Your vehicle has a complex system of parts that converts the explosive energy of your engine into rotational energy to spin your tires and roll you along the road here in Costa Mesa. One of the most important parts of this system are your vehicle’s Constant Velocity joints, commonly known as simply “CV joints”. All front wheel drive, as well as many rear wheel drive and four wheel drive vehicles, have CV joints on both ends of their drive shafts. Their job is to transfer the torque from your car’s transmission to its drive wheels at a constant speed while simultaneously accommodating the vertical motion of your car’s suspension. Inner CV joints connect the drive shafts to the transmission, while outer CV joints connect the drive shafts to the wheels.
CV joints are packed with a special protective grease, and tightly sealed with a rubber boot. Usually, they can last for a very long time with no maintenance as long as the rubber boot is not damaged. They often last several hundred thousand miles before they are worn enough to need replacement. However, problems can occur much sooner if the boot has been cracked or damaged, allowing the protective grease to leak out. This leads to moisture and dirt contaminating the joint, causing accelerated wear. Usually, outer CV boots are the first ones to fail because they move more than the inner ones, making it more likely for the rubber to get torn or damaged. During any regular maintenance or service visit, your ExperTec Automotive will inspect all CV boots for damage as part of the cursory checkup.
If you spot a damaged CV boot early enough, usually all that is needed is replacing the boot and repacking it with fresh grease, which will be much cheaper than replacing the entire CV joint or driveshaft. Fresh grease and a new boot will usually cost a few hundred dollars, depending on how hard the job is on your vehicle. However, if the joint itself has become worn out, it will have to be replaced entirely, sometimes including a new driveshaft as well. This will most likely cost at least double the price of just a new CV boot.
If you notice any grease on the outside of your CV boots, it usually is a sign of a small crack or tear. If you continue to drive a car with a damaged CV joint, it will eventually wear out and fail completely. If you hear clicking, popping, or clunking noises when you make turns, it can be a sign that you have a badly worn CV joint. In the extreme case that your CV joint wears out enough to disintegrate while driving, it will cause a dangerous loss of control and could easily lead to an accident.
If you notice any signs of a damaged CV boot or worn CV joints, bring it in to your ExperTec Automotive in Costa Mesa today for a checkup. ExperTec Automotive Costa Mesa is fully qualified to take care of all of your CV joint problems!