Vehicle CV axles usually last a long time—upward of 100,000 miles. But when they begin to go bad, you need to attend to them promptly. If you keep driving on a bad CV axle, you run the risk of having one of its bearings freeze up; if this happens you can skid out of control. Or your CV axle could crack causing you to lose a wheel or flip over. So it goes without saying that healthy CV axles are a crucial part of your vehicle.
Symptoms of an Ailing CV Axle
Are you experiencing slight, hard-to-hear clicking noises on the road—especially when you’re turning a corner or accelerating?
Are you experiencing vibration in a wheel as you drive, or does it seem like you’re driving on a wobbly wheel as you go along?
To diagnose an ailing CV axle yourself, you can jack up and support your vehicle and then manually move the drive axle up and down. When you do this, there shouldn’t be more than a half inch of movement. If there is we’re willing to bet you’re nearing 100,000 on your odometer since the last time you had your CV axles addressed. Sloppy movement is an indication that your CV axle requires professional intervention.
Another easy way to tell if a CV axle is worn out is to inspect its accordion-type boots for tears or grease leaks. This is what causes CV axles to fail as the grease flies out (via centrifugal force) while the axle is turning, sending you and your vehicle down the road. Once the grease is gone and the road grime and grit get inside the axle bearings, they wear out quickly, causing clicking noises. When you hear that clicking noise, your CV axle on its last leg and you’re are on borrowed time: it could break at any time.
When it comes to CV axles, we urge you not to guess and not to wait. If you notice any of the above symptoms, it’s best to have an AAA-approved for total car care, ASE-certified master mechanic inspect and decide what needs to happen to keep you safely on the road. Here at G&J’s Auto Repair, we can make sure the auto, truck or minivan you drive has axles that will support it (and your precious cargo) reliably—so give us a call. (541) 752-3445