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The Essential Guide to CV Joints for Cars and Bakkies: Your Questions Answered

Friday, January 5, 2024
Discover the essentials of CV joints for cars and bakkies: signs of wear, impact of failure, maintenance tips, and when to seek professional repair. Keep your ride smooth and safe with Motolek.
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Whether you're cruising in your car or carrying a heavy load in your bakkie, the smooth operation of your vehicle depends significantly on a small, yet crucial component: the Constant Velocity (CV) joint. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into everything you need to know about CV joints, ensuring your ride remains smooth and safe.

What is a CV Joint?

CV joints, or Constant Velocity joints, are a type of universal joint found in front-wheel-drive cars and many rear-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive vehicles, including bakkies. These joints are critical in transferring power from the engine and transmission to the wheels, allowing them to turn at a constant speed, regardless of angle.

What Does It Do?

CV joints are the pivot point that allows the wheels to turn and the suspension to move, all while delivering consistent power to the wheels, ensuring a smooth and stable ride, especially when turning or driving on uneven surfaces.

How to Tell if Your CV Joints Need Repair or Replacement

Warning signs include a noticeable clicking noise when turning, a greasy mess in the wheel area, or a vibration while driving. These symptoms often indicate wear or damage and signal that it's time for a check-up.

What Happens if a CV Joint Fails?

A failed CV joint can compromise the safety and control of your vehicle. It can lead to a loss of power to the wheels and, in extreme cases, the wheel locking up or coming loose.

How Long Do CV Joints Typically Last?

Typically, CV joints last anywhere between 70,000 to 150,000 kilometers, depending on driving conditions and vehicle maintenance.

Can You Drive with a Damaged CV Joint?

Driving with a damaged CV joint is not recommended. While you might be able to drive for a short distance, continued use can cause further damage and potentially lead to a dangerous situation.

Is It Expensive to Replace CV Joints?

The cost of replacing CV joints can vary. It depends on the make and model of your vehicle, the severity of the damage, and labor costs. Early detection often leads to more affordable repairs.

Can You Replace a CV Joint Yourself?

Replacing a CV joint is a complex task that requires specific skills and tools. It's typically recommended that this job is left to professional mechanics to ensure safety and efficacy.

How Do You Maintain Your Vehicle's CV Joints?

Regular inspections and maintenance are key. This includes checking for cracks or damages in the CV boot (the protective covering), and ensuring there's no grease leakage. Avoiding extreme driving conditions can also prolong their lifespan.

Are There Different Types of CV Joints?

Yes, the two main types are fixed joints (used on the drive wheel side) and plunge joints (found on the wheel side). Each serves a different function in the vehicle's drivetrain.

What's the Difference Between a CV Joint and a U-Joint?

While both are types of universal joints, they differ in design and application. U-joints (universal joints) are more commonly used in rear-wheel and four-wheel-drive vehicles, typically in the driveshaft, while CV joints are primarily used in front-wheel-drive and many modern rear-wheel-drive vehicles.


Understanding the importance of CV joints in your car or bakkie is crucial for a safe and smooth driving experience. Regular maintenance and timely repairs are key to ensuring the longevity and efficiency of these essential components.

Don't let CV joint issues put a damper on your driving experience. Contact Motolek today for expert advice, inspection, and repair services. Our team of skilled technicians is ready to ensure your vehicle runs smoothly and safely. Reach out to us now for all your CV joint needs!

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