This is how a bad cv axle can mess up your transmission

The transmission system is very critical to a vehicle as it performs crucial functions. For example, it transmits the engine torque produced through the crankshaft to the wheels of the vehicle, resulting in a rotary motion that puts the car into motion.

Apart from that, it also enables the steering wheel to turn the front wheels left or right so that the driver needs to turn left or right.

Now, the transmission system consists of several components with which it works to achieve its functions. One of those components is the CV axle, which completes the transfer of torque or power from the engine to the wheels of the car by connecting the driveshaft to the differential.

Most cars have between two to four CV axles, depending on the type of vehicle. For example, all-wheel-drive cars have four CV Axles, rear-wheel-drive cars have two CV axles in the rear, and front-wheel drive vehicles have two CV axles in the front.

So, can a bad cv axle mess up your transmission?

The short answer is YES. After all, the axles are a crucial part of your transmission system. If they are bad it means your transmission system is messed up as well.

What Problems Can a Bad CV Axle Cause to Transmission

A bad CV axle can cause a few serious problems to your transmission, especially if it’s a manual transmission. That can, in turn, hamper your car’s motion capabilities to a greater extent.

For example, a faulty axle can leave the driveshaft off-center in the differential, causing your transmission to not be able to transmit power to your wheels properly.

Matter of fact, you may not even have any propulsion unless it’s an automatic transmission system where the gas pedal is all you need to get the car in motion.

Also, the axle may cause the driveshaft to bend, and that isn’t great for any type of transmission because the transmission will be unable to get power transferred up through the drivetrain efficiently.

Can a Bad Axle Cause Hard Shifting?

The short answer is yes. After all, hard shifting can be a symptom of a bad transmission. As you already know, a bad or failing CV axle can affect the normal performance of the transmission.

How Do I Know If My CV Axle Is Bad?

Here are some potential symptoms to watch out for;

Clicking Noises When Turning

If you hear a loud clicking noise or just pop each time you turn the front wheels, it might be a sign that you have a bad axle. A worn-out CV axle does make these exact types of noises.

Grease on the Inside or Edge of the Tires

The CV axle is protected by the plastic or rubber boot on the outside. If the boot is worn out, it may have holes that are causing oil to leak from the axle to the wheel as the axle spins.

Because of the loss of sufficient lubrication, the axle will wear out and eventually fail. If you notice the oil immediately, your axle may be safe, and if you do so after some time, chances are high that your axle shall have started wearing out at this point.

Vibration While Driving

While vibration while driving can be a symptom of one of the many mechanical problems your car may develop, a bad CV axle is on the top of the list of those problems.

That’s especially if the vibrations are excessive, increase with speed, or if they give a “bouncy” feel to your drive.

Rhythmic Knocking or Clunking Sounds

Rhythmic knocking or clunking sounds are well-known symptoms of a bad or failing axle. That’s especially when the noise is louder when the car is in reverse motion. But that’s not the only cause of the noise, which can also be a result of another issue.

Does a Broken CV Axle Emit Any Sound?

The short answer is YES. As explained in points 1 and 4 under “How Do I Know If My Axle Is Bad?” a broken axle will make some strange noises under different circumstances.

For example, you’ll hear some distinctive clicking noises when turning or rhythmic knocking/clunking sounds when reversing.

How Long Can You Drive On a Damaged CV Axle?

Though you can drive on a damaged axle for a while, there’s no telling how long you can do that safely. It all depends on various factors including the level of exposure of your axle to the damaging elements each time you drive.

The higher it is, the quicker your failing axle will wear out completely, and vice versa.

Should Both CV Axles Be Replaced Even If Only One Is Bad?

The answer depends on whether the axle broke on its own or if you accidentally caused its breakage.

Now, the CV axle may break on its own due to many reasons, one of which is a worn-out drive shaft. In that case, we recommend that you replace both axles because the other axle is most likely damaged as well.

On the other hand, there are many ways in which you can inadvertently destroy your axle. One of them is by damaging the boot(the rubber or plastic component covering and protecting it from dust and water) perhaps while working on your car.

This can cause the axle to fail later because of inadequate protection from the elements, all of which will eat into it. In that case, we recommend that you just replace the damaged axle.


The CV axle is an important component of your car’s transmission system. The condition of it can make or break the performance of the transmission.

That’s why it’s important to ensure that each axle of your car is healthy and in a great working state at all times. Symptoms to look out for in a failing axle include clicking noises when turning, grease on the inside or edge of the tires, vibration while driving, and rhythmic knocking or clunking sounds.

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