Automotive Q & A

Constant Velocity Joint Replacement

Question: How does a constant velocity joint work?

Answer: Constant velocity, or CV, joints are used to connect your vehicle’s transmission to your wheels. CV joints are part of the driveshaft and are used primarily on front-wheel drive vehicles, but they are also used in rear- and four-wheel drive vehicles. Each drive wheel has two CV joints: the inner joint connects the transmission to the axle, and the outer joint connects the axle to the wheel. The CV joint’s name comes from its ability to move with your vehicle’s suspension in any direction (if your vehicle hits a pothole or an uneven surface) and still be able to keep the drive wheels moving at a constant velocity. The CV joint is a very special joint: it connects two different rotating shafts. These two rotating shafts are stuck in a fixed position; so, the CV joint must be able to move and bend to keep these two shafts connected. CV joints are being used in newer vehicles and are taking the place of the old “U” joints. The CV joint is able to transmit even levels of torque to the wheels continually no matter what angle it’ in. This means that no matter how many potholes you hit, or if the vehicle is turning, the CV joint will keep the drive wheels moving at a constant velocity.

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