Civic Front Axles

Due to the clicking-ratcheting sound my 1997 Civic makes when I make hard turns or U turns, two mechanics (one drove the car) say that I need two new front axles at a cost of $400 ($200 each). I have driven the car like this for maybe a couple thousand miles before I looking into it. How much longer can I drive it like this before it gets dangerous or fails? I now only make gentle turns and so minimize the clicking-ratcheting sounds that happen only on hard or aggressive turns. The car only has 76,000 miles on it. Is it dangerous to keep driving it?

If a CV joint completely fails the vehicle won’t move.

I usually wait until the CV joint starts making a loud clacking noise while turning, then I replace it.


Tell your mechanic you want NEW aftermarket axles, not remanufactured axles. The cost difference is only a couple of dollars but remans are prone to failure.\%2C+Suspension+%26+Steering,wpn_cat_name:Axles\%2C+Driveshaft+%26+4WD,wpn_scat_name:Axle+Assemblies+%26+Shafts).

Your mechanic is giving you a fair price.

new axles are made in china and cheap I would use rebuilds from a good rebuilder

Big Mark, I guess I have never found a good rebuilder because every reman I have had has been crap. On the other hand, the new axles made in China have been reasonably good. They don’t have the same finish quality as a brand new factory axle, but the fit and the quality of the CV joints is just as good and at about a fourth the cost of factory new.

Remember, this isn’t a new car here but I don’t think he wants to keep replacing the axles every year or two in the future where a new axle from China will serve him well for the next 8 to 10 years.


“I don’t think he wants to keep replacing the axles every year or two . . .”

That is EXACTLY what I had to do after buying brand new Chinese axles

My labor is free, but it gets real old, real fast

On the other hand, I’ve had much better luck with remanned axles

A good solution would be to take your axleshafts to a local rebuilder. I’ve done this, the price was very reasonable, and the parts held up very nicely.

Just remember China is good for high volume low quality. They don’t do so well on high volume high quality or low volume high quality. Just their niche. That’s why Harbor Freight will sell stuff for $10 that quality stuff that looks the same will cost $100. I personally haven’t had a problem with Napa reman axles but then my sample size is pretty low.

Harbor Freight tools MIGHT be fine if you’ll only use them a few times