In addition to maintaining your car’s engine, transmission, and suspension, you also have to worry about the constant velocity (CV) joints—critical mechanical components that are essential to your car’s function. The CV joints transmit power smoothly from the drivetrain to the wheels, and keep spinning even when they are at sharp angles. If you notice any of the following signs of CV joint deterioration, bring your car to an automotive repair expert immediately.
Popping Noises While Turning
CV joint problems, particularly on front-wheel drive cars, will often present themselves when you turn a corner. In front-wheel drive cars, the drive wheels also steer the car, so the CV joints experience extra force when turning. If they are damaged or improperly lubricated, you may hear a loud popping noise when you turn the wheels far in either direction. To avoid a costly collision, have a mechanic examine your CV joints once you hear this noise.
Grease Stains on Your Hubcaps or Rims
To ensure that the CV joint stays properly lubricated, it is encased in a sheath called the boot. The CV joint boot must be flexible, so it is made from rubber or plastic. Over time, the boot can deteriorate, and when it does, dirt, dust, and sand can get into the joint and lubricant fluid can leak out. Leaking CV joint boots can cause dark stains on the inside of your wheels.
Vibrations While Accelerating
Your car should accelerate quickly and quietly. If you feel strong vibrations in the car during acceleration, especially through the steering wheel, your outer CV joints may be worn out. When you feel car vibrations, check your wheels for the telltale grease stains and bring the vehicle to a repair shop immediately.
If your CV joint fails while you are driving, you may experience a dangerous collision or accident. Call Greulich's Automotive Service & Collision at (480) 389-2358 if you notice any of the above signs of CV joint wear. With 13 convenient locations around the Valley, a Greulich’s near you is ready to provide friendly, professional automotive repair.