CV Joint Keeps Snapping

I have a 1999 Toyota Corolla which I recently hit a curb straight on with going about 30 miles an hour. Most of the damage was on the drivers side, where the wheel got bent into the fender. Some of the things that broke when this happened include the control arm, lower ball joint, Inner CV Joint, and outer tie rod, all of which I have fixed. However, soon after I did these repairs, the CV axle snapped at the inner joint again, which I fixed, and then it happened a third time. I took the wheel off to inspect what might be wrong, and noticed the CV axle appears slightly crooked which must be why it keeps snapping. What could be the reason why it’s crooked? Is it possible the strut is bent? The steering rack also snapped on impact and I have not replaced that yet. Could the steering rack also be the problem? None of the frame appears bent in any way. Thank you, I appreciate any help anyone can offer me!

This makes no sense. How can the CV joint fail when the car can’t even be driven because the rack is broken? You need to replace all the broken and bent parts, and then have an alignment done to see what else is bent and broken that you can’t see with your eyes.

The steering rack isn’t completely broken, it just has a large crack which has caused a nasty fluid leak, but it is still functional.

If this 99 Corolla has very high mileage I’d say it’s totaled. Might be anyway.


Have you replaced the entire half-shaft on that side yet? The half shaft starts at the transmission and goes all the way to and through the wheel hub and contains both the inner and outer CV joints. If you have’t replaced that part in its entirety yet, that’s where to start. The next step is then to make sure the two front wheels remain parallel to each other , less the spec’d toe, and maintain that relationship as the steering wheel is turned left and right.

Another way of saying this, when the steering is pointing straight ahead, both wheels should also be pointing straight ahead, and the projection of the axle shafts onto a horizontal plane should be oriented 90 degrees to the plane defined by the wheels.

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Significant impact, broke a lot of stuff. I’d be carefully inspecting the transaxle housing by the differential for cracks or other damage. For grins, measure the distance from wheel centers front to back on both sides and compare…


Whoa… this was not a minor issue to begin with. You have likely bent many components. Also a cracked an leaking steering rack is a Broken Steering rack…so yes…that’s busted too.

You need to be very specific in listing exactly what you replaced and did not replace here. The inner joint of the axle is the one that wears out or breaks the least often as it is not involved in steering angles like the outer joint is…its angle is usually very slight and does not differ very much at all compared to the outboard joint.

If you replaced the axle in its entirety then it should have been healthy. The only thing that is going to cause the inner joint to snap is a severe angle deflection. Whether that be from bent suspension components… OR a totally broken engine/trans mount that allows the engine and trans to jump up or move over in a severe enough angle that it overloads the inner joint…and causes it to snap.

You probably havent considered the engine and trans mounts. You can check them by opening the hood…putting your foot on the brake and giving the engine some accelerator action…see if the engine and trans are trying to jump up out of the hood… then do the same thing in reverse gear as well… Also go from D to R while lightly pressing the accel in each gear…in D the engine will try to jump one way…and in R it will jump the other. You might quickly see what is happening if a mount is the cause. It most likely is a mount…because if you broke the rack and bent the suspension…that movement of the wheel had to come from somewhere…and the axle would push against the trans and engine, severely stressing the mounts…and those mounts aren’t meant to take that sort of deflection…they can completely break…and then they sort of go back into “looking normal” at rest…yet they are completely broken…you will see if this is the case by doing the tests I described.

Just an idea. New axles do not snap at the inner joint without something like the above being true…or having a suspension severely out of allignment…but suspension is very obvious… the engine and trans mounts are not so obvious…so do those tests I described above with the hood open or off…to see.

I sold my 99 Corolla last year for $500. The repair will probably cost 3 time that amount.

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Ha ha, yeah, it only has 230,000 miles.

Interesting, I will definitely have to test that out! I’ve replaced pretty much every suspension component besides the strut, so you are probably onto something suggesting it might be a transmission or engine mount. Thank you for your reply and long description!

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No problem @support_163027 … as most on this site are well aware, I tend to ramble. But I personally like to think that spelling it out the way I seem to do is helpful (it at least attempts to speak to the motive behind my suggestions) If so much verbiage was not helpful, I apologize.

I think fast, type faster and tend to be verbose.

I am seeking counseling for this as well.

Join the club. :wink: (I plead guilty as charged. :grin:)


SInce you did the repair yourself, how tight did you get the axle nut? The spec varies from car to car, but even on small cars like a Corolla, it’s probably over 100 foot-lbs. That’s REAL tight.

Old timers think it looks like a wheel bearing nut and leave it snug. That will damage the wheel bearing and more, and could be responsible for your failures. Swap your entire driveshaft for a rebuilt one (shouldn’t cost too much) and make sure the new one is REAL tight.