The CV axle is a pivotal piece of engineering in your car that transfers the engine’s power into your drive wheel through the transmission system and the driveshaft.
Just like other components of your vehicle, this component is prone to a myriad of issues here and there that can be attributed to various causes.
A common issue that we’ve seen many motorists seek help with is a CV axle that is not seated properly. Many normally encounter this problem after replacing a bad axle.
What are the most common symptoms of a cv axle not seated properly?
The signs that a CV axle is not properly seated in its place can be wide-ranging. These include the existence of a tiny gap between the outer CV joint and the transmission alongside the occurrence of vibrations when the car is moving.
Apart from that, you may also hear strange noises coming out of the driveshaft when the car is moving. Furthermore, you may also notice an overall interference with the car’s handling and aerodynamic efficiency.
How Do You Know If Your CV Axle Is Out of Its Place?
1. The presence of a gap
It’s easy to tell if you have a CV axle that’s not seated properly just by taking a quick look underneath your car. To be precise, you’ll see a few inches gap between the back of the external CV joint and the transmission which connects to the axle. This signifies that the axle is not seated as properly as it should.
2. Vibrations in suspension
Suspension vibration oftentimes gets worse as you reach higher speeds. Remember that misalignment of any extent between the CV axle and the axle shaft will affect the balance of your CV axle during wheel rotation.
This will cause the shaft and the suspension system to vibrate excessively while the car is moving. Also, an improperly seated axle will sustain damage that may also contribute to the vibrations.
3. Strange noises under the car
As said earlier, you can tell that your axle is not seated properly when you hear strange noises coming from underneath your car under different case scenarios.
For example, the car may make a clunking or knocking noise, which can be rhythmic and more pronounced during reverse. It may also make a loud click or pop noise when turning, which is unmistakable when you hear it.
The distinctive noise may become more pronounced or louder when the car makes a faster or sharper turn.
4. Harder car handling
You may also notice a negative impact on your car’s handling and other capabilities when the CV axle is not seated properly. Some of the implications of this problem include difficulty steering while making turns or rounding corners, as well as reduced aerodynamics efficiency.
Can a CV Axle Be Installed Wrong?
It’s very easy to put a CV axle in the wrong–in other words, to install it improperly. Unfortunately, this can lead to a myriad of other problems besides a CV axle that’s not seated properly.
For example, the car may be unable to move and it may make a horrible grinding noise when you put it in parking mode. That’s because the differential in the transaxle isn’t free to turn without resistance from the axle.
The car may also roll backward when in parking mode and also in gear.
How Do You Seat a CV Axle Transmission?
A CV axle can have trouble getting seated properly on the axle shaft due to the presence of a slight twist or helix on the splines on the hub assembly that creates interference between the axle shaft and the mating wheel hub assembly.
This hampers tapping or clicking from backlash. To avoid this problem, clean corrosion off of the axle before installing it in the hub assembly and then rely on the force created as you tighten the axle nut, using the proper torque. You can find the specs online.
How Do I Reset a CV Axle?
To reset a CV axle, first, check to make sure that the splines and circlip aren’t damaged and that the spines are properly aligned with the trans-axle.
Next, give the axle a quick shove into the trans-axle while rotating the axle 90 degrees at a time. This will reset the axle into the trans-axle perfectly.
What Happens If CV Axle Is Loose?
It will begin to fail. Consequently, the wheel to which it’s tied will start to lose power, and the car will begin to lean towards the wheel’s side. Eventually, the wheel will no longer turn and even though the engine may still run, the car won’t move
The CV axle is an important component of your car that works with the drive shaft and the transmission system to enable the car to move.
If it doesn’t seat on the axle shaft as it should, the car can experience lots of problems as explained above. Consequently, it will begin to fail until it can no longer perform its function.
At this point, the wheel will not be able to move. To avoid all of that, you better ensure that the CV axle is properly seated on the axle shaft at all times.