Should CV Axles Be Replaced in Pairs?

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Power is delivered to the wheels by a CV axle in all front-wheel drive and independent rear-suspension vehicles. It’s characterized by a six-ball CV axle that acts as a universal joint, allowing extreme motion with smooth rotation.

At certain times, these CV axles need replacing. The question is, should they be changed in pairs? Let’s read on to find out.

What Is a CV Axle?

A CV axle transmits rotational torque from one drive wheel to another through constant-velocity joints. Half shafts and drive shafts are also commonly used terms. There is one CV axle (CV shaft) at each front wheel on a front-wheel drive car.

Most cars, SUVs, crossovers, and truck pickups have CV axles.

When Should a CV Axle Be Replaced?

A CV axle is visually inspected during routine oil changes by mechanics. There is only a need to replace a CV axle when it develops a problem.

Should CV Axles Be Replaced in Pairs?

When only one CV axle is damaged, it is not necessary to replace both. However, you might want to do so, particularly if you can afford it. If you are concerned that the undamaged axle will suffer damage shortly after replacing the damaged axle, then it’s best to get them both done at once.

When Does a CV Axle Need to Be Replaced?

CV axles are typically replaced when the boot breaks, allowing grease to escape.

A CV joint can’t last long without proper lubrication. A CV axle may also need to be replaced if it has been damaged in an accident or rusted excessively.

Lubricant Leak Grease

When it’s located on the inner surface of your tires, it indicates a large tear. Grease will come out of small cracks, indicating an early problem.

Clunks and Clicks

No matter what the sound is, you can’t miss it. Turning or speeding up causes this rhythmic sound. It indicates that your CV axle is worn, so you shouldn't ignore it.

Vibration Motions

Vibrations may be felt when your car bounces heavily or when you are driving.

There is more movement in outer CV joints than in inner joints, and the boots of outer CV joints are more prone to breaking first. It’s rare for the inner joints to fail.

You may experience vibrations when accelerating, shaking from side to side, and clunking when switching from acceleration to deceleration.

Work in the service station, suspension repair, CV joint removal

How Often Should CV Axles Be Replaced?

Depending on how often they get damaged, you may need to replace your CV axles more often. CV axles should be replaced whenever they fail. If a component of the axle becomes bad, you can replace it individually or as a whole. It’s expensive to replace a CV axle and the price doubles when a second axle needs to be replaced.

Replacing an axle typically ranges from $900 to $1,200.

With cost in mind, be cautious when driving so that your CV axles stay in good condition. Remember that if something isn't broken, you don't need to fix it. You should check out broken items and fix them as soon as possible when you hear the clicks.

Do not continue driving if you see any of these signs. Routine maintenance may reveal cracks or tears. Repairing a crack before it causes the joint to fail can be done easily.

Wear and tear on an axle can cause it to fail while driving, resulting in a loss of control. In addition to being dangerous for you, it is also dangerous for other motorists.

There is a transmission connected to the CV axle. Transmission components are worn out faster by a damaged, moving axle. Leaving the CV axle unfixed can lead to more problems.

Is It Possible to Replace a CV Axle on Your Own?

You can replace a CV axle at home, but you'll need some experience with jacks and heavy-duty tools. A CV axle replacement should not be too expensive because most of the equipment is already located in your home garage.

How to Replace a CV Axle

  • First, you need to loosen the lug nuts slightly.
  • The vehicle should be raised and secured, and the wheels need to be removed. The cotter pin must also be removed.
  • Following the instructions in the repair manual, unbolt the spindle nut safety fastener.
  • Remember how to assemble the other side after you've completed the first so you know how to assemble the other side.
  • With the help of a socket and breaker bar, loosen the nut. You can hold it in place with another bar wedged between the lug nuts. Wheel turn is simplified by brake application.
  • Removing the rotor and caliper may be necessary, depending on the vehicle. You can find the requirements for your vehicle in your repair manual. If you need to remove the brake caliper, use a coat hanger wire to suspend it without hanging it from the brake hose.
  • The lower ball joint should have cotter pins and castle nuts removed. Remove the steering knuckleball joint.
  • You can free the outboard axle assembly by swinging the hub and knuckle outward.
  • Using a large flat-blade screwdriver or a pry bar, wedge the axle between the transmission and the axle. Take care not to damage the transmission when prying off the axle assembly. Ensure that no transmission seals are damaged.
  • You should now be able to slide out the drive axle assembly. Make sure you check the assembly's location and take it apart. Follow the same procedure for returning the new one.
  • Before inserting the splines, grease them with grease for gears. Reverse the disassembly process and insert the new drive axle assembly.
  • Make sure all fasteners are torqued to the specified torque. Replace the cotter pins with brand-new ones.

Final Thoughts

If you don’t know what you are doing when it comes to mechanics, it’s best to seek help from a professional to avoid causing any damage to the car. The good thing is you don’t need to change the CV axle in pairs unless you feel the need to. There is no harm in doing it either way; it is just more expensive and time-consuming.

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