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Worn cv joint - what are the symptoms?

Help and Advice on Volvo's extremely popular car line, powered by Volvo's nearly indestructible, versatile inline 5-cylinder engine.
1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
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Worn cv joint - what are the symptoms?

Postby Free2drive! » 19 Mar 2011, 10:02

Hi

My cv boot has split and sprayed grease everywhere!

I know I can change the boot but will probably change the cv joint.

How do I know the cv joint is worn out?

Thanks
Matt
94 turbo 150 000 miles auto.
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Re: Worn cv joint - what are the symptoms?

Postby jtp » 19 Mar 2011, 15:07

When my CV joints wore out there was a clicking noise when I turned the vehicle. It was loud and distinct so if you haven't heard it then I would guess your's are OK.

It wasn't too bad a job to just replace the whole CV joint. There's a bunch of stuff around here to read on it.
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Re: Worn cv joint - what are the symptoms?

Postby jtp » 19 Mar 2011, 20:51

One more thing I thought of- I used an after market axle piece/cv joint that was visibly not as hefty and solid as the OEM parts we removed. I think the OEM part for one side of the car is 7-800 so most people go with aftermarket.

If you've got a chance to preserve the OEM parts it might be worthwhile to just re-grease the joint and replace the boot, which is also cheaper.
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Re: Worn cv joint - what are the symptoms?

Postby Ozark Lee » 19 Mar 2011, 20:53

Changing the boot is every bit as hard, actually more work, than just changing the axle but boots are cheaper than axles. If it isn't clacking yet there is a decent post in Bay 13 on changing the boot.

http://volvospeed.com/volvo_repairs_how ... ement.html

...Lee
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Re: Worn cv joint - what are the symptoms?

Postby rhanke » 20 Mar 2011, 17:07

Would like to ask a followup question about the symptoms described, hearing the clicking noise when turning the wheel. So had been told a ways back since my boots had ripped would need new CV joints at some point so apparently I am there since have the symptoms described. Since I have had these symptoms for a while now though, am now wondering how urgent it is to get new axles/CV joints in my 97 850T5 with 160K on it? Meaning is it at least safe to continue driving it to work 30 miles a day while I explore parts/service options/prices? Or once you get to clicking symptoms are the CV joints truly on last legs and in danger of imminent failure or anything like that?
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Re: Worn cv joint - what are the symptoms?

Postby kcodyjr » 20 Mar 2011, 18:43

I drove my 1996 855 for about 20K with that clicking driving me up the wall - it was only bad when I'd step on it while turning.

I have just recently replaced them with aftermarket axles, and likely I'll now rebuild the OEMs while driving on the replacements, then stick 'em in a closet until the aftermarkets fail somehow.

From what I've told, once the boot is torn, joint failure is inevitable. That said the only time I've ever seen one let go was on 1993 Taurus. Still, it could happen, so if you're going to push your luck, make sure you've got good parking brakes and a cellphone. When it goes, the transmission will neither propel the car nor hold it still in Park.
1997 850 GLT sedan, 152K and WHOOHOO!
RIP 1996 850 wagon, 201K, hit by a runaway 4-wheeler
RIP 1996 850 GLT sedan 5spd, 260K, rearended someone
RIP 1986 245 boring, 200K, rusted beyond inspectability
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Re: Worn cv joint - what are the symptoms?

Postby jtp » 20 Mar 2011, 21:34

I drove mine with the clicking for a long time, not saying it's a good idea, just saying I did.
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Re: Worn cv joint - what are the symptoms?

Postby jblackburn » 20 Mar 2011, 22:01

Not a great idea - the joints can seize up and explode without warning.
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Re: Worn cv joint - what are the symptoms?

Postby Ozark Lee » 22 Mar 2011, 08:22

I noticed that my son's car had a slight clack when I last drove it a month or so before he went back to school last fall which is about 125 miles away. I honestly don't know how much he drives while he is at school but as he was trying to get home for Thanksgiving the axle blew up and stranded him. I have known about the bad boot for a couple of years and I had a new axle waiting for him to get home.

