Top 08 Best CV Axle – Reviews and Buying Guide in 2020
If you own a front-wheel-drive car, cv axles are your savior. Some rear and four-wheel drive cars also use cv axles as an important part of their mechanical infrastructure.
However, if they remain unchecked and go, rogue, the savior can turn into the villain in no time, costing you tons of money in repairs or worse in medical bills.
CV axle failures have been widely determined as the major cause of traffic accidents due to technical difficulties.
So, you can understand the importance of choosing the best cv axles for your car.
“But, how?” you may ask. Well, that’s exactly what this guide will show you. Read on to know more about the top models on the market and how you can choose them.
Top 8 Best CV Axles Reviews
1. Cardone Select, Cardone New CV Axle 66-5235
They say a horse is no good if you ain’t got the right spurs. We believe the same relationship can be drawn between an FWD car and its cv axles. However, 66-5235 is one of the most efficient “spurs” you can get for your modern-day horse.
The boot is made of neoprene, a synthetic rubber produced from polymerized chloroprene. This material provides the boot with superior chemical endurance and can function spontaneously under high temperatures. As a result, the chances of a boot failure becomes eliminated. The number of bellows is increased to improve shock resistance and manage tricky turns.
Inside the bellow, grease is used for a flawless rotation. It is a 3-percent moly grease, derived from naturally occurring mineral molybdenite. It is widely used for its efficacy to smooth out sliding-friction between dual metal surfaces under a strong impact.
The entire tool is designed with the company’s patented CSE (Cardone's Selected Engineered) tech. This technology employs reverse engineering to detect past flaws, resulting in a constant improvement in the manufacturing process.
Precision-rolling technology is used to produce threads at the axle's end and internal teeth known as splines to provide them a perfect finish. This feature also makes the replacement process easy and spontaneous.
The entire diameter of the transmission seal is heat-treated and has an automated (machine) finish for an exact & secure fit, while increasing longevity of the entire product.
The manufacturer uses more than 24 years of building experience to ensure the cv axle matches the OEM part in fitting, mechanism, and quality. They check each product individually by a certified engineer to ensure no axle leaves the factory in imperfect condition.
The splines ensure a precise fitting of the inner axle to the transaxle using a mating hub. The transaxle is connected to the transmission, which is responsible for delivering torque to the wheels. Thus, the quality spline is a must-have for the axles.
Cardone Select manufactures splines using a process called “chasing”, which hardens them without changing the form and depth of the ridges, ensuring you get the highest quality splines.
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2. DRIVE TECH AMERICA, 2 New Premium CV Axles Front left-right Pair HO20222023
This is one of those products that’s got you covered on “both sides”, if you catch our drift.
The package comes with 2 pieces of factory-fresh cv axles. Thus, it contains cv axles for both the driver’s side and the front seat passenger’s side. It is designed for front-wheel-drive cars.
Weighing at only 15-pounds, the axles are specifically designed to be fitted with the Honda Civic (Automatic) series with a 1.8-liter engine. However, the axles are compatible with all models of the series ranging from when it was first introduced (at 2006) to 2011.
The axles use industry-grade synthetic rubber (polychloroprene) to manufacture the boots. Thus, the boots achieve superior endurance capability and become resistant to swift temperature changes over a wide range. These features prevent cracking of the boot’s surface, erasing the possibilities of having a greasy engine and unlubricated axles.
The boots contain a uniquely processed grease, also known as molybdenum disulfide grease (which contains a minimum of 3-percent moly, a black concrete substance). CV axles use joints that contain both tripod and ball bearings, which perform under high impact. This type of grease helps the bearings stay fit and functional under this situation and protects against shock-loading.
The center shaft is made from premium steel. The splines (a circular combination of connector teeth) as well as the threads are machine-manufactured for a spontaneous installation and a secure fit.
The HO2022 and HO2023 are designed to function under atmospheres with extreme conditions. The axles are certified by both QS 9000 (for older models) and ISO 9002 (for newer models). They are considered as one of the most well-engineered cv axles made in the USA and offer a guaranteed mileage of 1200 miles. The product also includes installation nuts, ABS rings, and dust shields.
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3. Detroit Axle, Both Front Driver Left and Passenger Right CV Axle Drive Shafts and Both Front Wheel Hub & Bearings
How many times have you said to yourself, “I could avoid this monstrous repair fee if only I took the time to buy a quality replacement part”?
We know because we had the same conversation in our head as well. However, this product is about to put an end to those conversations in your head.
The package contains two factory-fresh front cv axles, one designated for the driver’s flank, and another for the passenger’s side. Each axle weighs 39.5-pounds. The product also includes a completely new bearing assembly kit and front wheel hub.
