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Strange sounds coming from your car can be alarming and cause anxiety for many drivers. It is important to identify the source of the sound and take action as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your vehicle.  One common sound drivers may hear when turning their vehicle is a clicking or popping noise. This can be a sign of a failing CV axle. So, how do you know if your car is in need of maintenance and should have its CV axle replaced? Let’s find out.

What is a CV axle?

A CV (constant-velocity) axle is a part of the drivetrain in front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles. Its primary function is to transfer power from the transmission to the wheels while maintaining a constant velocity. The CV axle consists of an inner and outer joint connected by a shaft that allows the wheels to move up and down while still transferring power.

Signs of a bad or failing CV axle

The most common sign of a bad or failing CV axle is a clicking or popping noise when turning, reports Jerry. This happens when the joints become worn or damaged and the grease inside them dries out, causing friction and making the joint loose. As a result, the joint will make a clicking or popping noise as it moves around when turning.

Other symptoms of a failing CV axle can include:

  • A vibration or shaking sensation while driving, especially when accelerating or turning.
  • A clunking sound when shifting from drive to reverse or vice versa.
  • Grease on the inside or outside of the tire or on the underside of the vehicle.
  • A torn or damaged CV boot (the rubber covering that protects the joint from dirt and debris).

If you think your CV axle is the source of the clicking or popping sound, it is important to have it inspected and replaced by a qualified mechanic. Driving with a failing CV axle can lead to more serious issues and potentially dangerous driving conditions.

How much does CV axle replacement cost?

According to Repair Pal, the average cost for a CV axle replacement is between $938 and $1,069. Labor costs are estimated between $141 and $178, while parts are priced between $797 and $891. Remember, your vehicle and location may affect the price.

What if it’s not the CV axle?

There are other possible causes of a clicking or popping sound when turning that are not related to the CV axle. These can include worn suspension auto parts, a dead battery or alternator, a loose or worn wheel bearing, or damaged steering components. Just like other mechanical issues, it’s essential to have a professional diagnose the problem. That way, you can ensure the correct part is repaired or replaced.

Stay proactive to keep your car running at its best

If you hear a clicking or popping sound when turning your vehicle, it is important to have it inspected by a mechanic to determine the root cause of the issue. While a failing CV axle is a common culprit, there are other possible causes that could be equally dangerous if left unchecked. Ignoring strange sounds or delaying repairs can lead to further damage to your car, potentially putting yourself and others in danger. Stay proactive with maintenance and take action to keep your car running safely and smoothly.