CV Joint Noise When Driving Straight: All You Need To Know

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission.

CV joint noise when driving straight implies a bad CV joint that can be dangerous if ignored for a long time. This joint can damage due to a broken boot, lack of lubrication, or other factors.

CV Joint Noise When Driving Straight

So in this article, we have discussed all the possible reasons and methods to fix the CV joint. It will help you take the right measures at the right time. 

What Causes CV Joint Noise When Driving Straight?

When driving straight CV joint noise can be caused due to a broken component in the CV system. A broken CV joint or a bad CV axle makes grinding or clicking noises. These components get damaged if the boot wears out, lubricant leaks, or because of the usual wearing.

 

– Faulty CV Boots Cause Clicking and Grinding Noise

The most common reason for the noise is a damaged CV boot. A boot seals the lubricant and covers the joints. It also protects the joints from dirt and other particles on the road. 

So it is an essential part of the system because the joint is present too close to the road. Without a boot or with a damaged boot, road grime would collect on the joints. 

This debris buildup shortens the life of joints, and after some time, they completely fail to work. A broken boot would also fail to prevent lubricant leakage. Due to this leakage, there will be friction among joints.

So all these factors pile up when you observe the grinding or clicking noise coming from the car. Other than the noise, you should check for signs of lubricant leakage. If your garage has grease stains under the car, it is a clear sign of a defective boot.

The boot may get damaged for many reasons. Like all other parts of your car, the boot also has a limited life. Older boots can break on their own or by sharp rocks on the road.

– Defective CV Boot Clamps

Boot clamps are small devices that keep the boot fixed in its position. The clamp ensures that the boot completely covers the joints. So a damaged clamp means that the boot is unable to perform its function.

As a result, dust particles gather inside the joint, and the lubricant discharges. It leads to friction among metallic parts, and cars make noise. You can diagnose it the same way, by checking for grease leakage.

– Joints and Axles Deteriorate With Age

Like all other parts of a car, the joint present in the axle can also wear out with time. Even if you take good care of your vehicle and get regular services, some parts have a limited life. 

What Causes CV Joint Noise When Driving Straight

The joints of the CV system are metallic. If they wear out, there will be loose fittings, and the components will have room to move. This causes a clunking inner CV joint noise when driving straight. You will also observe a more prominent CV joint noise when accelerating

Likewise, the old axles can also wear out. It is more common in cars that are not sent for service. A damaged axle would disturb the alignment of joints and lead to friction.

– Shock Load Destroys CV Joints

The joints are the weakest target of shock load. Shock load usually occurs on off-road routes. Due to rough terrain, the wheels lift upwards away from the ground. If the driver still applies power and the wheel falls back on the ground, the axle undergoes great stress. 

Since the joints are the weakest parts of the suspension system, they fail to bear stress and break. This is not a common reason, yet you should check the failing CV joint if you have been on an offroad adventure lately.

– Insufficient or No Grease

A good amount of lubricant is essential for the proper function of the CV system. It is because the system comprises different metallic parts that move or rotate

No Grease in Car Cv Joints

So if grease leaks from your car, there will be friction among CV parts which would wear out due to constant rubbing. If this is why your car is making noise, you will not have to spend money fixing it. 

Just apply enough lubricant for the smooth functioning of the system. But it may have a bad impact on fuel efficiency if you ignore it. Moreover, you will keep hearing intermittent CV joint noise when driving straight.

– Car Modifications That Do Not Suit CV Components

The manufacturers put great thought into the design and structure of vehicles. Most vehicles work great as long as they have genuine factory parts. But, when you replace them with aftermarket parts, the performance falls gradually.

One example is the addition of lift or lowering kits to the cars. These kits put extra stress on the axle that indirectly falls on the joints. Also, adding bigger tires puts a high strain on the joints as they need greater torque for rotation. 

So if you have recently modified any part of the car, make sure it is compatible with the whole CV system. Some changes, such as the addition of lift kits, require stronger CV components. 

How To Stop the CV Joint From Making Noise?

You can stop the CV joint sound by changing the boot, lubricating, or replacing the joints. In the worst cases, you might have to replace the axle too. Thus, the repairing method depends on the severity of the problem. You can fix it at home or hire an expert.

Stopping CV Joint From Making Noise

 

Once you figure out the underlying cause, fixing it can be easier. It is best to start with the methods that cost you the least. Let us look into the methods in detail. 

– Lubricate the Joint as the Initial Check

The first repairing strategy is to lubricate the CV joints. For this, you should buy a good quality lubricant and apply it in small quantities. This is effective in some cases if the car seems fine externally, but the boot is defective. 

The boot keeps the joint immersed in lubricant, so when it breaks, there is leakage. So if you apply the lubricant as soon as you notice a crack or defect in the boot, you will be able to prevent joint failure. 

– Replace the Boot if There Is Leakage

If you still hear faulty CV joint noise when driving straight, look for signs of leakage below the car. If you see grease stains, check the boot. 

