It’s a horrible feeling , you ave no idea what that clicking sound is when you turn left or right. You hear a pop or a click on the front-right side of the vehicle. You take your vehicle in and you are told: it’s the cv joint. Leaving the repair centre might leave you with the following question : What makes the joint click?
Here at ACD Automotive services , we wont just tell you what it is , we’ll explain and answer your question .
The ball bearings are involved, but the noise isn’t because they are dropping. What happens is when the boot splits, the grease starts oozing out (less lubricant) and dirt gets in causing wear. One of the jobs of grease is to take up excess slack in the joint (not that there is much in the first place when it’s not worn out).
This will quiet any noises out of the joint. If it wasn’t there, you’d hear the clicking, but it would be very soft. Now, throw in some dirt/grime and the joint will start wearing faster, creating slop where there wasn’t any before. When the wheel is straight, the ball bearings don’t move all that much. When the wheel is turned, the ball bearings move quite a bit. When it isn’t worn out and the grease is in there, the noise is very much softened and you don’t hear it. When it is worn out, the ball bearings will move to a point, then give way. In this process it “pops” to the end of it’s travel, causing the popping noise you are talking about.
A CV joint will last quite a long time. Most of them die under the circumstances you are describing with the loss of lubricant and protection of the boot from the elements.
And now you know!