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3 Signs of a Bad CV Joint: How to Tell if a CV Axle is Bad

3 Signs of a Bad CV Joint: How to Tell if a CV Axle is Bad

Driving a vehicle with a bad CV Joint is extremely dangerous and could prove costly in the long run by causing further damage to related parts. When you have a failing or bad axle shaft, you have a chance of having it completely fail while you are driving your vehicle. This can result in a serious accident causing substantial damage to your vehicle, or worse it could be fatal. If you notice your vehicle displaying bad CV Joint symptoms, take it to your mechanic immediately and have it repaired.However, to do this, you will need to know what the bad CV axle symptoms are. Here are the 3 most obvious bad CV joint symptoms to keep an eye out for.

CV Joints Clicking Noise While Driving and Turning

The most tell-tale CV Axle symptom are clicking CV Joint sounds. These predominantly appear while you are taking a turn. Over time, this clicking noise will get louder, and if it is left long enough it could turn into a loud metal-on-metal screeching. One of the best ways to listen for the clicking noise is in reverse, turning around in a circle. The clicking caused by a failing CV Joint will be more apparent under this test.

Vibrations as CV Joint Symptoms

A second symptom would be vibrations in your vehicle when you accelerate. If you are accelerating and experiencing vibrations, remove your foot from the gas pedal. If the vibrations stop when you take your foot off of the pedal then the vibrations may be caused by the CV Joint. Further inspection of the part itself will be needed.

A Clunking CV Joint Noise When Gears Change

Another bad CV Joint Symptom that may be apparent is a clunking sound that occurs when the gears on your vehicle change. When you change gears you would notice a hesitation followed by clunking CV Joint's noise. Once again, testing for this clunking noise can be done in reverse. If the sound is being caused by a failing CV Joint, accelerating and decelerating in reverse will make the noise more pronounced.

Verifying Symptoms of Bad CV Joint Through Inspection

If you do suspect that your CV Joint is failing, you will want to perform a visual inspection of the part. So, how can you check your CV joint for damage? You need to start with the CV axle boot. The CV Joint is covered by a boot that protects it from road debris, and keeps the joint greased and lubricated. The CV boot is a rubber boot with folds in it that is next to the wheel. When you are inspecting the CV Boot you are looking for splits, tears or holes in the that could potentially be allowing air and debris into the joint. When the air gets inside of the boot, it dries up the lubricant, a terrible condition for parts that operate metal-to-metal.

How to Check for a Broken CV Joint or Axle Boot Damage

If a CV Boot failure is found early enough, you may be able to re-apply grease to the joint and just replace the boot. Check the grease inside the boot. If it feels gritty, contaminants have entered the boot. At this point, you will need to clean the CV joint and inspect it before determining if you have to replace the CV Joint. However, if you have been experiencing noise from the joint as described earlier, you will have to replace the CV Joint.

Driving on a Bad CV Joint is Extremely Dangerous!

Failure to replace a failing CV Joint is incredibly dangerous, as the part can potentially fail at high speeds putting you, your passengers, and other drivers on the road at serious risk. Now that you know the CV Joint Symptoms, you can troubleshoot a failing part and have it fixed before it causes catastrophic failure.