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My right side CV Joint started to make clicking sound when making hard turns and generally making noise and vibration. The car has 95,000 miles, 10,000 of which are electric. Its a 2003 Mazda Protege5, I bought it used, so its possible the previous owner beat the crap out of drivetrain, although I seem to have no issues with any other components, knock on wood.

I never had CV Joint failure on any other car I owned, but all the research I have done points to failing CV Joint. From what I read they usually fail when the boot is torn and dirt gets inside, but the boot on mine seems to be in perfect condition.

I'm planning to replace the drive shaft with CV Joints, replacement part is not too expensive, I just placed the order with RockAuto.

So, the question to experienced car mechanics, is it unusual for CV Joint with intact boot to fail at 95K miles?
 

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It depends on how hard a life it has had. Even well lubericated ones will fail if abused.

Also, prior to you getting the car, the boot may have split and been replaced after dirt has got in and the grease got out.

Maybe it is a good time to check the otehrs for signs of wear while this one is being changed.
 

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Depends on the construction. If the joint isn't matched properly to the motor power they might very well get worn out and break, especially if you have a bad habit of giving full throttle while turning. This was a typical problem for older SAAB with the first generation turbo engines (especially since it was pretty popular to increase the turbo pressure to get more hp too) and the general advice (except to replace the joints with racing versions) were to never hit full throttle unless you were going straight.

A friend of mine used to race with old, hard trimmed SAAB 99's and he recalled that they managed to leave the start line approximately 9 times out of 10, but those 9 times they made fairly good lap times and if they'd just survived the start the joints usually survived the whole race. Those 10'th times they had to push the car off the track. :D

Oh, and those damages on the boot? The hole can be close to impossible to see. Bend the boot while you examine it, otherwise you'll never see it. The best proof there's a leak is that the grease is dirty, and by then it's usually too late anyway...
 

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So, the question to experienced car mechanics, is it unusual for CV Joint with intact boot to fail at 95K miles?
Unusual if boot is not ruptured.... it's a bit early....but certainly not impossible.
 

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Hi Dimitri

In my experience (mostly minis) the steel parts of the joint and the balls don't wear a lot, the part that wears is the ball carrier
In a mini it wears until you can feel it pulse on corners - at that stage the next hard throttle with lock on results in your balls escaping and a lack of drive.

I suspect that you will find that either the boots have small holes or cracks or that somebody had a boot fail and replaced the boot withour cleaning and re-greasing,

with a mini you can drive for thousands of miles with a bad CV as long as you lift off when you steer

Minis used a special green grease that was incredibly sticky and messy
 

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I used to have an abused Ford Contour that kept eating them every 30,000 miles or so. :D

About 100,000 miles for most cars is the expected life expectancy for this part. They are a bitch to change on a front wheel drive car.
 

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My Civic EV is on it's original CV joints and axles and I have 246,849 miles on it.

Are you sure it's the CV joint and not your rotors? I thought my CV joint on the passenger's side was going but it turned out my rotors were warped. I would get a shuttering and clicking sound at about 3,000 RPM, right before the transmission shifted and the problem went away and new rotors, brake pads and drums. You could also try reseting the CV joints into your transmission and see if that does anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My Civic EV is on it's original CV joints and axles and I have 246,849 miles on it.

Are you sure it's the CV joint and not your rotors? I thought my CV joint on the passenger's side was going but it turned out my rotors were warped. I would get a shuttering and clicking sound at about 3,000 RPM, right before the transmission shifted and the problem went away and new rotors, brake pads and drums. You could also try reseting the CV joints into your transmission and see if that does anything.
When I bought this car, front right caliper was sticking, rotors and pads were shot on all 4, so I did a full breaks maintenance, including a new caliper on front right, so the breaks are not the issue. Clicking is very pronounced, one per revolution, during hard turn, even at very low speed, then goes away once the car goes straight for a while. I understand this is a sign of failing CV Joint.

I should have listened to an advice to change half shafts when transmission was out during EV conversion, but they looked so nice and clean I didn't see a point of changing them.

Good news is that front right drive shaft attaches to a joint shaft, coming from transmission, so changing the drive shaft on this side does not require flushing AT fluid to remove the shaft from it. This makes the job a bit easier.

Thanks everyone for your feedback!
 

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I've had vehicles that needed CV joint or u-joint work every 50k miles, and others that lasted the 200k mile life of the vehicle. An overall average was probably about 100k miles. In my experience the right one needs it more often -- makes sense as right turns are tighter than left turns, so the right one gets a greater angle.

If you had a brake stuck on, that might have made enough heat to cause trouble for a CV joint (not likely, but possible).
When I bought this car, front right caliper was sticking, rotors and pads were shot on all 4, so I did a full breaks maintenance, including a new caliper on front right, so the breaks are not the issue. Clicking is very pronounced, one per revolution, during hard turn, even at very low speed, then goes away once the car goes straight for a while. I understand this is a sign of failing CV Joint.

I should have listened to an advice to change half shafts when transmission was out during EV conversion, but they looked so nice and clean I didn't see a point of changing them.

Good news is that front right drive shaft attaches to a joint shaft, coming from transmission, so changing the drive shaft on this side does not require flushing AT fluid to remove the shaft from it. This makes the job a bit easier.

Thanks everyone for your feedback!
 

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CV joint failure is rather common, particularly if you aren't the sort to have the car hoisted regularly. Bolts, other trash on the highway ruptures the boot; grease goes bye-bye; clicking commences.

If you catch a boot rupture early they can just replace the boot and re-grease.
 

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At 250,000 miles I had CV's go out on an 88 civic. The boots appeared to be intact. Changing the CV wasn't too bad. The half shaft goes through the suspention fork and we broke an M10 bolt at the bottom of the fork.
 

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Deffo not unusual, most saxo's go every 40k sometimes even less, so its not uncommon, just general wear and tear nice easy change aswell the shaft. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everyone for sharing your experience!

I replaced the passenger side half shaft and there is a significant improvement. The car rides much smoother, no more vibration or noise from the front right wheel area.

This vibration has been bugging me for a while and its totally gone now, what a relief!

:)
 
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