CV joints are the constant-velocity joints of your vehicle. They are responsible for transferring power from your vehicle’s transmission to its wheels without causing hardly any friction. Because of this, the driver can turn the steering wheel and the wheels are able to respond smoothly to their demands. CV joints are essential components in virtually all vehicles, whether they’re a front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive automobile. This means that faulty CV joints should be a concern for the driver of any type of vehicle.
The Top 5 Symptoms of a Bad CV Joint
When your CV joint starts to go bad, there will be obvious symptoms that will present themselves. Below are the top 5 symptoms of a bad CV joint.
- Vibrations – If there is a damaged or worn CV joint, then it will start to vibrate as the vehicle is in motion. The vibrations will become more excessive as you step on the gas pedal and accelerate faster. If you go too fast, your ability to control the vehicle will be limited which could put you and other drivers on the road in danger. Rather than continuing to put people at risk, take any early vibrations as a warning sign that you need to get your CV joint replaced.
- Grease on Tire – If your vehicle has a boot that is torn, it could result in grease leaking from it. This grease will get thrown into tire edges as the axle continues to turn, causing grease on your tire edges. Furthermore, it will cause the CV joint to malfunction after it gets damaged by the debris.
- Knocking Noises – One easily recognizable symptom is a knocking noise that comes from the CV joint if it is too worn or damaged. It will either come from the inner joint on a front-wheel drive vehicle or the inner and outer joints of a rear-wheel drive vehicle. If you want to find out on your own if this is due to the CV joint, change the gear to reverse and then step on the gas pedal. Try to rotate from decelerating the vehicle to accelerating it. The noises should get louder as you continue to do this. If so, it means the CV joint is bad.
- Loud Turning Sounds – Whenever there is loud popping or clicking noises as you’re turning the steering wheel, it could be attributed to a bad CV joint. Depending on the seriousness of the joint’s condition, you may need to replace the whole shaft assembly in addition to replacing the CV joint.
- Bounciness – In normal situations, your vehicle should be completely steady if you’re driving down a paved road that is totally flat and has no bumps or potholes. But if your vehicle were to bounce around while moving on a flat road like this, then your CV joint must be to blame. Have a mechanic check on your CV joint to ensure this is the problem. Don’t let it wait or else the condition could get worse on a bumpy road.
The Average Replacement Cost
If you find that you need to replace your CV joint, you can expect the replacement cost to be anywhere from $300 and $800. The actual CV joint part will only cost you around $90 to $200, so it would actually be cheaper if you were going to perform this replacement job yourself. But if you’re not skilled as a mechanic, then you will need to hire one to perform the job for you. Their labor costs will probably run you around $200 to $600. The best thing you can do is find an affordable mechanic in your area who will charge you the cheapest hourly rate.