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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.