Constant Velocity Axles
If you’re driving a modern car with front wheel or all wheel drive, it has half shafts or CV axles that distribute power from the transmission to the front wheels. These strange looking, rubber boot wearing drive shafts are an important part of what keeps your moving forward.
Our highly skilled and trained technicians confirm that your drive line is in perfect condition and can explain what needs to be done if any service is required.
What is a CV Axle or Half Shaft?
A half shaft is a drive axle that is roughly half the width of the vehicle (yes, that’s why we call it that). They connect the wheel to the power take off at the differential or transaxle and are equipped with a Constant Velocity Joint, or CV joint. A CV joint is basically a ball and socket joint that permit a smooth transfer of power from the drivetrain to the wheels as the bounce around over bumps and articulate around turns. These joints must remain fully lubricated and debris free so they are protected by rubber boots filled with high quality grease.
A ripped boot is a sign of the end of the CV joints life. A ripped boot not only allows the vital grease that lubricates the joint to escape, but also allows dirt and other debris to contaminate the working surface of the joint itself. Replacing a boot can be much cheaper that replacing the entire axle if it can be caught before it ruptures or tears. Signs of grease on the inside edge of the tire generally indicate a torn CV boot.
Can you hear that?
Most modern cars are put together like a classic Swiss watch. There are many moving parts and precision fitments that can cause clicking and rapping noises on your vehicle. But that clicking sound that a CV axle makes is totally distinctive. It is a loud click that only happens on turning and it is the CV joint shouting out that it is out of grease and in need of replacement due to excessive wear.
Can I wait to repair a CV axle?
No, a clicking sound from a CV axle is an urgent need. There is really no way to predict the wear pattern of a failed CV joint. The problem will begin to result in the car pulling strongly to one side on acceleration and eventually will begin to pull on a long straight drive. If left unaddressed the axle will separate at the joint which will cause significant damage to the vehicle.
Can you repair a CV Joint?
CV joints are precision parts that are far too labour intensive to permit cost effective repair. It is always cheaper to simply replace an entire axle that to attempt a rebuild and re-machining of a failed joint. And, when you do have one half shaft replaced, it is best to replace both.