Bad CV Axle Symptoms: 4 Problems to Look for in Your Car

An axle problem can affect the performance and safety of your vehicle, so it’s important to know how to spot bad CV axle symptoms and who to hold liable for this defect. Four tell-tale signs may emerge if your car has a defective axle, such as leaking grease, shaking, humming, or clicking. Some problems, such as grease leaks, appear as a warning that a bad axle may be on the horizon. Others, like intense vibrations or shaking, may mean you already have a compromised axle. 

If your car’s bad axle symptoms are due to a manufacturing defect, your state’s lemon laws may entitle you to receive a replacement vehicle or a refund from the manufacturer. 

Robison Lemon Law Group LLC represents clients throughout the United States, including New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Georgia, and Maryland. We exclusively focus on representing clients who have a defective car and need help pursuing compensation under state and federal lemon laws. 

Consumers should not be forced to live with new or used cars with defective axles due to no fault of their own within a short period after buying the vehicle. Our lemon law lawyers advocate for consumers like you to help them recover the compensation they need to get back on the road. 

What Is a CV Axle?

A constant velocity (CV) axle is also called a half shaft. An axle is a rod or shaft that connects the engine and the wheels of a vehicle. The axle helps transfer power and torque generated by the engine to the wheels to help the car move forward, backward, and from side to side. The axle also plays a crucial role in helping to steer and stop the car.

When a car’s axle deteriorates or is faulty due to a manufacturing defect, it can have significant consequences and potentially lead to accidents. For example, if the driver cannot adequately steer the car, this can impact their ability to defensively maneuver out of the way of a road hazard. 

What Are Four Common Bad Axle Symptoms?

Sometimes, car problems strike without warning, such as getting a flat tire from running over a rusty nail while driving. In other cases, your car exhibits warning signs that something is or might be amiss. When bad axles are to blame, the most common signs include the following:

  • Intense vibrations, 
  • Clicking noises, 
  • Grease leaks, and
  • Humming noises. 

If your car exhibits these symptoms, it may be time to take it to the shop. If repeated visits to the shop don’t fix the problem or the issue poses a safety hazard, you may be entitled to compensation from the car’s manufacturer under your state’s lemon laws. For legal help, consider contacting a lemon law lawyer

1. Intense Vibrations

Axle shaft problems often cause bad vibrations through the car when the vehicle is turning, accelerating, or decelerating. The axle connects the power produced by the engine to the wheels and steering capabilities in the car. Disruptions to this connection, such as because of faulty axles or CV joints, can create a rough ride and feel. 

Vibrations caused by axle problems are typically felt throughout the car, but they tend to be strongest at the steering wheel. When your car begins showing this worrisome sign, take it to the dealership or repair shop to have a professional check it out. 

2. Clicking Noises

Another common symptom of a bad half shaft is a loud, clicking noise when the car turns or accelerates. A loose CV joint may be causing this clicking noise if the axle is worn-down. 

The CV (or constant velocity) joints connect the wheels to the axles, the transmission, and the driveshaft. When these joints start to go, the clicking noise can be very loud, especially when the car makes a sharp or fast turn. In most cases, the sound is loudest on the side of the vehicle with the faulty axle, which makes it easy to determine which axle is causing the problem. A car making clicking noises is not a good sign and should be taken to the shop fairly quickly. 

3. Grease Leaks

A grease leak is the third common sign of a bad axle. Look underneath your car and on the tires to determine if grease is escaping. Grease can bleed out of the CV boot, a rubber component of the axle that covers the CV joint and ensures it stays lubricated. If the CV boot cannot contain grease,  it does not get the lubrication it needs to run smoothly. If someone does not repair this issue quickly, it could lead to axle problems in the future.

In many cases, seeing a grease leak does not mean that your axle is damaged now, but you should address the issue as soon as possible to avoid developing axle shaft problems.

