CV Axle Bearing Symptoms


The CV (constant velocity) axle is similar to a driveshaft's U-Joint, in that it uses a flexible joint to allow power transfer through a rigid shaft at varying angles. A CV joint varies only in that it uses what amounts to two sets of " + " shaped armatures clocked at a 45-degree angle to each other in order to handle the additional load of lateral wheel movement. These axle types and their bearing have a number of problems, most of which manifest as sounds and vibrations before failure.

Common Noises

  • Bad wheel bearings usually emit either a deep grinding noise, a screeching sound or a noise that resembles sand being ground under a shoe on concrete. In the beginning phases of failure, this sound can be faint, possibly only audible while driving through tunnels of over walled bridges. It will get louder over time, however, and will become impossible to ignore before long. This noise will get louder and more pronounced with speed.


  • Depending on the type and location of the failure, the type of vibrations emitted by failing bearings will vary. Generally, the vibration will begin as an intermittent slight thrumming that can be felt through the floor. This thrumming will gradually become more pronounced and will eventually begin to feel like a steady stream of large pebbles pelting the underside of the car. In severe cases, this vibration may be felt through the steering wheel. Like the sound encountered, this vibration with vary directly with speed.

Locating the Fault

  • In most cars, it's fairly easy to locate the source of the bad wheel bearing. As the bearing encounters load, its sound and vibration will become more definite. If the symptoms get worse under the weight transfer of hard braking, then it's coming from the front. You can test car laterally in a smooth empty area such as a vacant concrete parking lot. When you turn the wheel at speed, weight transfers to the tire on the outside of the turn. If the sound increases when you turn right, the fault is on the left side, and vice-versa the right.

Potential Danger

  • A wheel bearing that has begun to manifest symptoms is on its way to failure. Allowing a bad wheel bearing to progress to the point of constant vibration is incredibly dangerous, as the bearing could fail under the heat of sustained usage and lock at any time. In extreme cases of bearing failure on some cars, the whole casing can shatter, causing the entire wheel assembly to fall off the car while under load.


  • The only way to service a bad wheel bearing is to replace it. On most modern front-drive cars, the inner and outer hub bearings comes as a pre-assembled cartridge. This makes replacement significantly more expensive than on older vehicles without cartridge systems, but does make it considerably faster and easier.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit Image by, courtesy of Ramon Llorensi
Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

  • Symptoms of Bad Wheel Bearings

    You may feel as if you are under attack by a tank when you hear that roaring noise of a lifted truck...

  • Wheel Bearing Failure Symptoms

    Wheels run on a pair of roller bearings, and roller bearings occasionally fail. If this happens while at highway speeds, the results...

  • What Is a CV Axle?

    Constant velocity (CV) axles and joints help to provide the forward momentum for movement and turning of a vehicle. CV joints and...

  • About Bad Axle Bearings

    Axle bearings allow car wheel axles to spin. This then allows the car to move supported by the wheel system. When bearings...

  • How to Replace Axle Bearings

    Axle bearings play a pivotal role in how your vehicle moves. They hold the axle in place, which allows for the free...

  • How to Troubleshoot a Front Axle Transmission

    The front axle transmission has the responsibility of transferring the engine's power through a system of gears to the front drive wheels....

  • How to Test an Inner CV Joint

    All front-drive and all-wheel-drive vehicles use half-shaft axles to connect the transmission to the front and sometimes rear wheel hubs. The joints...

  • Symptoms of a Broken Shaft Axle

    There are several different signs that might pop up to indicate you've bent or broken an axle shaft. A slight wobbling in...

  • Signs of a Bad CV Joint

    Constant-velocity joints allow front wheel drive systems to perform efficiently and smoothly by transferring power through a variable angle, without increasing friction...

  • Symptoms of Rear Hub Bearing Failure

    Rear hub bearings, also called wheel bearings or axle bearings, are greased bearings inside a car or truck's rear axle that allow...

  • Symptoms of a Defective CV Axle in a Car

    The CV (Constant Velocity) axle is a very important component in most rear- and front-wheel drive vehicles. By connecting two fixed rotating...

Related Searches

Check It Out

How To Travel For Free With Reward Points

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!