Signs of a Bad CV Axle/Halfshaft - information from the the pros at Shingle Springs Subaru

On just about any car that sends power to the front wheels from a front-mounted engine, you'll have a pair of CV axles, one between each tire and the engine. They're the driveshafts that actually deliver engine power to the front wheels -- and they have a very sophisticated universal joint. This joint ensures that, no matter what direction the front wheels are turned, and no matter how the suspension is articulated, the wheel will rotate at the same speed as the driveshaft; for smooth power delivery, even as you steer. Over time, this joint can go bad or suffer damage. When you detect these symptoms, it could mean your CV axle is ready to be replaced. That means scheduling a maintenance visit with the friendly team at Shingle Springs Subaru! Learn the warning signs of a bad CV axle below.

Bad CV Axles

3. Clicking Noise When Turning Sharply

You might first notice this sign when backing out of a tight parking spot, or turning into your driveway: in situations where the wheel must be turned all the way in order to turn the vehicle tight enough, you might hear a repetitive clicking noise as you accelerate. The faster the vehicle is traveling, the more rapid the noise will be. If this noise only appears when the wheel is turned all the way in one direction, a bad CV axle is likely to blame.

Technician With A Wrench

2. Shaking Under Acceleration

Many drivers also report feeling a shaking or shuddering sensation with a bad CV axle, but only when the vehicle is accelerating. If the connections in the CV axle are loose or need lubrication, it can cause vibrations through the axle that can shake the whole vehicle!

CV Axle Boot

1. Grease Leaking From CV Axle Boot

If you already suspect a bad CV axle on your car, you can look for this symptom to help confirm your suspicions. The constant velocity joint (hence the name "CV" axle) on the CV axle must be kept lubricated, so it's packed with grease and covered in a protective, flexible rubber casing called a boot. As the vehicle moves and the joint articulates, the rubber boot moves with it. However, over time, just like other soft rubber parts of your car, like the tires and drive belts, the CV boot can degrade, split and crack. They can even sometimes be gashed open by road debris or gravel. When the boot becomes damaged, axle grease may leak out of the boot. When it does, it can get grease all over the inside edge of your front tires and wheels, as well as on brake components and other nearby parts. If there's grease all over the inside of one of your tires, it could be a sign that your CV axle will need to be replaced soon.