What Causes CV Joint Noise and What’s the Replacement Cost?
Your CV joints (constant velocity joints) are integral to the transfer of power from your transmission to the wheels of your front-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicle.
CV joint noise is a common indicator that you have a bad joint. There a few different ways CV joint noise manifests itself. We’ll cover three of them that will help you determine if you have a bad CV joint, as well as the cost to replace it.
Sometimes the protective boot that surrounds the joint can crack or even tear, exposing the CV joint to air, dirt and other contaminants. It can also cause the grease inside the boot to be compromised, losing its effectiveness in keeping the joint lubed.
After some time, the grease will slowly erode away from the joint, and fly through the tear in the boot, until it’s down to little or no lubrication, leaving bare metal exposed to the elements. It doesn’t take long to hear a noise that increases in pi
tch at higher speeds, and lowers in pitch at lower speeds. Some of these noises have been compared to the car sounding like an airplane taking off.
When it gets to this point, you don’t have a lot of time to remedy the problem before it becomes a massive one. The repair could be as simple as replacing the torn boot and lubing it again. If the noise goes away, you dodged a piercing bullet.
However, in most cases, the noise does not go away, and that can only mean one thing. You will need to replace your CV joint.
Making A Turn
The other noise to look out for is one you hear when you make a turn. If you hear pops or clicks when you turn, then you probably have a bad CV joint. To test this, make sure you have a clear area, because you’ll be briefly driving in reverse in a circle. Turn your steering wheel all the way to one side or the other. Put it reverse, and start moving, watching your surroundings carefully, and listening. If the pops or clicks get increasingly louder, you definitely have a bad CV joint. You may have to replace it, or worse, the whole shaft.
Knocking Sounds During Driving
Knocking sounds while the car is moving could indicate a number of possible problems. A worn CV joint is one of them. If your car is front-wheel drive, the noise will originate in the inner joint. It it’s rear-wheel drive, look for the noise in the outer joints as well as the inner.
The Average Cost of Replacement
Nationwide, the average cost to replace a CV joint ranges between $100 to just over $200, if you do it yourself. Add another $70 to $600 for labor if you choose to entrust the fix to a mechanic. But we need to specify a bit on cost, as it depends on if you’re doing a double axel replacement or a single axle.
Parts alone for a double axle replacement range from $150 to about $400, with a total cost of $230 to well over $1,100, depending on the car you own. The more difficult the repair, the more labor you’ll be charged.
If you continue to drive the vehicle despite all the warning signs given to you through these CV joint noises, this is a serious safety risk. You could not only damage the vehicle, but you could lose control of the car, and could seriously put your safety – and your life – in jeopardy. Don’t ignore the noises. Deal with them ASAP.