I guess the moral to the story, from my experience, is that they can survive quite a while with a split boot but once they start clacking you are on very limited time.

...Lee
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Re: Worn cv joint - what are the symptoms?

Postby JC in Geneva » 22 Mar 2011, 11:25

Sorry about your exploding axel.....especially since you were going to repair it. Glad no one was injured.

About 18 months ago I had had a clicking noise on turning right for a couple of years but could see no cracks in the CV boots.

It finally got bad enough that I took it in to a French Volvo dealer near the house.... unhappy story follows.

It was not the CV boots or joints they said.

They proceeded to replace the steering rack ( never heard of anyone actually needing one of those on a car with only 98K).

That didn't fix the noise so they replaced the 'bevel gear' that connects the front and rear drive shafts.

We are up to about $3,500 at this point, a staggering amount above the $1,200 they quoted when I dropped it off but they tell me no less than 9 times that the car is great now and I figure well they have my car and at least the problem is fixed.

I pay them...drive to the first corner and hear the same noise!!!

Immediately return and demand a refund....nothing doing.
But we will replace it with a drive shaft from one of our old cars at cost.

When I point out that is obviously the source of the noise and that makes the other repairs not only useless but fraudulent they get a little huffy and still refuse a refund and when I ask them to replace the old parts they also refuse that as well.

They then offer to install a used drive shaft from one of their older cars for sale into my car at cost.

I say I am not really interested in putting a critical used part in my car that may only last another couple of months and ask again for a refund.

The owner of the dealership says I am being unreasonable.
And I say the owner is a thief.
He gets very angry.

I leave and drive straight to another dealer in Geneva, Switzerland, about 20 miles, the car makes the noise when turning the whole way.

They put it on a 4 pin lift and drive the car in the air with all four wheels turning and immediately point to the drive shaft as the cause of the noise. A bit odd because it doesn't make any noise driving in a straight line at any speed.

Another 1,000 bucks and it is fixed.

I send a four page fax to the CEO of Volvo in Sweden outlining every step of this process asking for a refund.

Their head PR man writes back and says that Volvo dealership is not an official dealership so they can't help.

When I send him photos of the dealership with all of the new Volvos and Volvo signs all over their Volvo dealership and ask the PR guy where are they stealing all of these new Volvos from he never bothers to answer, perhaps because this happens just as Volvo is being bought by Geely.....can only hope he was one of the first to be cut.

The moral I guess is find an honest Volvo mechanic, there are plenty of them out there, I had a great shop, Independent Volvo of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

But the other moral is to also check the Volvo forums before you take your car into the shop.

Good luck to anyone with "CV" noise but check the drive shaft as well.

regards from Geneva, Switzerland
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Re: Worn cv joint - what are the symptoms?

Postby kcodyjr » 22 Mar 2011, 12:16

No idea how things work in Switzerland, but here in the States, I'd be involving the Better Business Bureau to tarnish their reputation far and wide, and possibly the state Attorney General to go after their business license, and possibly taking them to civil court seeking restitution.

They charged you 3x the estimate for repairs that did not fix the original complaint, and another dealership pointed directly at the problem in a matter of moments; on top of that, hundreds of shadetree mechanics on MVS read your story and said "yup, driveshafts".

You should have demanded your used parts so you could prove they replaced non-defective parts. If they refuse to give them to you, then (here, anyway), you'd be able to call the police and have them arrested on the spot; the used parts are still your property, and keeping them without your consent is theft.

Jerks like this give the stealerships their bad name. It's probably their fault Volvo couldn't post the profits it needed to.
1997 850 GLT sedan, 152K and WHOOHOO!
RIP 1996 850 wagon, 201K, hit by a runaway 4-wheeler
RIP 1996 850 GLT sedan 5spd, 260K, rearended someone
RIP 1986 245 boring, 200K, rusted beyond inspectability
RIP 1981 242 turbo 5spd, 300K, serious teenage crash
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