Auto Repair Santa Cruz

Phone (831) 425-1773

Axles and CV Joints

CV Joints

A CV joint ( constant velocity joint) is a mechanism that connects two fixed rotating shafts. It allows the drive shaft to be connected while its axis pivots when suspension or steering operation occurs.  CV joints are widely used in front wheel and rear wheel drive cars.  They can deliver torque more evenly then U joints.  A major difference between the CV and U joints is the way they are serviced.  A CV joint is constructed with a rubber boot that is meant to contain the lubricating grease.

Any signs of leaking grease should be taken care of as soon as possible. One of the main causes of failure in CV boots is road grime collected from normal driving conditions. Road grime is abrasive and eats into the material of the CV boot, over time leaving your CV joints exposed to the elements.

Your vehicles CV boots should be inspected regularly and if the boots crack or start to leak they should be replaced. If the CV joint becomes contaminated with road grimes or dirt, the axles (CV joint) may become damaged, increasing your expense and the possibility of a vehicle breakdown

The CV joint is virtually non-serviceable unless the boot ruptures or extreme conditions exist, like high mileage or abuse.  When the CV joint fails simply replace it with a new or rebuilt unit.

Axles

The axle on your vehicle is the structural component that connects two wheels together on opposite sites. It's a load-bearing assembly that acts like a central shaft, maintaining the position of the wheels relative to each other and to the vehicle body. The construction of your axle is designed according to what your vehicle is built for; trucks and off-road vehicles are equipped with axles that keep the wheel positions steady under heavy stress (ideal for supporting heavy loads), while conventional axles are constructed for the needs of the general consumer. But no matter what you drive, remember that your vehicle's axle must bear the weight of your vehicle (plus any cargo) and the acceleration forces between you and the ground.

U Joints

We recommend your drive shaft and U-joints be inspected regularly for optimal performance of your vehicle. A typical “U” joint has grease seals on each bearing cap so a boot is not needed.  Trucks and SUVs commonly have drive shaft slip joints requiring lubrication.  If you hear a squeaking when you accelerate from a stop or driving you should schedule an appointment, as bad U-joints can actually result in your drive shaft to separate from the vehicle.