CV joint replacement from $445
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CV joint replacement
What is a CV joint replacement?
Constant velocity (CV) joints are found in front-wheel-drive cars and occasionally in RWD and 4WD vehicles. A CV joint is part of the driveshaft or half shaft; it transfers power from the transmission to the driveshaft axle and then to the wheels to provide motion for the vehicle. A CV joint connects two rotating shafts through a variable angle and it must be flexible enough to accommodate the angles and movement while also being strong enough to transfer all that power coming from the transmission to the driveshaft and onward to the wheels.
Wherever there are moving parts there is the likelihood of wear and failure over time. A CV joint doesn’t have a specific failure date, many factors are at play when looking at the lifespan of a CV joint. The most important factor is the grease-filled CV boot which surrounds the joint and repels dirt and water from the moving balls/bearings in the CV joint. CV boots are made of plastic or rubber, are accordion-shaped and can be easily damaged. A small split in a CV boot might not seem like a big deal but eventually, it can create one.
If a CV boot is damaged it will leak grease and the CV joint will become exposed to the elements. Dirt and water will eventually cause damage to the CV joint when the lack of lubrication, friction and corrosion set in. However it’s not always the CV boots fault, a CV joint can also wear and eventually fail, even with a good boot, but not as frequently. If a split in a CV boot is detected early enough and is replaced it could save the CV joint.
How you drive and where you drive can sometimes determine if you’re more prone to CV joint failure. If a vehicle is driven over debris on the road, taken offroad or driven under extreme conditions it can increase the chances of CV boot and joint damage.
How to tell if you need a CV joint replaced
When a CV joint goes bad you may notice some signs the CV joint is on it’s way out. They don’t usually fail completely without warning, look out for these signs and give yourself time to have it fixed, before you end up stuck on the side of the road.
- Clicking, clunking or knocking noise when driving around sharp corners
- Clunking when shifting into reverse
- Vibration while driving
- Grease on the inside of the tyres or under the vehicle near the driveshaft
- Split and damaged CV boots
How important is it to get a CV joint replacement done?
If a CV joint was to fail completely while driving it would cause the vehicle to pull to one side or completely stop, as power is no longer reaching that adjoining wheel. The great thing with CV joints is that they usually let you know before they completely go.
If a CV joint is on it’s way out and the vehicle is still driven for an extended time it can potentially put the driver and other road users in danger. Veering off course or stopping on a highway or in bad weather is never fun, especially if you have a family on board.
Best practice is to book it in for a CV joint inspection or replacement and get it fixed as soon as possible.
How is a CV joint replacement carried out
Depending on the vehicle the whole drive shaft may be replaced. This will come as a complete package with CV joints included. In other vehicles, the CV joints can be replaced as individual items. Be prepared though for more than one CV joint to be replaced, if one has gone the other might not be far behind.
When replacing a CV joint the mechanic will:
- Identify the failed CV joint
- Remove the driveshaft and CV joint
- Install the new CV joint and or driveshaft
- Check transmission fluid levels if required
- Test drive vehicle
In some cases the mechanic might suggest a wheel alignment afterwards, this depends on the vehicle and if the mechanic will need to move components that could affect the alignment.
How much does a CV joint replacement cost?
Inside a CV joint, there are balls or bearings. Once these are worn and compromised they can’t be repaired and will need to be replaced. How much that will cost varies widely. How many CV joints are being replaced and if the driveshaft or half shaft is also being replaced and the labour time to remove and install the parts, are all factors to determine cost.
Expect to be paying in the hundreds for a CV joint replacement. The part alone can cost in the hundreds and then there is the labour to remove and install the part, this isn’t a quick job. Labour time to fit the CV joint will depend on the vehicle application.
Where can you get a CV joint replacement?
Qualified automotive repairers can replace a CV joint. A workshop or mobile mechanic that carries out mechanical repairs should be able to replace a CV joint and driveshaft if required.
A great place to find professional mechanics who do CV joint replacements is through AutoGuru, there you can see reviews and book your mechanic of choice.