The product is compatible with various automobile models. For example, the 2007 Buick Rainier, the Chevy Trailblazer, GMC Envoy (2002 to 2007), 2003 Oldsmobile Bravada, etc.
The axle boot has a 5.9-inch diameter flange. They are designed for wheels that use 3.618-inch diameter hub pilots with 4.75-inch diameter flat circular bolts. The axle is also functional with M12X, 1.5-inch standard bolts with 6-lug designed wheels. In general, it uses circular bolts with 5-inch diameters.
The product has a sensor wire in place instead of a sensor ring for allowing the automatic-lock brake system (ABS) to function properly. It uses high-quality splines with a detailed 27 teeth count.
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4. GSP, Axle Shaft Assembly Left or Right Front (Driver or Passenger Side) NCV12183 CV
GSP takes designing axles and executing that design through innovative engineering to a new level with this product.
The 19.96-pound cv axle has a dimension of (26.38 x 6.69 x 6.69)-inches, with a compressed length of 23.5625-inch. It can be used either as the driver or passenger side front axle. The external joint connecting to the wheel has 33 teeth spline, while the internal joint connecting to the transaxle offers a 29 teeth spline.
The boot is manufactured from high-quality synthetic rubber known as polychloroprene. Popularly recognized as neoprene, it has a phenomenally stable chemical structure. Thus, it makes the boot impervious to extreme shock, pressure, scratches and tearing. It also keeps the axle functional through quick and strong degrees of temperature change.
GSP employs the industry favorite 3-percent molybdenum disulfide infused grease to lubricate the joints and the boot. This is done at their factory at the time of assembling the product. The temperature-resistant grease reduces friction between metal surfaces and protects them from getting worn out, allowing the axle to function smoothly.
The product is made from industry-grade raw substances, using “CNC Machine” technology. This tech designs the axle in 3D graphics and converts that into exact measurement inputs to cut out and assemble the final product. As a result, you receive a cv axle with flawless quantification.
The axle also secures its infrastructure with rust-resistant stainless-steel clamps and uses an anti-twist center shaft with high impact management ability. It is specifically built to function, fit, and match with compatible OE parts.
Each axle is checked by a quality maintenance inspector before leaving the factory. It is equipped with the ABS sensor ring which allows the anti-lock brake to work properly. According to the manufacturer, the abs ring won’t interfere with the mechanism of vehicles not originally compatible with the ABS. However, an anti-lock brake is only available if the OE part demands it.
The company is certified by the ISO/TS16949 standard and conducts its manufacturing process in a green and energy-saving way.
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5. Detroit Axle, Complete Pair (Front Left & Right CV Axle Shaft Assembly)
We present to you another fantastic pair of front cv axles by Detroit Axle.
The product contains two cv axles. They are designed for FWD (front-wheel drive) cars. Each axle weighs about 20-pounds with a length of 21-inches. The internal spline is a bolt-on design with six holes, while the outer spline exhibits 33 teeth in total. The interior of the axle is drafted according to a can-shaped figure.
The boot is constructed purely from a neoprene rubber. So, it can prevent ozone from causing surface deterioration. A neoprene boot also offers protection against cracking, stretching and tearing due to its tough chemical architecture.
Manufactured and assembled exclusively in Detroit, Michigan, the axles use 3-percent molybdenum disulfide mixed grease. This particular element provides superior liquidity to the grease while maintaining a strong chemical bond. As a result, the parts of the axle can smoothly function through the boot and manage high-level impacts and temperature at the same time.
The company uses fully chased splines to make them durable without deforming the structure. It produces quality and detailed spline teeth that allow the axle a secure installation using the mating hub to connect to the transmission through the transaxle.
The threads conserve the same level of quality. They too are completely chased with clearly defined ridges, making equipping the axle ends/nuts secure and easy. The overall engineering made us consider this product as one of the most reliable cv axles for lifted trucks.
This is one of the best CV axle products when it comes to wide-range compatibility. They are functional with automobiles like 2003 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (four-wheel drive), 2001 GMC Sierra 1500 (two-wheel drive), etc. However, the axles are only compatible with wheels that use a 6 lug-nut (4x4) design.
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6. ECCPP, Rear Left/Right CV Axle
We think to ECCPP, “the devil is in the details” and they are dedicated to chasing the devil out to its very end. Take a moment to find out if they made good on the statement we just made.
The axle weighs 13.92-pounds. It has a dimension of (24.8 x 3.94 x 3.94)-inches. The boot is built from thickened (heavy-gauge) neoprene rubber. Thus, it provides a completely sealed atmosphere, eliminating the entrance of any compromising substances such as dust, debris, acidic compounds, etc.
