The constant velocity (CV) joint is part of the CV shaft system that supplies power to the wheels. The CV controls rotational speeds in turns so that, for example, on a left turn, the inside wheel turns slightly slower than the outside, making for a smoother, more controlled turn. The CV joint itself keeps the shaft continuously turning while allowing a joint for upward and downward movement. The CV joint is easily found as it is where a large rubber boot covers a portion of the axle, often where it appears to bend.
How To Tell If Something Is Wrong
If something is wrong with the CV joint, it will usually click or ìpopî in a turn. The joint can also feel laterally loose when tugged. Most of the time if there is a problem with the joint, it is because the boot has become cracked or broken, allowing foreign debris inside the joint to foul the gearing.
If the CV joint is grinding or the boot is broken, replacement is needed immediately.
Replacing the CV Boot or Joint
Replacing the CV boot is a matter of taking off the old one, removing as much of the existing grease as possible, inspecting the joint itself for problems, then re-greasing and replacing the boot. This can be done with minimal tools by any DIY mechanic.
Replacing the joint itself usually requires the entire axle be pulled. A competent DIY mechanic can do this job and any mechanic should be able to do the job in about an hour on most vehicles.