Everything You Need to Know About CV Joints

Your questions on CV joint problems and repairs, answered!


Understanding the inner workings of your vehicles and recognising when it’s time for repairs can prevent accidents and increase the longevity of your vehicle. In this article, CV joint specialists from DBS Total Drivetrain Solutions Perth answer some frequently asked questions about CV joints.


What is a CV Joint?

CV joint is short for constant velocity joint. CV joints form the connection point of the drive shaft, the transmission, and the drive shaft and your wheels. CV joints are quickly taking the place of U joints in new vehicles.


How do CV joints work?

CV Joints ensure that rotating power from the transmission is delivered to the wheels at a constant speed.

Essentially, they transfer torque (the force that causes an object to rotate) from the engine to the wheels. They are also needed to accommodate the up-down motion of suspension and keep the levels of torque even no matter the angle of the wheels or drive shaft.

Each drive shaft has two CV joints, the inner and outer CV joint. The inner joint (usually the ball-type joint) connects the transmission to the drive shaft, and the outer joint (usually the tripod-type joint) connects the drive shaft to the wheels. In front-wheel drive cars, the torque is delivered to the front wheel when turning.


What causes CV joint damage?

Most CV joint damage occurs when the rubber boot that protects the CV joint is damaged, allowing grease to leak out and moisture and debris in. This means that the CV joint is no longer adequately lubricated. Therefore, the joint wears quickly and corrodes. This will eventually lead the joint to break and fail.


What are the signs of a failing CV joint?

 The main signs that your CV joint needs repairs are:

  • Grease leaking from a crack in the rubber boot that encases your CV joint = rubber boot that protects the joint is failing and needs replacing.
  • Popping noise when turning = CV joint needs replacing.
  • Popping noise that gets louder when you accelerate = CV joint needs replacing.
  • Vibrations / side-to-side movement when you accelerate = CV joint needs replacing.
  • Clunking noise when shifting gears from Drive to reverse = CV joint needs replacing.
  • Clunking noise when going from acceleration to breaking = CV joint needs replacing.
  • Your car is pulling to one side, and the wheel is losing power = CV joint needs replacing. Now.

What happens when a CV joint fails?

 When your CV joint fails, the car will pull to one side, as power can no longer reach the wheel where the joint failed. However, when the joint completely fails and breaks, the wheel will no longer turn, and you won’t be able to drive.


How serious is a CV joint problem?

 A failing CV drive is a very serious problem. If the CV joint breaks, you will lose control of your vehicle. Get your CV joint checked if you experience any of the signs listed above to ensure that your vehicle is safe to drive.


How long can you drive with a damaged CV joint?

 Many factors contribute to how long you can drive with a damaged CV joint, for example, where you drive, the amount of pressure put on the joint, the amount of debris on the road, and how much water gets into the joint if the rubber boot is damaged. If the joint isn’t making any noise when you turn, it should be okay to drive a short distance to get it repaired. However, once you start hearing noise when you turn and accelerate, you should stop driving.


How long do CV joints last?

Usually, CV joints don’t need much maintenance beyond checking whether the rubber boot is intact. Cars that have driven over 450,000km can still have their original CV joints. However, you can’t go far once they are damaged.


Is it hard to replace a CV joint?

Most mechanics would not recommend changing a CV joint yourself. If you are not unfamiliar with the mechanics of your car, you should not attempt it, as it could cause damage to the entire drive shaft and transmission.

However, for specialists, it is a relatively routine repair. This issue can usually be fixed within a day, depending on the level of damage. For customers in Perth, your go-to drive shaft specialists are DBS Total Drivetrain Solutions, located in Malaga.

DBS Driveshaft Solutions are the industry leader in drive line and mechanical services. We specialise in CV joints, drive shafts, differentials, testing and diagnostics, and mechanical servicing. We service all vehicles, including 4WDs, mining vehicles, heavy trucks and modified cars. Call us on 08 9248 9778 to request a quote for your CV joint repair.

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Contact DBS today for experience you can rely on and service you can trust.

We are happy to quote you on services and repairs, so give us a call on (08) 9249 9778 and talk to one of our friendly team or submit your inquiry via this form and we will be in contact soon.