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CV Joints – How To Test While Driving

CV Joints (Constant Velocity Joints) On front-wheel-drive vehicles (engine drives the front wheels) when worn make a clicking sound when turning a corner. There are four CV joints in total each attached to the inner and outer ends of both the right and left front axles (drive shafts) on most front wheel drive passenger cars.
image cv joint
To check the condition of these joints drive the vehicle slowly in a circle both clockwise and anticlockwise gradually increasing speed to place more load (weight) on the axles.

If you hear a clicking noise when turning in a clockwise position it usually indicates CV joint problems on the left axle. Because the vehicle transfers load to the left axle and makes the CV joints both outer and inner work harder especially the outer CV joint (closest to the wheel).


The same principal applies if you hear a clicking noise when turning in an anticlockwise direction which usually indicates CV joint problems on the right axle. Because the vehicle transfers load to the right axle and CV joints it makes them work harder.

What Are CV Joint Boots?

Premature wear of CV joints is also a problem usually caused by the CV joint boot splitting. The CV joint boot holds the grease and protects the CV joint from dirt and grit. If the car is not regularly serviced the split CV joint boot can go unnoticed causing premature failure of the CV joint. The boots usually have a service life of around 100,000km depending on the environment before the CV joint boot starts to crack and split.

Can CV Joints Be Replaced?

With the changes in manufacturing costs most automotive workshops remove the old drive-shaft (axle) and replace with new drive shaft that have reconditioned inner and outer CV joints on both ends and also new CV joint boots. The customer saves time and money due to less labor time.

If you are buying a used car and hear this clicking noise when test driving it doesn’t mean you should not buy the car. CV joints like many other parts wear out at some point, just make sure you allow for these to be replaced when you negotiate with seller.

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