Can A Bad CV Joint Affect The Transmission Of A Car? Know It

Every front-wheel-drive car has a constant velocity joint, also known as CV joints, on its drive shaft ends (half shafts). The inner CV joints connect your drive shaft and the car’s transmission, while the outer constant velocity joints connect the wheels to the drive shafts.

CV joints are particular joints used in rear-wheel drives and trucks because they transmit torque to the drive wheels. Questions like; can a bad CV joint affect the transmission, and is the CV joint the same as CV axle are answered below. Read on to find out more.

How Can A Bad CV Joint Affect The Transmission?

A bad CV joint (constant velocity joint) can affect the transmission, as it is responsible for transferring power from the transmission to the wheels. If the CV joint is damaged or fails, it can cause issues with the transmission, such as difficulty shifting gears or a grinding noise. It is important to have a damaged CV joint repaired as soon as possible to avoid further damage to the transmission.

Do CV joints connect to the transmission?

Yes, CV joints are connected to your vehicle’s transmission. Rightly put, only the inner CV joint connects to your vehicles transmission directly. CV joints are commonly used with front-wheel-drive cars; this is not to say rear-wheel and four-wheel drive do not use it.

CV joints

Its function is to keep your wheels at constant velocity irrespective of the direction or obstacle you face on the road. Newer vehicles have CV joints replacing the older U-joints. So no matter the angle you are turning at, the CV joint can transmit the same torque level to your wheels.

Can a bad inner CV joint affect the transmission?

A bad inner CV joint can affect your car’s transmission because it is directly connected. In addition, there are splines on the inner CV joint associated with the transmission differential. So, a faulty inner CV joint has a direct impact on your vehicle’s transmission system.

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Usually, the inner CV joint fails slowly, with increasing vibrations that become noticeable over time. Unfortunately, the signs of a damaged CV joint are not immediately apparent, and so many drivers end up driving with a bad CV joint before noticing the damage.

CV joint wearing out
Source: reddit@ryanlampton13

A bad inner CV joint directly affects your transmission and axle seals. More reason you should replace it as soon as you discover the problem. Continuous usage could cause damage to your suspension parts, exhaust system, transmission case, oil pan, and other related components.

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Total failure of the inner CV joint means your car cannot move because it will not stop rolling and moving even when in the “park” position for automatic vehicles. Hence, the parking brake needs to be applied when the inner CV joint goes bad.

Is CV joint the same as CV Axle?

Many people confuse a CV joint for a CV axle, whereas they are different. A CV joint is a flexible coupling similar to a universal joint. However, it is a unique joint connected directly to your transmission and wheels. On the other hand, A CV axle contains CV joint (s) and is responsible for angular movements.

What does a damaged CV joint sound like?

A damaged CV joint gives the popping or clicking noise from the front side of your vehicle. Anytime you notice this, it results from a bad CV joint. In addition, your car will not run smoothly as it should because of a damaged CV joint.

old CV axle and new CV axle
Source: reddit@andysay

Can you drive with a broken CV joint?

A total breakdown of your CV joint will make it impossible for you to drive your car. This is because you can lose control of your vehicle while on the highway; it is not the safest thing to do. Therefore, going with a broken CV joint is more like a suicidal attempt.

It would be best to look out for broken CV joint symptoms before operating your vehicle. For example, a busted boot could lead to a damaged CV joint if not noticed on time. Hence, professional mechanics check for the state of your boots during routine inspection or maintenance.

Flexx Boot FB3001 Large Shaft Universal CV Boot

In front-wheel cars, axles retain their connection to the wheels through the CV joints, making it possible to navigate through turns and uneven surfaces. However, the CV joint is vulnerable in the system and needs constant lubrication to protect it from dirt and other debris.

In addition, if the CV joint boots are damaged, the lubricant will leak out and gather dirt and other contaminants that eventually cause the CV joint to fail.

How long can you drive on a damaged CV joint?

How long you can drive a car with a damaged CV joint depends on the damage level. There is a risk that your driveshaft will bend or fall out of its place inside the differential carrier. This is not good for any vehicle’s transmission.

Also, vibrations could increase as you drive, hindering the smooth transmission of your vehicle’s power to the wheels. Once power cannot reach the wheels, it goes back to the transmission, causing slipping or grinding noises when you change gears.

However, the worst that could happen is that your vehicle stops moving when no tension is generated on the driveshaft. Although, this is not common if your car uses an automatic transmission.

How hard is it to replace a CV joint?

Asides from the cost of the CV joint, which ranges from $180 to $350 (depending on your car’s make, brand, and model), the CV joint is not an easy thing to replace for a novice. A DIY car owner will spend over three hours while a professional mechanic will still spend almost three hours doing it.

cv joint replacement
Source: reddit@16161216
TeraFlex 1744014 Factory Replacement Kit (JK Rzeppa CV)

It is possible to replace the CV joint yourself. Still, you must be comfortable using tools like jack stands, jacks, automotive toolset (sockets, screwdrivers, and pliers), hammer, torque wrench, pry bar, and many other parts. If you have many of these in your garage, the replacement cost will be reasonable.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I keep driving with a bad CV joint?

Driving with a bad CV joint may cause clicking noises, vibrations, or poor handling. Continued driving can lead to joint failure, leaving the car inoperable and risking an accident.

Is it the CV joint or the transmission?

Diagnosing between CV joint and transmission issues requires a professional inspection. CV joint problems often cause clicking noises, while transmission issues may lead to slipping gears or difficulty shifting.

Can a bad CV axle cause a transmission fluid leak?

A bad CV axle typically doesn’t cause transmission fluid leaks. Leaks are more likely due to damaged seals, gaskets, or transmission components.

Wrapping Up

Can a bad CV joint affect the transmission? Yes, it can. Though CV axles are expensive and not easy to replace, a damaged CV joint is not costly; for some reason, some car dealerships will do it for free, especially if you are doing other repairs alongside. So, why wait till your CV joint goes bad and affects your transmission? Instead, watch out for the sounds and signs that point to a damaged CV joint.

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