CV Joint Repair Costs

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CV Joint Repair Costs

If you’ve ever experienced problems with your squeaking when your car is turning, you probably know about CV joints and how important they are to a smooth ride.

If you’ve never heard of a CV joint, but your car is currently shaking, or you hear noises when you drive, damaged CV joints may be the cause. Don’t delay getting the problem checked out and see if something needs to be replaced, as damaged CV joints can be a safety hazard.

Read on for some common causes of CV joint damage and the costs associated with replacing them. 

What Is a CV Joint?

A Constant Velocity (CV) joint is a key component of your car. It is part of the CV axle, which attaches the transmission to the wheels and enables you to steer the vehicle. The CV joint gives the wheels their range of motion, allowing them to turn and bounce up and down.

CV joints are most commonly found in front-wheel-drive cars, but some rear-wheel-drive, all-wheel-drive, and four-wheel-drive cars also have them.

What Are the Symptoms of a Bad CV Joint?

A CV joint needs a lot of grease to allow for a smooth range of motion. The joint is encased in a protective rubber cover called the boot, which keeps the grease in and protects the joint from debris on the road. The CV joint can become damaged if the boot is torn, which causes the joint to lose lubrication and allows debris to enter and interfere with the joint function.

Some common symptoms of a bad CV joint include:

  • When you hear clicking or popping sound from the wheel, particularly when turning or slowing down
  • Wheel vibration and shaking, especially when speeding up
  • Grease leaking on, by, or near the wheel under your car
  • Clunking during turns

This video by AutoZone dives into the CV axle, some common symptoms of it being bad, and some helpful tips.

Can You Drive with a Bad CV Joint?

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with a bad CV joint, repairs are necessary!

Driving with a bad CV joint can be dangerous.

In a worst-case scenario, the joint can completely fall apart while the car is in motion, causing you to lose control.

With a Bad CV Joint
If you start to notice symptoms of a bad CV joint, you probably have a little time to take action, likely between a few weeks and a few months.

However, it would be best if you did not drive on a bad CV joint or put off repairs for too long. In addition to risking a dangerous scenario on the road, the longer you drive on a bad CV joint, the more damage you may cause to your car, resulting in more costly repairs.

If you end up waiting too long and breaking down, or worse, causing an accident, you can expect additional costs, including towing and any damages to your car or other cars.

New CV Joint Cost for Specific Vehicles

The cost to replace a CV joint depends on the type of car you have. A CV joint’s average cost is between $100-$200, but the price varies. CV joints for cars that are older, luxury, or imported may cost more.

It is often easier and more cost-effective to replace the entire CV axle, which has a CV joint on each end of the shaft, instead of replacing one joint.

Below are the costs of new CV joints for some popular vehicles:

How Long Does It Take to Replace a CV Joint?

On average, it takes about 1-2 hours of labor to replace a CV joint.

Keep in mind that if you plan to pay a professional to replace your CV joint or CV axle, the total cost is likely to be substantially higher than the price of the part alone. A professional may charge several hundred dollars more on top of the joint cost for labor. 1-2 hours of work will probably cost ~$200 or more.

How Long Do CV Joints Usually Last?

CV joints can last the lifetime of your car. It is not unusual to find a vehicle with 100,000-250,000 miles on it and the CV joints still in good condition. CV joint damage usually results from damage to the CV joint boot first.

What Causes CV Joints to Fail?

The two primary reasons a CV joint fails are lack of lubrication to prevent friction in the joint and damage caused by road debris.

A CV joint loses lubrication or comes in contact with debris when the CV boot is damaged, exposing the CV joint. Some common causes of damage to the boot, and subsequent damage to the CV joint and the CV axle, include:

  • Car accident 
  • Hazardous road conditions, including ice, large rocks, and debris left on the road
  • Poor maintenance leading to rust and deterioration 

The CV joint on the passenger side is more likely to fail before the driver side, as it experiences more wear-and-tear. Moreover, this is because the CV axle on the passenger side is longer and comes under more stress than the one on the driver’s side. 

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How to Prevent CV Joint Failure?

The CV boot is crucial to the condition of the CV joint. To keep the CV joint in good condition, take good care of the CV boot. Inspect the boot regularly, especially in hazardous road conditions, and replace the boot if there are signs of wear and tear to prevent damage to the CV joint.

If you catch damage to the boot quickly enough, you may be able to save the CV joint by cleaning and re-lubricating it before covering it with a new boot. 

Conclusion

The cost to replace a CV joint can be high, and you may be tempted to hold off on repairs. However, due to the risks of driving on a damaged joint, repairs are a must.

Do not worry if you do not know what a CV joint is or where to start. A CV joint replacement is a fairly standard procedure for most auto service providers and should be relatively quick and straightforward.

Unless you have car repair experience, it is recommended that you do not attempt joint repairs at home. Though paying a shop for labor costs may add several hundred dollars to the cost of replacing a CV joint, it will save you a lot of headaches (and potentially much more money) in the long-run.

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