What is a CV Joint?
CV (Constant Velocity) joints are on both ends of the drive shaft of ALL front-wheel drive cars. Consisting of inner- and outer joints it is connected to the drive shaft on the inside and to the wheels on the outside.
What is the main purpose of CV Joints?
The CV joints are required to transfer the torque (spin / force) from the transmission to the drive wheels at continual speed, while handling the up-and-down motion of the suspension.
Types of CV joints:
Ball-type joints are used in front wheel drive vehicles and is located on the outer side of the drive shaft. It is also called outer CV joint. These joints are more prone to breakage as it has to endure more movement than the inner joints.
Tripod-type joints are used on the inner drive shaft and is also called inner CV joints.
CV Joints can last the entire lifetime of a vehicle. The joint is protected by an outer casing that is tightly sealed to keep dust out. On the inside of this sealed casing is a fair amount of lubricant that keeps the joints in working condition. Proper and constant lubrication of the joints are very important for the mechanical effectiveness of the part. If not properly lubricated it can cause failure of the CV joints. Again the importance of the outer casing of the CV Joints cannot be stressed enough as this protects the part from losing some of the lubrication or from getting contaminated by moisture, dust and other dirt particles. Failure of the CV Joints are caused by corrosion (caused by moisture, dirt and dust) as well as the absence of lubrication – the grease on the inside of the sealed casing / hood / boot.
Getting CV Joints or the casing repaired or replaced
CV boots are typically inspected during regular maintenance visits. Your mechanic will look for cracks, tears and other damage.
The CV Joint itself is not a very expensive part itself but the labour involved in getting to the part is rather intensive.
Spot the signs of a broken CV Joint or joints boot
Tell tail signs of a cracked boot is grease coming out of the boot or in worse case scenarios grease spatter on the wheel rim. A clicking or popping noise that gets louder as momentum increases, is usually a sign of severe damage and should be checked out ASAP to avoid sudden breakage during driving that could be potentially fatal.
Having CV Joints repaired
Early detection of a broken / cracked CV Joint boot can definitely save you a lot of money in the long run. This means a simple replacement of the boot and re-lubrication is required.
Should the CV Joint itself be damaged, it cannot be repaired and should be replaced. This is one of the replacements better left to the professionals.
Call the ACD Automotive Services workshop today to make an appointment for a routine check-up, minor or major service.
Call: 012 804 9244