What is a CV axle? CV stands for constant velocity, in this case the constant velocity joint. Obviously this is an important part of any moving vehicle. The axle connects to the wheels with a flexible joiner allowing the wheel to turn smoothly. These are known as the constant velocity axle or joint. They help make turns smoother and give the wheels flexibility. Without them, when making a turn the wheel would catch up on the shaft, making for a less than smooth turn.
Why are they so important? As stated earlier they are flexible. If the axle were only made of metal, turning would be uncomfortable and difficult because the metal would not bend well. When the torque from an axle is transferred to the wheel on a turn, the CV joint flexes, allowing the wheel to turn without having to absorb the stresses a straight metal would put on it.
They can be found on both front and rear wheel drive vehicles and are an important part of a comfortable drive. It is normal for them to wear out eventually, so don’t be alarmed if the issue comes up. Some causes for replacement are aggressive driving, driving on bumpy roads, or maybe even just poor road conditions overall.
While they are not talked about much they are important to a smooth running car. Just because you can’t see them does not mean you don’t have to pay attention to them. As with any vehicle, maintenance is important; and this includes the parts mentioned. You can bring your car to a mechanic for a full assessment of your car or learn how to do it yourself as it is not very difficult.
Here is what to look for: First turn your wheels all the way to one side. Then look into your wheel well. You will see something that looks like a rubber boot, or covering. The rubber part covers up the joint and holds lubricants to keep it moving smooth. If you see cracks or holes in it, this is one sign you will need to replace it. Also, grease in your wheel well or dripping from the boot is another sign of problems.
Another aspect to pay attention to is if your car is making knocking or clanging sounds when you turn. While this could be caused by many different scenarios, it is a good indication you should at least have it checked out.
Checking with a certified mechanic is the best thing to do if you have questions. Total replacement may be the answer but nowadays, a better solution may be to purchase a rebuilt CV joint, depending on what the problem is. Rocky Mountain Driveline (Driveshaft Internation), does NOT provide CV Axles, but we want you to find the best parts for your vehicle. Look for a company that rebuilds and sells CV axles right in the United States.