The rubber also protects the quality deterioration of the boot’s surface by blocking ozone. It has an increased number of bellows on the boot to improve shock resistance which leads to fewer tears and cracks, one of the prime reasons behind cv axle failures.
The famous moly grease is used to keep the axle functional under extreme temperatures. It further ensures all of the axle parts (e.g. bearings, bellow movement, etc.) can happen smoothly and without wear.
However, it’s the engineering on usually ignored parts that really makes this product one of the most efficient rear cv axles in the market. The company employs “CNC Machine” tech to cut out the product with errorless precision.
It uses AISI4340 alloy steel to manufacture the center shaft. The steel contains a significant amount of chromium and molybdenum along with other components, providing the shaft with an unbeatable load-bearing capacity. This feature allows you to drive safely and with control even on rough terrains with minimal amounts of vibration.
To toughen the bearings, “Induction hardening” (a type of heat treatment technology) is used. The CNC Machine cut axle provides a flawless transfer of torque from the transmission to the wheels. Thus, the term “constant velocity axle” comes alive as the axle does transfer the torque at a steady speed throughout an entire driving session.
The product is fit to exchange OEM parts for models like 2003 Polaris Sportsman 400 and 2005 Polaris Sportsman 800.
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7. Detroit Axle, Front CV Axle Drive Shafts Pair Assembly
Detroit Axle is a known name in the aftermarket automotive parts industry and this product presents ample evidence for why that reputation has persisted.
The product contains 1 front cv axle (part no. 150) on the driver’s side and another one (part no. 113A) on the passenger’s side. Each axle has a weight of 20-pounds and a length of 31-inches.
The boots are made from high-quality neoprene rubber. Neoprene has excellent chemical stability which allows the boot to resist harmful elements like ozone. The bellows are thickened with an increased number of folds. This feature gets added with the boots’ synthetic rubber body, providing your axles with a phenomenal structural strength that is highly resistant to any type of chipping or cracking.
Besides, the boots use a highly acclaimed grease infused with a 3-percent molybdenum disulfide. The grease increases the boots’ spontaneity of movement and reduces the severity of impacts while keeping the axle functional through a versatile range of temperature.
With completely chased threads and splines, the manufacturer shows the accuracy standard their engineering is capable of. The finely tuned spline teeth ensure that the axle locks in securely to the transmission through the transaxle using the mating hub. The chased threads further secure the installation by allowing the axle-ends to fit in properly.
The axles are specifically manufactured to perfectly fit the OEM measurements of the compatible models. The circular stainless steel clamp fitted design makes the build more robust.
The product can be used with various famous models such as the 2003 Buick Century, 1997 Buick Regal, 2000 Pontiac Montana, etc.
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8. Drive Tech America, Front Left Right Pair Premium CV Axles GM61126112
When we were purchasing one of these pairs for reviewing purposes, the salesperson said “Once you go DTA, you don’t go back”. After the review we realized, the salesperson wasn’t wrong. Drive Tech America does produce some damn good axles.
The package contains two factory-fresh front cv axles. So, it offers axles for both the front passenger’s side and the driver’s flank for compatible automobiles.
It is designed according to the standards of OEM parts and is manufactured to perfection for providing you a spontaneous installation and secure fitting. The product also includes extra ABS rings, dust shields, and axle nuts for appropriate models.
Each axle weighs about 18 to 20-pounds. It uses industrial quality neoprene boots to resist strong impacts, offering you a vibration-free ride. The boots are also highly praised for their ability to remain functional during high-temperature fluctuations.
The uniquely formulated grease with a high molybdenum disulfide count helps to lessen the wearing of metal surfaces due to internal friction. It also helps to manage extreme temperature situations.
The center-shaft, which takes on most of the heavy impacts drawn on the axle, is produced from premium quality stainless steel to ensure a durable product.
The company uses modern tech to produce precisely measured and cut threads and splines to ensure an easy equipping process with a highly secure fit. This process prevents future breakdowns and machine failures while the car is running.
The axles have ISO 9002 (new standard) and QS 9000 (older standard) certification. This can ensure you about the standard of the overall quality of the product. They offer an average of 12000 miles of mileage per year.
The product is compatible with various reputed automobile brands such as The Chevrolet Suburban, Silverado, and Tahoe series, GMC Yukon and Sierra 1500 series, etc.
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CV Axles Buying Guide
1.Type of Wheel Drive
Acquiring the best aftermarket cv axles is largely dependent on recognizing the type of wheel-drive your car uses.
