that will affect the total cost. It is important that you take these things into consideration before going forward.
Some of the things that will affect the cost of replacing this part include:
- The mechanic: You will need to find a skilled mechanic that can repair this part for a reasonable amount. It is a good idea to get estimates from a couple of different mechanics. This way you can avoid paying more than you need to. The overall reputation of the shop you take your vehicle to is crucial as well.
- Car Type: Another factor that will affect how much you pay for this work depends on the type of car you have. Some cars are really easy to replace the cv joint on, and some might be very difficult.
- Part Cost: The price between different CV Joints can be very different depending on the car model and the brand of the CV joint. Buying original parts are most often more expensive, but you will get better quality.
Average Cost of CV Joint Repair
You can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to over $400 for a single axle replacement, depending on where you go. Most places charge about $200 for this type of job.
Can I Repair a CV Joint Myself?
This does absolutely depend on the car model. On some car models, replacing the CV axle is a very easy job without the requirements of special tools. Unfortunately, a lot of car models require some mechanic skills and sometimes even special tools to be able to replace the CV joint.
The tricky part is often to get the CV joint to lose from the axel. It is often also a very dirty job as there is often grease everywhere.
Repair vs. Replacement
Repairing the CV joint by itself is often impossible if you do not have some impressive skills. What you can do is to try to fill new lubrications inside of the boot to see if it will better. Unfortunately, it will end with that you need a new CV joint after a few miles of driving after refilled grease.
When the CV joint gets worn, almost the only solution is to replace it. They are often not super-expensive either.
When you pay for a replacement CV joint, it is important that you get at least a 12-month warranty on the part. There are some places that offer warranties of up to 24 months. The longer the warranty period, the more peace of mind you will have.
It is crucial that you get a damaged or worn out CV joint replaced as fast as possible. The longer you wait to get this work done, the more danger you put yourself and others in. Your car may also stop and won’t be able to drive either forward or backward if you drive for too long with a bad CV joint.
If you notice any of the above-listed symptoms, you should get the vehicle inspected right away.