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Old 03-26-2012, 09:06 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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Default What are signs of a bad cv axle?

Car '96 Accord EX

I am getting this vibration from about 55-65 mph. To me it would suggest a wheel balancing problem however, I have added to front tires and they have been balanced. I took the car to the Honda dealer to get it aligned and check out this vibrating. An experienced tech (30+ years) says that the drivers axle is bad. I guess that is reasonable but there were no tears in the boots when I looked at them. So I am asking what you guys think.
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:26 AM   #2
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ask for clarification from tech. Get him to print out a diagram and point out the exact spot he thinks is the problem. "Your Axel is Bad" is very non-specific. "axel" could mean many different parts other than cv's

Half shaft assemblies for the 1996 Accord V6 can be bought at Rockauto for $40.00.
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:44 AM   #3
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I'm curious how he came to that conclusion.

I had a similar problem recently, I would consider myself an experienced home mechanic and I was still very surprised at how much a bad/unbalanced tire could feel like front end problems.

I would still try swapping tires front/back.

Usually a half shaft will make creaking/popping noises, generally as you're backing out and turning at a sharp angle. It's possible that he noticed a balance weight had fallen off.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:16 AM   #4
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On an older Civic SI, I replaced the CV joints several times.

How much mileage do you have?

If I recall correctly, I would first notice a noise in low speed turns... a bit of a clicking noise. Don't remember it ever causing a vibration at speed.

That said, many car repair places give their "service managers" quotas ...

Normally, when my car was out of warranty, I found it better to take to an independent mechanic.

If it fits into your schedule, I suspect that you would benefit from a second opinion.

Best of luck,
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:56 AM   #5
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Outer joint will be clicking while the wheel is turned.

Inner joint you will have vibration when you accelerate. I had this happen on my saab and it felt like the wheel was about to fall off during even light acceleration. I believe that the theory on this is the inner tripod bearing slowly wears on the surfaces that the tripod assembly is in contact with. I ended up swapping my left and right axles to resolve the issue as I cannot get an entire new cv-joint for that car.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:29 AM   #6
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I have had a similar problem on a 1996 and a 2003 Accord. On each, one of the inner CV axles had worn a little, causing a high speed vibration which did not go away with multiple wheel balances and rotations. On my 1996, there was no visible sign or looseness to the axles. On my 2003, the inner joint had a little (very little) play in it. On both cars, the axles had excess of 100K on them. I replaced them, and both cars smoothed out at high speed! Not sure how you can correctly diagnose them without a tear in the boot or loss of grease while they are on the car. Outer CV joints are easier, as they normally start making noise in a turn.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:52 AM   #7
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I had this problem on my 07 Sonata. Turns out I had a slightly bent rim, that a few tire shops never bothered to notice. a few days at a rim shop it was straightened and my car drives fine now. Low speeds up to 55-60ish where fine but after that it was like someone flipped a switch.

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