For many of us, our cars are our most prized possession. That is why we tend to spend a lot of our time, energy, and money to make sure they are in the best shape. Still, there are certain things over which we have no control that might negatively affect our vehicles. A bad CV axle is one of them.
Even though it is not a very big factor and might really pose a risk to your life, but you should not want to keep driving your vehicle with a faulty part. With time things could get worse and you might not even foresay how it might end up.
So, we are going to talk about how long you can drive on a bad CV axle.
Table of Contents
How Do You Know the CV Axle Is Bad?
Before we dive into the information on how long you can drive on a bad CV axle, I would like to address and talk a little bit about the faulty part and how would you know that it is not working the way it should do.
The constant velocity (CV) axle is used in many different vehicles these days, the main job of it is to transfer power from the automobile’s transmission and differentials to the wheel. Therefore, you can say that it helps the vehicle to move. They have been designed in a way to do their job perfectly.
When these axles go bad or are damaged there are a few common symptoms you are likely to see. You have to keep your eyes and ears open to take note of these things happening to your vehicle.
Hear A Loud Clicking Sound
One of the most common tells of the damaged CV axle is a weird and load noise you might hear every time it turns, the noise comes off as a clicking sound. When it becomes worn or is damaged, the joint is very likely of becoming loose and that is what causes the clicking noise.
It’s quite obvious that you will not be able to miss it, the sound also gets louder when the car is going fast or if you are taking sharp turns.
Excessive Vibration When Driving
Another relatively common symptom of a bad CV axle is when the car starts to vibrate more than it is supposed to.
You will face this problem as the bad joint will have a hard time balancing while it is rotating, and in order to run the vehicle, the shaft will vibrate significantly. Just like the clicking sound, the vibration might also increase along with the speed.
However, sometimes your car might vibrate for various other reasons, the cause behind it might be your tire as well. Therefore, get the problem inspected properly before you think of making any sudden changes.
Greased Up Tires
The last symptom we are going to talk about is the grease which you might find all over the edge of your tires. We would say this is more of a cause actually, but when you see the grease you should be prepared to check if the CX axle is damaged or not.
Grease usually comes from a boot leak, which will eventually damage the CV axle as a lot of debris is supposed to go inside it.
How Long Can You Drive On A Bad CV Axle?
Now let’s get into the main question, how long is it safe for you to drive on a bad CV axle?
Well, the short answer to the question is about five months, you can go longer by a month or so. But by the end of your sixth month, you should take your car to a mechanic to get the faulty part replaced. Anything longer than six months isn’t a safe choice for you or your car.
The six-month range is for those who live in a dry place, which does not have a lot of rain, dirt, or even snow. But there really aren’t many places that see such a pleasant climate all the time, so chances are the six months is a bit of a stretch for you.
Having said that, there is something important for you to note is that, if you do happen to live in a place where there is a lot of rain, snow, or both; you shouldn’t wait six months before you replace the bad CV axle.
Three months in, you should get it changed as the CV axle will get more damaged being exposed to the rain and snow.
This is particularly true if the CV axle was damaged due to a leaky boot. More dirt would get inside it and things will progressively get worse with time and of course, that isn’t safe at all.
What Will Happen If You Keep Driving On A Bad CV Axle?
After reading the previous paragraphs, we hope that now you have the basic knowledge about the primary timeline and how long you should really wait around before you go to the store to buy a replacement CV axle for your car.
Now, we are going to talk a bit about what might happen if you keep on driving with the damaged part:
The major problem you are likely to face when you keep running your car on a bad CV axle is that sometime in the future it will just stop moving.
Even though this might probably sound to you like a very unlikely problem and won’t happen to you; but it has, in fact, happened to many people before. So don’t take it too lightly.
What actually happens is that the joint is unable to do its job properly; meaning, it is unable to transfer the power from the engine to the wheels. This causes the immobile state of the vehicle. In this case, the car won’t move but everything else will be running, which might actually cause some damage to the car’s suspension.
But, the main problem here is that the car could stop moving at any time, you have no control over it. It might be in the middle of busy traffic, or it might also be when you are in the middle of nowhere and there isn’t anyone close by to help you.
So, to make sure you are not going to face these situations, it is better to change out the bad CV axle when you start detecting the symptoms we have listed above.
We are firm believers in the saying ‘better safe than sorry and we try to live by this to avoid any kind of danger. You too should be vigilant about the health of your car so you may remain safe.