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2003 Honda CRV

I have 2003 Honda CRV with 64,000 miles. It has been serviced and maintained according to the maintenance manual specifications at dealership where I bought it. When I got the oil changed this week, the service technician said I needed to replace the ball joint housing and tie rod end cap cause they were cracked and leaking. When I had the 60,000-mile service done two months ago, this issue was never mentioned. I have not been in any wrecks or hit any pot holes. There is no vibration in the steering wheel and no noise from front end. The service tech said this damage is recent. Does this seem plausible? Or are they just trying to sell me something I don’t need?

The vehicle could have hit a parking block and caused this damage. Go to an alignment shop for a second opinion.

Is there another name for a “ball joint housing” and a “tie rod end cap” I dont recognize these names.

They described it as molded plastic/rubber similar to a gasket. Sorry, that is the best description, I can give. I looked under the car later, and couldn’t see anything wrong, but frankly, I didn’t really know what to look for. They wouldn’t let me look at it while it was up on the lift because they said that wasn’t allowed by their insurance.

It sounds like the covers are cracked, which is basically from age, although this vehicle doesn’t seem old enough. When the covers crack water can get in and lubricant can get out, leading to failure of the ball joint or tie rod end. You will start to feel and/or hear things before either of them fails completely, and it could take a LONG time.

I would take it somewhere else and get a second opinion. This may be nothing more than a profit generator for the dealer service department.

It’s unlikely (but not impossible) that these parts were damaged by some impact, pothole, or speed bump. The covers should be flex to the physical limits of the suspension without damage.

You might be able to check them yourself. Turn the heels fully right while the truck is parked. Peer into the wheel well and look at the rubber boot at the wheel end of the axle. Is it intact? Does it have any cracks or tears? If you have a mirror you can look at the sides (of the boot) you can’t see in this position. You can also feel the boot to see if there are any tears in it. Go the the passenger side of the truck and look into the wheel well, this time to the front of the tire. Inspect the boot. Now turn the wheels fully to the left and repeat the process. You can get a better view if the truck is on a lift of some sort, but don’t use the Honda jack unless you put a jack stand under the car next to the jack. Don’t use any jack unless you use a jack stand. I have a 3.5-ton hydraulic lift for a car that weighs half that and I always use jack stands.

Got a copy of the service inspection report, and it identifies the problem as “replace ball joint boots and tie rod end boots.”