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Be Safe: Take Care of Your CV Axle Joints

August 20, 2020 11:45 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

If your wheels make a popping sound when turning, you likely have a damaged CV joint. Short for “constant velocity” joint, this component allows the axle and wheel to flex as you turn and drive on uneven surfaces in Madison, TN. However, it takes a lot of wear and tear, and is often considered the weakest link in your system. CV joints must be lubricated and protected from rocks, debris and other road hazards. Here are three reasons why you should repair these parts as soon as they need it:

  • Leaks: The CV joint has a seal called a CV boot. It is usually the first component to sustain damage. If you damaged a CV boot, you have time before getting the work done. However, the longer you put off the repair, the more it is exposed to grime and road debris. This allows more grease to leak out and makes the damage worse. Catching this early means you merely need to have the CV boot replaced, rather than the entire joint. Fortunately, checking CV boots for early signs of damage is part of every regular car inspection, so you can catch the damage early and save money.
  • Unpredictability: Once you start hearing clicking or popping as you turn, the damage is no longer limited to the boot. Now, your entire CV joint needs replacement, and mere repair is no longer a possibility. If you are tempted to put this off, keep in mind that rough driving conditions and challenging commutes will help the wear and tear advance more quickly. There is no way to ascertain for certain how long “safe” operation can last and when you start to approach broken axle status. Basically, it’s nearly impossible to assess how much damage is sustained by the CV joint and when that will affect your road safety.
  • Safety: Completely compromised CV joints are dangerous. They can fail when you are on the highway or in an unfamiliar neighborhood and make your entire axle break. In that case, you are stranded, and towing your vehicle will be challenging. If the axle breaks while you are driving, you will likely lose control and cause an accident on top of all your other repair problems. That’s why it’s vital to catch a damaged CV joint before you reach this point.

Your best course of action is to replace CV boots as they wear out. This maintenance prevents most CV joint damage and will keep you driving smoothly, whether you are driving to the grocery store or driving on gravel roads. However, if you reach the point of hearing a clunking noise every time you turn, it is time to address the CV joint as soon as possible or risk further driving hazards.

If your wheels make a popping sound when turning, Rivergate Muffler & Auto Repair can check for a damaged CV joint. Located in Madison, TN, we offer a full range of services, including CV repair. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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