CV Axil - how long can I go?

So I’ve got an old '96 Maxima that I’ve been rocking for a while, but I need to replace the CV shafts/joints/axils (idk) and I’m not putting $1,000 into it. It’s currently clicking when turning, so its already bad enough to supposed to fix it.

How long do y’all recon I can drive it for? Any tell tale signs that its about to catastrophically fail so I don’t die going 70 on the highway?

I’m supposed to be hired from an intern to a full-timer this fall, so I kind of have to risk it until I get the pay boost for a newer car.

Any tell tale signs that its about to catastrophically fail?

yes when your tire falls off. fix it A.S.A.P.


LOL I’ll keep that in mind haha



Not a LOL or Ha Ha problem . Unless you are one of the 3 people in this world who do not have a credit card use it and fix this now. The interest fee on the 1000.00 will not be much more than the damage and towing charge you will have if it fails in the worst place possible . It might even be less.


The axles will last you all the way to the scene of the crash!

Glib answer but the only correct one. No one can predict how long it will last, especially from the internet.

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If the axle is clicking/knocking while turning, it means it’s the outer CV-joint that’s bad.

When a CV-joint fails on an axle, and the axle comes apart, the vehicle will just stop moving.

That image is of a vehicle with a failed/separated lower ball joint, which pulled the inner CV-joint apart.



I was trying to make a point so he would take it seriously.

You can drive all the way to the scene of the accident and no farther. :upside_down_face: :upside_down_face:


Tell tale signs of a CV joint failure is clicking while turning. You are there.

I didn’t have an accident when the CV axle failed on a car I was driving. No big deal, it just felt like shifting into neutral. That being said, no one can really say how long they’ll last once they start clicking. The car I was driving wasn’t mine, so I’m not sure how long the cv axles needed replaced before one gave up. I’d say if they just started the noise, you’ve got a little time, though.

Here’s another vote for getting the CV joints fixed ASAP.

I bet you can get it done for well under $1000 if you shop around. We recently had the CV joints replaced on my Honda Odyssey for about $500-600, out the door.

Repairing this problem later is not going to be cheaper than repairing it sooner.

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Yep, when mine failed, it started vibrating but kept going forward until I put it in reverse. Then all the ball bearings fell out and it would go no farther. When you order a new one though, order an “axle”. I don’t know what an “axil” is.


Many years ago I replaced both halfshafts in my Mercury with remans from AutoZone.
About 3 months later my wife called me from a shopping mall a 100 miles away in OK City. She said the car made a loud pop and would not move. I knew there was no way I botched a halfshaft job but figured that was the cause.

Took some tools and when I got there the halfshaft was broken. Removed it in the parking lot and found the inner race on the right side had fractured in half. Lifetime part so off to the closest AZ and soon had it going again. A frustrating way to waste a Saturday…

Kind of illustrates how quickly these things can go and in this case it was a reman unit. My suspicion was that the race had a tiny crack when it was remanned and no one caught it.
Much like the DC 10 airliner crash in Iowa; brought down by a microscopic fracture in a turbine blade no one caught.

Mine went out on the way to work. I made it into the parking garage but when I backed up it would go no more and had to push it into my stall. 50 miles away. Called the wife and listed all the tools I would need and where they were and she found them. Delivered them after work and after a trip to Champion, got to work on replacing the axle. Took a few hours but I was home in time for bed. Can’t remember if I used the compressor in the janitor’s closet or not for the nut.

A few weeks before I had made a high speed hard right turn from the freeway to the exit ramp and I always suspected that is what cracked the outer race. When you drive cars with a couple hundred thousand miles on them, ya gotta expect some problems.

Your CV has grown an axil? Did you bury it for too long?

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That picture above is of a failed lower ball joint. If a CV axle breaks it will flop around and if you’re going fast I suppose it could do some damage, but it is extremely unlikely that it would cause you to lose control of your car. Your car would start to slow down and pushing the gas pedal would rev the engine but you’d have no axle turning the wheel.

Also, a new axle installed (even both of them) should not cost anywhere close to $1k. An axle costs around $100 and there isn’t that much labor involved.