What is my CV axle shaft seal and why is it leaking?

The CV axle shaft seal is what keeps fluid from leaking out of the transmission or differential housing as the CV axle rotates when the vehicle is in motion. In some vehicles, the axle shaft seal also helps to keep the axle shaft in proper alignment with the transmission. This small part serves a simple but important purpose and, should it fail, your vehicle will need to be serviced. Usually, when failure occurs, there are a few symptoms to alert the driver:

Residue Around the Seal

Most people won’t ever notice this or go searching for it, but one of the first signs that a CV axle shaft may need to be replaced is residue around the seal. As the seal begins to wear, it may spring a small leak causing a thin layer of grease or transmission fluid to cover the area immediately around the seal. The bigger this layer of residue is, the bigger the leak is.

Puddles of Fluid

One of the most common and probably most noticeable signs of a problem with one of the vehicle’s axle shaft seals is a puddle of fluid underneath the car. When the axle shaft seal fails, oil or transmission fluid can leak from the transmission or differential. If you notice these fluids are pooling under your car, especially after being parked, you should have your car serviced as soon as possible. A transmission or differential with low fluid levels can quickly become damaged by overheating.

Popped Axle Shaft

If the problem becomes severe, you may notice that the axle is constantly popping out. In some vehicles, this part not only seals the transmission but also supports the CV axle. If the seal becomes damaged in any way, it may not be able to support the axle correctly making it prone to popping and loosening. A shaft that has come loose would require the shaft to be professionally installed before the vehicle can drive again.

At V&F

If you notice that your CV axle seal is leaking or suspect that it may need to be replaced, have your car serviced by a professional technician. At V&F, our certified mechanics use the latest diagnostic equipment, and high-quality CARQUEST auto parts, to make sure we get the job done right. Plus, our auto repair services are backed by an industry-leading 3 year / 36,000-mile warranty on parts and labor. Call us today at (413) 314-2280 or schedule an appointment online.

 

Written by Nicole Palange

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