Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Axle CV Shaft Assembly

Axle/Cv shaft assembly

CV axles are a modern drivetrain component commonly found on many road going vehicles. They serve the purpose of transferring the power from the vehicle’s transmission and differential to the wheels so that they can propel the vehicle forward. They have a greased flexible joint that allows the axle to flex according to the road conditions.

The joint is lubricated with grease and covered in a rubber boot to protect it from dirt and debris. Because the CV axles are the direct link that transfers the power of the engine to the wheels, they are subject to high amounts of stress over time and will eventually wear out and require replacement for proper functionality to return. When they do wear out, the CV axles usually will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver that they require attention.

1. Loud clicking noises when turning

One of the most common and most noticeable symptoms of a bad or failing CV axle shaft assembly is an audible clicking noise when turning. When CV axles become excessively worn, the joints will become loose and click when turning. The clicks may become louder or more pronounced during sharper and faster turns, and will be heard on the side with the faulty CV shaft.

2. Grease on edge of tire

Another symptom of a problem with the CV axle shafts is grease on the inside edge of the tire or along the undersides of the vehicle. This is usually caused by a torn boot leaking grease, and it being tossed around while the axle turns. A leaky boot will eventually lead to CV joint failure, as dirt and debris will get into the boot and damage the joint.

3. Excessive vibration when driving

Another symptom of a bad CV axle is excessive vibrations from the axle when driving. If a CV joint or axle shaft is damaged in any way that affects its balance while rotating, it will cause the shaft to vibrate excessively while operating the vehicle. The vibrations may oscillate in speed, or become more pronounced as vehicle speed increases. Excessively vibrating CV shafts can interfere with the handling and ride characteristics, and to the overall safety and comfort of the vehicle. Usually the CV axle will need to be replaced if it is damaged enough to cause vibrations.

CV axles serve as the final link between the engine and the wheels. They serve the important function of transferring the torque from the drivetrain to the vehicle’s wheels in order to move the vehicle. For this reason, if you suspect that one or more of your CV axle shafts may be having a problem, a technician from YourMechanic will be able to come to your location to inspect the vehicle. They will be able to replace the CV axle for you, and make any other repairs as needed.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

More related articles

How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...

Related questions

Q: Pop/Thud noise when backing up

The noise you are hearing is most likely an outer constant velocity joint on the right side or passenger side of the car. Have the axle joints checked to see if the outer joint boots are torn. If they are,...

Q: Axle or CV boot needs replacing

Hi there. Anytime one of the boots tears and begins to leak grease, the boot, at the very least, will need to be replaced. When an axle goes out out, there will either be a noise, or vibration associated when...

Q: Engine noise, RPM fluctuation, ABS, 4x4 warning on

Hello. It sounds like you have a problem with the DME (digital motor electronics) and the ECU (engine control unit). It would not be a mistake to have these two things replaced. It is an expensive repair but I’m confident...