How to Replace Driverside CV Shaft on a Nissan Maxima?by David McGuffin
If you are experiencing a loud, metallic clicking sound coming from your driver's side wheel hub as you turn or accelerate, then your CV joints may be failing. Crawl underneath your car and inspect the CV boots for signs of wear and tear. If the CV boots are cracked or corroded, then chances are that the lubricant has leaked out from the CV joints and has been replaced by dirt and grime, meaning that the CV joints need replacing.
Jack the Maxima up by using a floor jack and inserting jack stands underneath the front doors. Make sure that both jack stands are resting securely on the ground and that jack stand arms are holding the car's frame. Leave the floor jack underneath the middle of the engine as a third backup support. Remove the driver's side tire. Disconnect the negative battery cable from your Maxima's car battery before proceeding any further.
Remove the driveaxle, starting by using a torque wrench to remove the hub nut from your wheel hub. You may need to use a pry bar to prevent the rotor from rotating while turning the hub nut. Wedge a pry bar between two wheel studs, with one end of the pry bar resting on the ground. Tap the driveaxle splines with a soft-faced hammer with a brass punch to un-freeze them. Disconnect the engine splash shields and use a drain pan to catch any fluids residing in them, such as oil or coolant. Slide the drain pan underneath the transaxle to catch any lubricant that may spill later in the process. Disconnect the caliper from the rotor and hang it, along with the brake line, from the coil springs by using a wire coat hanger.
Use a socket wrench to disconnect the power steering knuckle from the strut. Remove the outer CV joint from the Maxima by prying it loose with your hands. Carefully pull out the drive-axle so that you can access the inner CV joint. Pry the inner CV joint loose from the drive-axle hub. Replace the inner CV joint on your Maxima. Reinstall the drive-axle, along with the steering knuckle, rotor and caliper, placing a new outer CV joint axle on the CV housing on the drive-axle. A click or snap will indicate that the CV joint axles have been installed correctly.
Reattach the hub nut with a torque wrench set to 200 foot-pounds. Reinstall the Maxima's tire and tighten the lug nuts in a star-shaped pattern, so that lug nuts that are opposite from each other are tightened. Lower the Maxima to the ground.
- Haynes Repair Manual: Nissan Maxima 1993-2004; John H. Haynes; 2005
- 1998 Nissan Maxima Service Manual: Nissan Motor Corporation
- AA1 Car: Constant Velocity Joints, Part 2: Service and Repair
- Mobil Oil: CV Joint Axle Replacement
- Although it is possible, the chances are pretty slim that you would only need to replace the driver's side CV joints rather than both sides of the Maxima's CV shafts.
- Depending on the year for your Maxima, automatic transmissions may require the removal of the passenger side drive axle in order to detach the inner CV joint for the driver side.
Things You'll Need
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Drain pan
- Socket wrench
- Torque Wrench
- Wire coat hanger
- Pry bar
- Mechanic's gloves
- CV joint replacement kit
- Tire iron
David McGuffin is a writer from Asheville, N.C. and began writing professionally in 2009. He has Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of North Carolina, Asheville and Montreat College in history and music, and a Bachelor of Science in outdoor education. McGuffin is recognized as an Undergraduate Research Scholar for publishing original research on postmodern music theory and analysis.