Modern cars that use front-wheel drive mostly use cv (constant velocity) joints, as the front wheels deal with most of the power, curvature, and traction between surfaces. Rear-wheel and four-wheel drive cars may use cv axles on the rear wheels as well.
You need to perform a thorough check on your car, physically or by going through its user manual, to determine what type of cv axles you’ll need to purchase based on the wheel-drive type.
2. Quality Of The Joints
CV axles are produced with two joints. The internal joint connects to transmission using a transaxle through a mating hub, allowing it to deliver power and torque from the engine. The external joint connects to the wheel, enhancing its spontaneity of movement (specifically curvature).
The outer joint uses tripods while the external joint uses ball bearings. The quality of the joints also depends on the cages and races used for the bearing, finish of the splines and threads at the joint-end, etc.
Thus, examine these factors while buying CV axles, as high-quality joints are necessary to enhance the technical endurance of your car.
3. Industry-Grade Boots
Get neoprene rubber boots with extra folds on the bellow. Neoprene will provide long term protection against ozone-damage, surface cracks, tearing, and extreme impacts.
Being the hardest working part of the cv axle, purchasing a durable boot should be one of your prime targets. And, the fact that more than 80-percent of cv axle failure happens due to a damaged boot leaking grease just adds to the importance of this issue.
4. Grease Can Be Good
Normally, we hate grease. It’s sticky and hard to clean. However, inside a cv axle, the scenario is different.
We recommend getting cv axles that use grease with at least 3-percent molybdenum disulfide. The grease will stay inside the boot to allow a smooth movement of the various parts of the axle.
It’ll also make the cages and bearings last longer by reducing friction between metal to metal surface and provide resistance against shock-loading.
5. Quality Of The Center Shaft
The cv axle is responsible for handling an enormous amount of impact regularly. And, since most of that heavy lifting will be done by the center-shaft, we recommend purchasing one with an industry-grade quality.
Look for CNC Machined shafts for a precise finish and choose solid metal (e.g. stainless steel) as the base material.
6. ABS Sensor Ring
An ABS sensor ring is the most integral part of the anti-lock braking system (ABS).
ABS applies the techniques of cadence and threshold braking to prevent wheel-lock when you brake. Thus, it avoids traction collision of the wheels with the road’s surface, improves steering control, and manages braking distance.
However, without a sensor ring equipped axle, the system won’t work properly. Because it’s the ring that monitors the speed and alerts the system in crucial moments. Thus, if you’re driving an ABS-equipped vehicle, make sure to get sensor ring equipped cv axles.
8. Threads And Splines
Purchase precision rolled threads with highly detailed ridges, as it’ll allow the axle nuts to fit in properly.
In terms of splines, go for a high teeth count (e.g. 31) produced with industry-grade quality. This will ensure the axle fits into the mating hub securely.
9. Quality Management
Choose axles from a company that has strong quality management in place. For example, GSP uses quality inspectors to check every part individually before they are distributed.
10. CNC Machine Technology
Choose axles that are designed with “CNC Machine” technology. This tech creates a 3D model of the product using a software (e.g. CAD) and then converts the graphical input into numerical ones.
Then, the product is cut precisely as per the given input, providing you flawless cv axles that are durable, have a great finish, and are easy to equip.
11. Fitment/Vehicle Compatibility
Check the fitment section in the product description to ensure that the axle you’re buying is compatible with your vehicle.
12. Look For Extra Features
Look for extra features like, dust rings and guards (which block the entrance of debris and dust into the axle), heat-treated parts, thermoplastic infused structure, stainless steel metal clamps, etc.
These will enhance the safety of your driving as well as increase the structural integrity of the installed parts.
When To Replace CV Axle?
You know there’s something wrong with your cv axles when 4 of the following things occur-
- You feel a slight to strong vibration while driving.
- You sense that- (a) the tires are not set right, (b) Or, making inaccurate movements, (c) Or, seem loose and shaky
- You hear clicking or mechanical noise when taking a sharp turn (e.g. a U-turn or a sudden turn)
- Making difficult turns takes more effort than usual
If these signs are spotted, you need to go do some old fashion checkup on your car. Use a lifter, tire blockers, and stands to ensure the car is safely elevated.
You can then go under the car with a flash-light and check out the situation of the axles. Under no circumstances proceed to check the cv axles without ensuring that the car is safely elevated.
Now, if the cv boot is leaked you may be able to repair it. However, if it’s broken, dust will get in and grease will leak out. As a result, you’ll have an over-greased engine with unlubricated, dirty cv axles. This can make the entire driving mechanism of your vehicle fall out of place, causing serious accidents.
