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1995 Avalon Half Shaft

Today I noticed that the outer boot on my Avalon’s half shaft is broken- with plenty of grease coming out. Car has 180,000 miles.

Needless to say, replacing the half shaft, and not just the boot is in order. Inasmuch as I don’t have the specialty tools (35mm socket, impact driver, etc.) I’m looking to have this done.

How much labor am I loking at? Is this something best left for a dealer, or a local garage? Are OEM parts much better (that’s why I’m considering a dealer)


If its not clicking, then rebooting is OK. However, rebooting often costs as much or more that replacing with reman units. I am not a fan of reman though as I have never seen one that was any good.

Toyota dealers have Toyota remans that they guarantee, I haven’t tried one so I don’t know how they are, but they cost about half the cost of a new Toyota unit, or about 2 to 3x what a reman from a parts store costs.

If you can find a local shop that installs EMPI axles, that would be your best solution. I have used these, they are almost as good as a new Toyota axle, but far better than any reman. They only cost a little more than a reman from a parts house.

BTW, when I say almost as good, it functions and lasts as good as a new one, but the shafts are not turned as nicely as the OEM, its only visual. The joints themselves may actually be a superior design though. Not sure which joint is used in an Avalon, but the low end Toyota’s (Tercel etc) use a tri-fork design which is not very good. They keep the costs down by manufacturing them in China.

I’ve learned that once a CV-boot is ripped open, consider the CV-joint as being shot. There’s no way in telling how much contaminates got into the joint damaging it. So the boot is replaced but the joint goes out a couple months later because of the damage.

Drive on the open boot until the CV-joint starts making noise on turns to the point where it gets loud. Then have an independent shop install a remanufactured halfshaft.


Any competent local garage can handle this for you. I doubt there is a significant difference in quality between a Toyota shaft and an aftermarket one. You’ll get a new shaft, as no one sells remanufactured ones anymore.

Prices for auto service vary widely across the country, but where I am a new shaft installed would be right at $200.

I just checker Rock Auto and they have two re-manufactured and 2 new. The difference from cheapest to most expensive is only $19.

Thanks, guys. This is one of those few repairs that are beyond my capability. Glad to hear it’s not TOO expensive. One option I would not take is to get those “split” universal boots
which replace the torn one, "eliminating " the need for disassembly.

Still, this car has been very good to me, the only repair prior to this was an radio antenna mast (easy DIY repair)

As an aside and an FYI for any interested, there are two different types of boots on the shafts (if dual boot equipped), a hard plastic (outer) one, and a soft rubber (inner) one. The plastic one is filled with a silicone based grease, the rubber with a natural grease.

Last I checked, Toyota (although not publicly in any open forum that I know of) expects these boots to last about 100-150K miles. If you can actually get back to one of the head mechanics, they’ll tell you that. Replacement of the boots (along with everything else we need done) can be planned for using that math. There was also a “year’s of useage” part, but I forget what that specifically was.

Found all this out when I rebuilt the shafts on my 4Runner. Having said that, it’s also designed for harder use than a car, so that may play a part.

Close inspection at every service interval (along with the rest of the boots and rubber bits) adds about 5-10 minutes, and can show when things are close to wearing out.


I once called this beyond my capability - and we do each need to make those decisions. But I finally got tired of the issues with reman axles. So the last time I needed one I just did it myself - too much lost time & $$ on shops that didn’t really pay attention to the issues and wanted them to be my problem after about 90 days.

Anyway, when I did it I just used the “loaner tool” program that many big chain auto parts stores have. You just “buy” the specialty tools, use them & then get a full refund when you bring them back. So I “borrowed” all of the tools I needed (puller for tie rod ends, pickle fork, axle puller, axle nut socket…) got it done & was pretty darn happy about it all.

Of course, I didn’t run into any non-routine problems (e.g. like the axle being stuck in the differential or something) so you may still want to play it on the safe side. But there’s no need to let the lack of tools stand in the way.

I can get a remanufactured halfshaft for just about any vehicle from my local CarQuest store.