In a front-wheel drive car, the axles are connected to the wheels with Constant Velocity or CV joints. These allow the axle and wheel to flex as the car drives to compensate for turns or uneven surfaces. However, the CV joint itself is a weak point in the system. It needs lubrication, and protection from dirt, dust, rocks and other debris. If the boot that seals the CV joint is damaged, the grease will leak out and contamination will set in, eventually causing the joint to wear out and fail.
A severely worn out CV joint can even crumble while you’re driving and make the car undrivable. If this happens it is incredibly dangerous because you may lose control of the vehicle entirely. It is not safe to drive with a damaged CV joint. It is good to be on the lookout for a few of the symptoms of a failing CV joint to have it repaired before it becomes unsafe to operate the vehicle.
For example, if you hear a clicking, clunking or popping noise from the front wheels, especially while you are turning, means the ware of the CV joint has progressed to the point where the CV joint is damaged. These cannot be repaired – only replaced. You can drive on a damaged CV joint for a small period of time, but there is no telling how long “safe” it will last. There are many factors, such as where you drive, how fast you are going – particularly around turns, the amount of dirt/dust/debris in the areas you drive, how much water gets into the joint, and more.
In a “worst-case” scenario, your CV joint will fail completely. If this happens this will break the axle, leaving you with a car that won’t go anywhere. If this break happens while you’re driving, it can be serious, and can lead to a total loss of control. It is important to catch a faulty CV joint before this point to maintain safe driving conditions for you and your passengers.
If you believe that your CV joint is damaged or have concerns with your CV joint, it’s important to fix it as soon as possible. This is a critical component, and if it fails completely, the situation can be severe and very unsafe. Before the situation gets worse, bring your vehicle into us at German Imports Car Care so we can replace the joints and get you back on the road safely!