Why a Broken CV Axle Could Mess Up Your Transmission

The CV axle is a crucial component in the transmission of your car. It is what connects the driveshaft to the differential, which in turn sends power to your wheels. If this axle breaks, it can cause serious problems with your transmission.

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Can a broken CV axle mess up your transmission?

The answer is yes, it absolutely can. If the CV axle breaks and leaves the driveshaft off-center in the differential, then power will not be transmitted to your wheels properly.

A broken CV axle could mess up your vehicle’s transmission and this is why it is important to get it repaired as soon as possible. The CV joint, or the constant velocity joint, which connects the driveshaft to the differential carrier, has a bearing inside that depends on grease for lubrication. If that bearing becomes dry then it will make noise and wear out faster than normal, which can affect the transmission in more than one way.

What happens when the CV axle breaks?

First of all, if there is no tension on the driveshaft then it will not be able to drive the wheels that are attached to it. This means that you will not have any propulsion unless you have an automatic transmission where you can drive your vehicle by pressing the gas pedal.

Secondly, if a CV axle breaks then it will cause the driveshaft to bend and may even fall out of place inside the differential carrier, which is not good for any type of transmission because that means that you can’t get power transferred up through your drivetrain as smoothly as before.

How do I know if my CV axle is bad?

If your CV axle goes bad, you will feel the vibrations and you might notice that your car is not running smoothly. If it gets bad enough, then the axle has broken completely in two, which will cause power to be sent back through the transmission making it grind or slip as gears change.

How hard is it to replace a CV joint?

As you know, the CV joint or constant velocity joint connects the driveshaft to the differential carrier. This bearing inside has to be greased so that it will not wear out and there will be no noise coming from it. Obviously, if a CV axle breaks then you will have to replace the whole thing and not just the driveshaft. Changing a CV axle is difficult and it requires that you use car ramps or jack stands so that you can get under the vehicle easily.

It also requires some basic hand tools, such as a ratchet set, torque wrench, and socket wrenches. You will also need to make sure that all of your drain plugs are off before starting your work because they could break while taking apart the CV axle.

After you jack up the vehicle and put it on car ramps, then take off your wheel covers or hubs so that you can remove the wheels easily. You will find a cross member in between each of your tires which is what needs to be removed first before getting down to removing any bolts holding the differential carrier onto the transmission.

Once the differential carrier is out, you will see the CV joint and driveshaft. You must disconnect one end of it from the axle by loosening or removing any bolts that are holding them together. Make sure not to forget this step because otherwise, your new part won’t fit in properly!

Should you replace both CV axles at the same time?

A CV axle is not a part that can be replaced easily. If one of these breaks, most likely you should replace both of them together in order to repair your vehicle. It’s generally cheaper to replace both at the same time than to do one at a time.

What does a damaged CV joint sound like?

If you hear a clicking or popping noise coming from the front of your vehicle, then it is possible that you have a bad CV joint. You may also notice that your car is not running as smoothly as normal and this could be because of the CV joint.

How long can you drive on a damaged CV joint?

If you have a broken CV axle and are wondering how long you can drive on it before the damage will affect your transmission, it really depends. The worst-case scenario is that your car will stop moving if there’s no tension on the driveshaft, but this isn’t very likely if you’ve got an automatic transmission.

There’s also a risk that the driveshaft could bend or even fall out of place inside the differential carrier which is not good for any type of transmission. You’ll feel vibrations and notice that your car may not be running smoothly if the CV axle gets bad enough, or worse, it goes bad completely in two and power goes back through the transmission making grinding or slipping noises as gears change.

How can you tell the difference between bad CV joints and bad wheel bearings?

One way to tell the difference between bad CV joints and bad wheel bearings is to test the noise levels. A bad CV joint will squeal when you turn the wheel, but a bad wheel bearing will produce a rattling sound.

Another way to tell the difference is by observing which surface, the inside, or the outside is newer. The inside of the CV joint that connects on top of your axle will usually be shiny and new, while your outside tire treads will be much older than your inner surfaces.


Can a broken CV axle mess up your transmission? The answer is yes. CV axles are not something that can be easily replaced, so it is important to know the signs of a bad CV axle. If your vehicle becomes difficult to drive or you notice any strange noises coming from the front end, then it may be time for new CV axles on all four wheels. The good news is that replacing a damaged CV joint isn’t too expensive and most car dealerships will do this service for free if they’re doing other repairs at the same time. You can also find plenty of videos and tutorials online about how to replace them yourself as well.


5 Symptoms of a Bad CV Joint (and Replacement Cost)