If you find a cracked or damaged boot, and you hear a CV joint humming noise, you should replace the boot with a new one. Also, you can get good deals with clamps included. But, if the boot has been defective for a long time and your car makes clunking noise, you should also check the joints. 

Replacing the boot is the easiest and cheapest repair strategy. You can also save labor costs because the process is not tricky. But if you do not take quick steps to fix it, you will end up losing the joint as well. 

– Replace the Joint on Total Failure

Joints exposed for some days get polluted and covered with road grime. In such a situation, replacing the boot would not fix the problem. So that is when you contact a mechanic and let them do the rest. Likewise, if a broken joint is creating noise, replace it with a new one. 

A more common way is to replace the shaft instead of replacing the joint. The shaft has all the components in alignment and saves you from trouble during installation. This is a more expensive way to fix the joint, so it is better to fix the problem when the noise first appears.

If you do not know how to add a new axle or new joints, it is better to hire professional help. But if you do not want to pay for the labor, you can follow the instructions below to fix it on your own. 

  1. Get your safety kit before you begin working. This is extremely important if a skilled person does not supervise you.
  2. Start by loosening the axle nuts by using the cotter key. It is challenging on old car models, so you might have to add some lubricant and then try again.
  3. Now remove the lug nuts from the wheels and set the vehicle to parking mode. Once you are sure that the car is in parking mode, it is safe to lift it. Use a good quality jack to safely lift the car.
  4. Once you lift the car, remove the wheels and disconnect the tie rod from the upright. Use lubricant and try again if it does not come off easily.
  5. Use a mallet and lightly hit to remove the tie rod from the upright. Then remove the hub by undoing the bolts. 
  6. Now you can look for the spot where the axle connects to the transmission. Remove the old axle and place the new one in its place. 
  7. You might observe leakage of transmission fluid on the removal of the axle. 
  8. Finally, you may fix the axle and the other parts back in place. Make sure you do not forget any parts and do not forget to tighten the bolts. You should put back all the parts in the same sequence as you removed them. So the part that you removed first goes back in on the last. 
  9. Place the wheels back in their place, lower your car, and do not forget to tighten the nuts and axle. 

FAQs

1. What Are Boot and CV Joint Replacement Costs?

If only the boot needs replacement, you can buy it for around $15. But if the whole joint needs replacement, it can cost you anywhere between $200 to $600. You should also consider the labor cost, which may vary from $100 to $500.

The price of replacing CV joints also varies with different cars. If you own a luxury car, buying its parts would cost you more than usual cars, and you will have to spend $1000 or even more.

2. Is CV Joint Noise Dangerous if You Keep Driving?

Yes, it can be dangerous if not taken care of immediately. Although you can drive the car, it is not safe for the driver, and delaying would worsen the condition. If the car starts shaking while driving, you might lose control of the car. In this case, you should pull over or drive slowly to a mechanics’ shop. 

But, if you choose to delay, the whole drivetrain can get damaged, or a wheel might come off. The worst-case scenario could be axle failure which means your car will stop moving.

3. How Long Will a CV Joint Last Once It Starts Creating Noise?

The CV joint will not fail abruptly if it only requires the application of lubricant. You can save it by applying lubricant as soon as possible. Otherwise, even a new CV joint making noise would fail with time.  

In the same way, if there is only a little wear in the CV parts, it would not completely damage the joint at the spot. There is a possibility that it could still work for 5 to 6 months. But with time, more parts get defective, and you will have to pay more than double the cost of the initial repair.

4. What Are the Signs of CV Joint Failure?

If you inspect the car, you may notice grease leakage on the floor or inside the wheel. You can also observe the boot to find cracks, which is a sign of CV failure. 

Another common sign is the clicking and knocking sound while driving the car. And in some instances, the car may vibrate. If you often take your car for service, these signs will help your mechanic diagnose the problem fast.

5. Should You Replace the Worn-out CV Joint or the Whole Shaft?

You can replace each boot and joint if you want, but professionals suggest changing the shaft. Separate shafts are available in the market. These shafts provide simpler and quicker working order. They also lower the risk of damaging the components during installation.

Solving Cv Joint Noise when Driving Straight

Can a CV joint issue also cause a thumping noise while driving?

A CV joint issue can indeed lead to a thumping noise while driving. The constant velocity joint controls the transfer of power from the engine to the wheels, and if it becomes worn or damaged, it can cause a rhythmic thumping sound. Regular inspection, lubrication, and replacement of CV joints are vital solutions to thumping noise while driving.

Conclusion

Ignoring the CV joint noise when driving straight is dangerous. But now you can diagnose and mend the problem fast.

Below are some key findings that might help you in the next stage.

  • A constant velocity joint failure can cause clunking, clicking, and grinding noise.
  • The joint may fail due to a damaged boot, the addition of a lift kit, or worn-out parts.
  • You can fix it by changing the boot or adding a new joint.
  • You can prevent CV damage through regular inspection and careful driving.

With this, you are capable of testing and repairing the CV joint. So roll up your sleeves and bring your tools.

5/5 - (17 votes)
Ran When Parked