Thus, if the axle boot is teared up, you can technically repair it but the risk margin would be too high. This is the time when it’s better to just replace the axles.
CV Axle Replacement Cost
Several factors can influence the price of a cv axle replacement. Such as:
1. Type Of Your Vehicle
This factor might seem obvious. Yet the price largely depends on the type and brand of your vehicle. CV axles are mostly used by front-wheel-drive cars, known as front cv axles.
Some rear-wheel and four-wheel drive cars also use cv axles, known as rear cv axles to transmit torque to the rear wheels.
Apart from the wheel-drive type, the particular model of your car will also have a significant effect on determining the replacement cost. For example, antique automobiles like a 97’ Buick Regal may demand a higher-priced axle than a 2007 GMC Sierra Classic 1500.
2. Labor Cost
The task of replacing a cv axle is considerably technical, which means it’s better to let a professional mechanic handle the matter.
However, that’ll add labor costs to your replacement budget. The labor cost will depend on the mechanic's level of skill, neighborhood reputation, and employment status.
If the person is a freelancer and doesn’t work under any particular organization, they may charge you less. However, there might be concerns about reputation, safety, and quality of service. If you intend to use a particular organization, make sure its repute. This will guarantee safety, quality of service, and can even offer refund options.
Or, you can get the best of both worlds by using a well-reviewed, online-based company. They’ll charge you less since they have low utility costs while providing all the benefits a traditional auto repair shop will offer.
3. Let’s Talk Numbers
After reviewing many physical and online shops, we’ve estimated it takes around 70 to 350 USD (depending on a multitude of factors discussed in this part) to replace cv axles. Though, after adding labor costs, the number can go up to 1000 to 1400 USD.
For parts only, the cheapest options seem to be Amazon, Walmart, and Pep Boys. For a fully covered repair job (parts + labor), Midas, Your Mechanic, and NAPA turn out to be the most cost-effective services.
4. OEM Vs Aftermarket Purchase
If you’re going for OEM parts, the price is going to go up significantly higher. For example, an OEM cv axle of 2006 Volkswagen Jetta will cost you 320 USD wherein the aftermarket part will be 130 USD.
Or, consider the 2004 Toyota Corolla which has a price tag of around 600 USD for an OEM cv axle but costs only 90 to 100 USD for an aftermarket part, drawing a price difference of more than 450 USD.
OEM parts will indeed last much longer and provide better quality while a bad after-market purchase can make that 400 USD savings turn into a 4000 USD medical bill.
However, there’s a workaround. Choose either an OEM part that’s on discount/ special offer or a well-known, widely used aftermarket brand to kill two birds with one stone.
5. Ways To Cut Cost
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Why Is It Important To Replace A Faulty CV Axle?
Answer: CV axles usually fail due to a boot-leakage. If the cv boot has a tear/crack on the surface, it will leak out the contained lubrication.
As a result, you’ll be driving a car with an over-greased engine and unlubricated axles. That can lead to several mishaps such as: losing control of the car while taking a turn, imprecise wheel movement, sudden skidding, internal combustion, etc.
Thus, it’s extremely important to replace a faulty axle as soon as possible.
2. What Is “Fitment”?
Answer: “Fitment” is usually a section in the product description that reveals all the specific models the cv axle you intend to buy is compatible with. Make sure your vehicle is listed in that section before making a purchase.
3.What Is 3-Percent Moly Grease?
Answer: It means a grease that contains 3-percent molybdenum disulfide in its chemical structure. This type of grease has superior impact and temperature resistance and therefore widely used in the automobile repair industry.
4. Should I Change The Entire Drive Shaft?
Answer: Some experts suggest changing the entire drive shaft instead of replacing a particular cv axle.
Following this process brings down labor cost, technical difficulty of the repair job, and can offer better protection and durability in certain circumstances.
5. Can I Install CV Axles Myself?
Answer: In theory, you can.
However, there are mechanical challenges and potential risk of physical injuries involved if you’re not experienced. Thus, we recommend using a well-referenced, professional, and seasoned mechanic for installing or replacing cv axles.
According to a study conducted between 2016 to 2020, more than 80-percent of FWD car crashes that occurred due to mechanical complications point to a single factor- a failed cv axle.
A faulty cv axle is no small issue. Regularly run a maintenance checkup on your car and the moment you detect one or multiple non-functioning axles, swiftly replace them with the best cv axles you can find before going on another drive.
Since the market is overhauled by mediocre axles passing as quality products, this guide will come in handy when you’re choosing the ideal cv axle for your car.