A CV joint in your car is a very crucial component for the smooth operation of the car. It essentially transfers power to the drive wheels taking from the transmission. While it does that with a constant speed, it also limits the friction.
Now, the real concern you have is when the CV joint goes bad. Because then the drive wheels or drive shafts won’t get that constant flow of power. This results in various issues for your car, and eventually, it may ultimately come to a halt.
So, whenever you see any bad CV joint symptoms, you have to take immediate action. That’s why I will be going through some of the most common symptoms of a bad CV joint. Let’s not waste any more time and get started with it.
Bad CV Joint Symptoms
Keep in mind that these are some of the common symptoms; they aren’t the only ones. There might be some specific issues for particular car models. But that is a pretty rare case; you will often come across the following symptoms. Let’s go through them one by one.
1. Knocking sounds from the car while turning
Do you get knocking noises from your car every time you take a turn? That’s probably because of a bad CV joint. When the CV joint is either worn out or lacks lubrication, it will cause knocking noises on every turn you make. The noise gets louder as the joints get weaker.
This is a pretty noticeable symptom, especially when the part tends to get weaker. Also, whenever you accelerate, you will get a louder noise to identify the issue quickly. So, whenever you are getting this noise, make sure to get your car checked up right away.
2. Too much vibration
Well, there is generally a vibration that is pretty usual for any vehicle out there. But when you are getting too much vibration, then that’s a concern for your car. Even though this can cause by a variety of reasons, how does this relate to a bad CV joint?
When the CV joint isn’t in its top condition, it will struggle to balance during rotations. With more acceleration, you will experience more vibrations from your car. There are some obvious repercussions to this issue as you will have a lot of trouble controlling your car.
3. Steering issues
When the CV joint is on the verge of breaking down completely, you will face steering issues. You will have a hard time turning your car in the desired direction. While there are many causes for a steering issue, a bad CV joint is undoubtedly one of them to look out for.
This can lead your car to stop at some point completely. You can’t move your car forward or backward, which can be a huge problem to face. Now, the only solution at this point is to replace the CV joint with a new one.
4. Grease leaking
You will get some grease leaking from the boot of your car when there is an issue with your CV joint. Mainly, if your CV joint is broken or completely worn out, it will start leaking out grease. You can quickly notice this since there will be grease under your car tires or sometimes on them.
This happens when there are lots of dirt and water on the boot of your CV joint. They replace the grease inside, which leads to the grease leaking. Now, this symptom is one of the most common ones to have with a bad CV joint.
5. Bouncy driving
The CV joint in your car can have an impact on the suspensions as well. So, whenever you have a bad CV joint, you are likely to get some issues with the suspensions as well. Typically, this leads to a bouncy riding experience, and you end up losing control over your vehicle.
Usually, your car will bounce on a bumpy road, but it shouldn’t bounce on a flat road. So, if you are feeling a bouncy ride on a flat road, you most likely have issues with your CV joint and suspensions. When you get your car checked in this scenario, make sure to check both CV joints along with the suspensions.
Now, these are the most common cases you will come across with a bad CV joint. Sure, there are some other symptoms or scenarios, but they are entirely based on specific models.
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How much does it cost to replace a CV Joint?
Here’s the thing, there is hardly any way to repair a CV joint. Because most of the time, the part is just broken and all you can do is replace it. So, the thought of repairing your CV joint should be out of your mind right away.
Coming to the replacement part, it’s better to opt for a professional mechanic rather than trying it yourself. It’s not something that you can do without any prior mechanical experience. Now, that brings us to the part how much would it cost you?
Well, a CV joint replacement part can cost you around $40 to $200. However, the price will go double depending on what type of CV join you are getting. If you are getting a double axle CV joint, then the part will cost twice as much, meaning it can go from $80 to $400.
As for the labor cost, it starts from around $150 and goes up to $800. So, you can pretty much say that the real cost of replacing a CV joint is in the labor cost. Several things impact the labor cost.
- The first thing is the mechanic. To perform a CV joint replacement, a mechanic needs to be highly skilled. And you can’t get a highly skilled mechanic at a low cost unless you have a personal connection.
You can compare the charges of several skilled mechanics and then go with the affordable one.
- Next is what type and model of car you have. In some cars, it’s comparatively easier and quicker to replace the CV joint. But in some cases, it takes a lot of time and effort. If you have the latter one, you will need to pay more because mechanics will charge you based on the difficulty and time they put into the work.
I can give you one suggestion: don’t go for a poorly skilled mechanic to save up some money. Try choosing a reliable service because you don’t want to take any risks with the CV joint replacement. The wrong kind of mechanical work can put your car at risk along with your life.
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There are several common questions people have about a bad CV joint in vehicles. Let’s take a look at them pretty quickly.
- Can I still drive my car with a bad CV joint?
Now, if you are wondering whether you can drive your car or not, then the answer is yes. Unless the CV joint is completely broken, you can drive. But this is something you shouldn’t do if you know the CV joint is bad. Because with a bad CV joint, you will experience bouncy rides and a lack of control while driving.
So, the simple answer is that even if you can drive with a bad CV joint, you shouldn’t do it at any cost.
- Can I replace the CV joint by myself?
Yes, with proper mechanical experience, you can replace the CV joint in your car. But if you don’t have any prior experience, I suggest not doing it by yourself and opting for a professional mechanic. Also, make sure they are highly skilled.
- Do I have to replace both CV joints?
If one of your CV joint breaks or gets damaged, you don’t need to replace the other one. Just replacing the broken one is enough. Since it’s not a maintenance replacement, you don’t need to replace both the CV joints together.
- How long does a replacement CV joint last?
If you have replaced your stock CV joint with a new one, it will probably last for around 50,000 miles. At the same time, the stock ones in modern cars last up to 180,000 miles. And for the older models of cars, it goes from 60,000 to 80,000 miles.
To sum up, if you ever experience any of the bad CV joint symptoms, immediately take professional help. Don’t let the problem persist and wait for the whole thing to break down completely. This can cause a lot of issues with your car and may even put your life at risk.
As for the solution, there isn’t much you can do about a broken CV joint. You will have to replace it and bear the cost.
Even though it’s not impossible to change the CV joint yourself, it’s pretty technical and challenging. So, the best solution is to go to a mechanic and get your CV joint replaced by them.
James is a certified auto technician specializing in commercial vehicles. With 30 years of experience under his belt, James has encountered almost every type of automotive issue there is! Besides his day job at the repair shop, he is also an amateur race car driver.