4. Humming Noises

Finally, humming noises might be your car’s way of telling you it has a bad axle. CV axles cannot perform well without proper lubrication. If there is insufficient lubrication to the joints or axle itself, the axle may start to make a loud noise that sounds like a hum or growl. Humming noises may warn you about gears or wheel bearings being damaged due to the lack of lubrication. As soon as you begin hearing humming noises, you should take your car to the shop to have a professional inspect it. Bad axles can develop quickly and may cause car accidents. 

Who Is Liable for CV Axle Problems?

A vehicle exhibiting one or more of these bad CV axle symptoms may not be safe to operate. Manufacturers often issue vehicle recalls if they identify defective axles in a particular make or model. But who is liable for these repairs if there isn’t a recall? 

Under your state’s lemon laws, your vehicle’s manufacturer may be liable if your car has a defective axle. Lemon laws state that consumers who have purchased used or new cars with significant defects are entitled to a full refund or replacement vehicle from the manufacturer.


These laws cover many common car complaints but not all of them, so it’s important to figure out whether your bad CV axle is covered. A lemon law attorney can help you determine if the manufacturer is responsible for the axle problems. 

What You Need to Know About Lemon Laws and Axle Problems

Lemon laws protect consumers against some defective cars (“lemons”) that consumers cannot reasonably repair after multiple trips to the dealership or auto shop. In most cases, lemon laws cover newly purchased or manufactured vehicles rather than used cars. But some states cover used cars as well. Further, there are rules about when axle problems qualify the car owner for compensation and when they do not. 

Car owners with troublesome vehicles may benefit from talking to an experienced lemon law attorney. The law varies greatly from state to state and heavily depends on the specific circumstances. An attorney can help individuals understand and assert their rights. 

Do Lemon Laws Cover Axle Problems in Used Cars?

Many states cover newly manufactured vehicles, but some also cover used vehicles that a consumer recently purchased. For example, the lemon laws in both New York and New Jersey explicitly state that axle shafts and other components may be covered if you bought or leased the new or used vehicle from a dealership. However, Pennsylvania law only covers “new and unused” vehicles used for personal, household, or family purposes. Federal lemon laws may cover your situation (such as if your car is under a written warranty), regardless of whether you purchased a used or new vehicle. 

Depending on your circumstances and the applicable law, you could be entitled to a full refund or a replacement vehicle as long as you meet the other conditions outlined in the lemon laws.

When Don’t the Lemon Laws Cover Axle Problems? 

Lemon laws cover axle problems due to manufacturing errors that the consumer cannot fix after making multiple reasonable attempts. The specific state law determines the number of times the consumer needs to try to fix the repair and the types of cars that are covered (e.g., new vs. used). The number of attempts required can vary depending on the state and the kind of issue the car is experiencing. 


In many cases, lemon laws don’t cover axle problems if the vehicle is older or driven by the consumer beyond a specific mileage limit. Additionally, if some or all axle problems could be due to neglect or abuse by the consumer, the lemon laws may not cover the car. For this reason, when deciding cases concerning the lemon laws, courts spend a great deal of time trying to understand the cause of the underlying damage to the axle. 


Further, if you are involved in an accident that damages an axle, you may not be eligible for a refund or a replacement vehicle from the manufacturer. However, you may be protected if the dealership sold you a car with a defective axle. As explained by the New York Attorney General’s Office, other situations where the state lemon law may not cover the axle problem are if the issue does not greatly reduce the car’s value. 


The rules are complex and vary significantly from state to state, so it’s in your best interest to discuss your case with an experienced attorney to establish if you are protected by your state’s lemon laws or the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

Questions About Bad Axle Symptoms?

The exceptional team of attorneys at Robison Lemon Law Group is here to answer your questions regarding bad CV half-shaft symptoms and issues. No problem is too minor to potentially qualify under your state’s lemon laws. Moreover, you shouldn’t have to wait for car problems to spiral out of control and pose serious safety hazards to you and your family before getting the answers you need. 

Emma Robison and her team of zealous advocates devote themselves exclusively to helping consumers get the education and the legal help they deserve and are entitled to under state and federal lemon laws. 

To schedule a free consultation, contact us today or call us at 844-291-4377. We do not charge people anything to meet with us about their claims or for us to handle their cases. 

Scroll to Top