All front-wheel-drive vehicles include CV joints that are an integral part of the vehicle’s suspension system. These CV joints are attached to each side of the driver shaft and come in outer CV joints and inner CV joints. Their primary purpose is to keep your ride experience safe and comfortable. These can make loud noises when faulty, especially when driving at high speeds.
With multiple components attaching to the CV joint, reaching the root cause can be complicated. Here is our guide to understanding the CV joint and some common reasons for the sounds it makes.
What Causes CV Joint Noise?
A CV joint will make noises when partially faulty but not wholly damaged. The noises signal that some maintenance and troubleshooting are needed on the joint. Some common causes for those squeaky sounds are explained below:
Faulty CV boots
This is a common and likely reason for a faulty and noisy CV joint. The CV boot can become cracked, torn, or damaged over time and cause all types of problems. One common sign is grease leakage; when faulty, the CV boot will leak out grease, which can be seen on the wheel rim’s interior. Other places include the inner drive wheel area, in which case the damage is more severe.
Having the CV boot repaired by a professional immediately is essential as the problem can evolve into a bigger one. A leaky boot will lead to friction and corrosion in the CV joint due to excessive loss of lubrication. This can cause the joint to become fully damaged over time and need an expensive replacement.
Damaged Boot Clamps
Boot clamps are attached to the CV boot and help it stay secure and tightened in place. A faulty Boot clamp will lead to a loose CV boot that collects excessive dust and dirt resulting in clogging. This, in turn, can cause a CV joint clunk that makes your car sound noisy as you drive.
Loss of Lubrication
The cause is not always mechanical and can be a simple call for lubrication. Over time, your CV joint can gather some dust, debris, and even corrosion that demands more lubrication. The excessive friction due to a dried-out joint can cause aggressive noises as your axle twists and turns. The noise may become louder as you drive at higher speeds or take a turn.
Over time, even the best quality components become worn-out, damaged, and weak. Axles and CV joints that have gone through a lot will simply run out of their initial capabilities and need a replacement. If your car has frequently been through rough terrains and excessively high speeds, it's best to replace the component rather than repair it.
The CV joint is a reliable and durable component of any vehicle and doesn’t malfunction most of the time. However, it can cause multiple performance and safety issues that can lead to permanent damage when faulty. A CV boot and boot clamps are the most common reasons behind a noisy CV joint and can be easily repaired. A damaged CV boot is easy to fix and doesn’t cost much to replace. However, you don’t want to be cheap with the CV joint. When damaged, always buy a new replacement.