Is Driving With a Broken CV Axle Safe? (All You Need To Know)

A broken CV axle will cause the wheel to wobble and may eventually come off completely while you are driving. This could lead to a serious accident. It is best to repair or replace the CV axle as soon as possible.

Today’s post will let you know how to diagnose a broken CV Axle and advise when you should replace or repair it.

How Does CV Axle Work?

The CV axle, a crucial part of a vehicle’s driveshaft, links an auto’s transmission to the wheels. CV shafts are found in all-wheel drives plus in front-wheel drives. In all front-wheel drives, the CV shaft is called half shafts on either side of the drive shafts. Rear-wheel-drive automobiles with detached rear suspensions have CV axles at the back joints ends of the half rods.

The inner CV shaft connects the drive shafts and the transmission. On the other hand, the outer CV shaft links it to the auto’s wheels. With its linkage to 2 unique rotating rods (ball and tripod-type) that are secured, the CV shaft moves and bends to connect the two shafts. It promotes an even and steady torque transfer level to the vehicle’s wheels irrespective of the steering wheels’ angle. It occurs as the CV axle harbors the up-and-down movement of the shelving.

Can a Bad CV Axle Mess Up Your Transmission?

Yes. A bad CV axle can mess up your transmission since it upsets the release of power to your vehicle’s wheels. Once the CV axle becomes affected, the driveshaft is moved. It leads to an improper power release to a vehicle’s wheels.

Inside the CV axle exist bolts that rely on grease for constant lubrication. If not well lubricated, friction increases, which usually comes off in the form of some unusual noise. The friction makes the bearing deteriorate faster, leading to transmission problems.

Can Broken Axle Damage Transmission?

A broken axle can damage the transmission if the axle breaks while the car is in motion. This can cause the transmission to lose power and may eventually lead to a complete breakdown.

What Happens If your CV Axle Breaks While Driving?

If your CV Axle breaks while driving, your machine will become immovable. The immobility stems from zero power being conveyed to your wheels. Your wheel bearing might clutch in rare instances, triggering your wheel to disengage from the suspension. It can pose a grave safety hazard to you plus other road users.

Remember that your CV axle spoiling is a slow but sure process. By the time it gets to breaking, you must have overlooked the warning signs. It is why one needs to have their vehicle inspected regularly.

Broken CV Axle Symptoms

Here are common signs of a bad CV axle:

  • Loud Sound when Turning
  • Vibrations and Bouncy Driving
  • The Car Begins Drawing to One Side
  • Click Sounds from the Inner Axle
  • Grease on the Tire Edge

1. Loud Sound when Turning

When you move the steering and hear crushing or cracking noises, there are high chances that the automobile’s CV axle has been tampered. Alternatively, you hear clanking sounds during acceleration.

2. Vibrations and Bouncy Driving

Usually, a wrecked CV axle vibrates when you drive. It gets triggered by its failure to balance well in the rotation. The speedier you get, the more the intensity of the vibrations gets. 

As the vibrations advance, you have a hard time governing the vehicle, tampering with your driving experience. It compromises your comfort plus the safety of those in it as well.

3. The Car Begins Drawing to One Side

When this occurs, it shows that your CV axle is starting to break. The wheel with the wrecked CV axle begins losing power to the other.

4. Clicking Sounds from the Inner Axle

When a faulty CV axle has been in operation for a while, you will begin hearing a clicking sound. It originates from the internal joint of a front-wheel-drive automobile or either intersection of a back-wheel-drive machine.

5. Grease on the Tire Edge

Noticing grease at the edge of the tire or below the automobile depicts that your CV axle is faulty. It ensues when a torn boot seeps grease after getting thrown around while the CV axle moves.

Eventually, a leaking boot causes the CV axle to fail as dirt, dust, and rubbles gather on the boot, destroying it.

Should You Repair or Replace a CV Axle?

Typically, one should replace their CV axle when the car hits 100,000 miles. Yet, there exist occurrences where one can drive a vehicle for up to 300,000 miles without needing to replace it.

However, vehicle needs and driving experiences vary, causing some CV axles to deteriorate quicker than others. 

Replace your CV axle immediately when you start noticing the symptoms of a bad one. Talk to your mechanic to book a replacement.

Broken CV Axle Repair Cost

Switching a CV axle entails two things; the cost of swapping axle shafts plus labor charges.

Replacement axle shafts total between $90 and $850, excluding taxes, among other fees. The figure varies subject aspects like vehicle type and model. 

Contracting a mechanic to do the task costs between $50 and $350. The replacement task lasts about 3 hours. However, this may take longer if there are deeper mechanical needs.

How To Fix a Broken CV Axle for DIY?

The best way to fix a broken cv axle is to replace a new one. Though labor-intensive, replacing a CV axle yourself lets you reduce replacement costs. Also, learning how to conduct it yourself helps you know your car inside out. You won’t have to worry about CV axle breaking as you can spot symptoms and address them on time.

To replace a CV axle, you will need to pull out the damaged one before installing its replacement. Follow these steps for a fruitful CV axle swap all by yourself:

Tools Needed

  • Screwdriver
  • Jack stands
  • Breaker bar
  • Ratchet and socket set
  • Dead-blow hammer
  • Wrench set
  • Torque wrench
  • CV axle puller
  • Pliers
  • Safety glasses
  • A repair manual
  • Drain Pan
  • Mallet

How to remove the bad CV axle?

1. Wear your safety glasses and chock your wheels before placing your car in parking mode.

2. Eject the hub or center cap from the wheel using a screwdriver. Relax its hub nut before detaching it by a ratchet and socket.

3. Use a breaker bar to loosen the wheel lug nuts before elevating the car with jack stands. Proceed to remove the lug nuts to release the wheel and tire assemblage.

4. Remove the cotton pin from the ball joint’s castle nut. Use a ratchet or wrench to separate the castle nut from the ball joint. With a ball joint separator, detach the ball joint from the steering knot.

5. Free the shaft connectors from the hub splines by exploiting the joint shaft tip center using a punch and hammer.

6. Move the hub off the way by pushing its end. Then, put the drain pan beneath the seal.

7. Position a pry bar allying the transaxle and the innermost end of the joint. Use the pry block to poke the CV joint from the transaxle. The spoilt CV axle is free, and you can disengage it from the vehicle.

How to install a new CV axle:

1. Check to confirm that both the new CV axle and the old one are of the same design.

2. Put the new CV axle into the machine’s transmission casing.

3. Let the peg move until the CV axle is leveled on the transmission housing.

4. Ensure that the tiny C-shaped clasp on the CV axle has clicked into place. Using a rubber mallet, secure it in place if need be.

5. Reinstall your new CV axle into the hub assembly’s core.

6. Use a ratchet and socket to buckle all the locks you had earlier on removed. Use a torque wrench to tauten all the bolts.

7. Secure the wheel to the vehicle.

8. Lower the car to the ground before removing the jack stands.

9. While establishing that the vehicle still operates on the parking mode, tauten the axle nuts.

10. Using a grease cleaner, wipe off any grease that could have landed on the new CV axle.

A video: How to replace a CV axle for DIY


It remains true that a bad CV axle can upset your transmission. It is why it matters to be able to notice symptoms of a bad CV axle. Such symptoms include grease collecting at the tire edge, loud noises when turning, and vibrations. Luckily, replacing a bad CV axle is inexpensive and easy to follow through.

See also:

What Happens When a Wheel Speed Sensor Goes Bad ?

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