Half-shaft joints transmit drive from the half-shafts to the wheels. They are exposed to large loads and their failure disables the car. It is very important to regularly check the condition of the joint housings. Usually, the joints fail when they are penetrated by water or sand, or when they are not lubricated sufficiently. You should keep that in mind, as replacing the joints is quite costly.
What is a CV joint?
A CV joint is a part of the half-shaft allowing it to change its operating angle while continuing to transit the drive. This is required to ensure the upward and downward movement and the turning of the wheels relative to the immobile drive unit. Due to their function, CV joints are frequently referred to as homokinetic joints. CV joints are sensitive to corrosion and require lubrication; hence they are placed in a rubber housing filled with a lubricant.
When should a CV joint be changed?
If such rubber housing is torn or cracks, the lubricant leaks out of it and water, sand and other contaminants make their way to the joint, causing corrosion and damage to its working surfaces, as well as a play and a knocking noise during turning, and, ultimately, its collapse. If this is the case, the joint must be replaced.
How is a CV joint replaced?
In order to replace an internal CV joint you must first remove the half-shaft by removing the kingpin and sliding the spline of the external joint out of the hub. Next, the half-shaft should be slid out of the gear box. Finally, the joint is removed from the half-shaft and replaced with a new one. This is a perfect opportunity to check and, if necessary, replace the rubber housings of the other joints. A new housing should be filled with a lubricant and new mounting bands should be applied. The fixed half-shaft is fitted back into place in the reverse order.