CV Boot & Axle

Over time the axle assembly of your automobile, with it’s CV boots that protect the universal joints that connect to the axles that all together hold up your car, can become dangerously worn; let the expert mechanics at Mike's Service Auto Body in Narragansett, Rhode Island help you maintain this critical part of your vehicle.

An automobile’s axle assembly takes a beating.

1An axle is a central shaft connecting the automobile’s rotating wheels. The axles maintain the position of the wheels relative to each other and to the vehicle body. Axles also may be part of the drivetrain which helps to accelerate the vehicle, or part of the braking system when force is applied to brake the rotation of the axle, or part of the steering assembly through manipulation of the front axle.

Heavy duty off-road vechiles may have straight axles.

Rigid shafts, or straight axles, connect the wheels of heavy duty vehicles and are designed to keep the wheel politions steady under great stress.

Passenger cars usually use split axle designs.

The wheel on each side of the vehicle is attached to a separate shaft, allowing independent suspension of the wheels. This allows the wheels to rotate at different speeds in turns, improving traction and making for a smoother ride.

Front wheel drive vehicles use a transaxle.

Front wheel drive cars use a split front axle with a differential and universal joints between the two half axles, with each wheel connected by a constant velocity (CV) joint. This allows the whole thing to move freely and turn easily.

The differential is an important part of the assembly.

1The differential is a system of gears that allow each of the wheels to rotate at different speeds while receiving equal torque. On some surfaces, such as gravel or ice, when one or both wheels may spin, the torque supplied by a differential can be problematical, and so additional features may be added to the differential, such as the limited slip differential, the locking differential, or the electronic traction control system using ABS. A four-wheel-drive vehicle will have one differential for each pair of wheels and possibly a center differential between the front and rear axles. (Vehicles without a center differential should not be driven on paved roads in four wheel drive.)

Rear wheel drive vehicles have a drive axle in the rear of the vehicle.

Usually in rear wheel drive vehicles the rear axle is a split axle with a differential.

The universal joints at the end of each axle maintain the torque on the wheels as they turn and on the suspension system as it moves up and down.

The inner CV joint controls changes in suspension, while the outer one provides even torque to the wheels. A bad CV joint will usually make a sort of clack noise on turns. Damage to these joints can create dangerous problems with steering and suspension.

The constant velocity boot (CV boot) is the rubber boot that covers the universal joints.

The CV boot keeps grease inside the boot and on the joints, protecting the joints from dirt, water, or debris from the road. The rubber material out of which the boot is made allows the boot to stretch during turns, but it also allows for leaks or breaks. When this happens the grease drips out and contaminants get inside the joint, causing serious trouble. The CV boot when damaged can make a clicking noise or have a shuddering effect on turns.

Regular checks and maintenance of the CV boot and joints and axle assembly can save you money in repairs. Especially if you have been driving on rough terrain, there may be more possibilities of damage. The parts must be kept greased and free from grit and dirt because even a small amount of contaminant can damage or destroy your axle assembly. Pay attention to any sign of defect in the CV boot immediately, such as leaks or breakage. Doing so could save you money because it may save you the larger expense of dealing with damages to the CV joint itself, which is much more expensive. If the CV joint is damaged, it may be less expensive in the long run to replace with an entire CV shaft, which comes with joints and boots. Let the skilled mechanics at Mike's Service Auto Body in Rhode Island help you keep your axle, universal joints, and CV boots in good working order.




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