2011 Honda CR-V - CV issues after just 8 years

You know, way back when I was just out of high school I got a Bee in my Bonnet about CV boots and their longevity, or lack thereof. It puzzled me, and still does to this day that something better is not used to protect the CV joint, a very critical junction by any measure. I came up with an idea of rubber or silicone impregnated canvas as an idea that would more than likely work better and or become a lifetime boot.

As with the hundreds of other ideas or inventions I have come up with in my life, I never did anything about it or thought enough people would see it the same as I did to actually patent any idea. Many of those ideas were actually patented by other people I have come to learn. What do I do each time I hear about yet another idea I have had well before seeing the product come to market by someone else? I shrug my shoulders and sort of laugh… I never think my ideas are good enough or rather they don’t impress me enough. I have learned and witnessed, that many of my ideas actually were good enough for a new product. I’m an idiot.

So…what do you guys think about rubber/silicone impregnated canvas as a CV Boot material? (kind of like how resin and fiberglass cloth are combined if you know what I mean) Well, it still seems like a solid idea to me… Now what to do about it.

I had to replace one boot on my 1999 Honda a year or so ago. It was probably damaged in the process of having a steering knuckle installed after a bad accident. The other boot is still OK at 20 years, but I would expect it is not as tough as it was in 1999. Like me.

I’ve owned 4 Hondas and every one had CV joint issues by the 10yr/100K mile mark.
'75 Civic, '81, '85 and '88 Accords.
The '75 (my first FWD car) taught me about CV joint failure when one started clicking on turns.
The '81 & '85 I spotted the torn boots by periodic inspection.
Replaced boots and saved the axles.
The '88 I was unable to DIY boot replacement, so shop replaced both axles.
'06 Toyota Matrix was totaled last year, but it’s likely its boots weren’t long to go.

I figure hot climate, rough streets, ozone in the air and city driving with many sharp turns take their toll.

I’ve got boots on my daily that have 140,000 miles on them. They’re still nice and flexible. Spraying them won’t hurt (unless you spray them with something that damages rubber, of course) but the overwhelming likelihood is that you’re gonna get 'em cut by road debris before they ever dry out enough to crack.

The boot needs to be really flexible. Canvas isn’t. What would most likely happen is that the canvas would force the rubber coating to fold farther than it should as the wheel moves around, and you’d develop cracks in the rubber long before you would if you just made the whole thing out of rubber.

1 Like

[Knock on wood] My 1998 Civic with 315,000 miles still has its original CV axles and CV boots. I live in a hot humid climate, so I’m thinking the boots are getting all the lubrication they need.

@Honda_Blackbird, and that’s probably the biggest hurdle you have to overcome, that this isn’t a big enough problem for a lot of people, and for those who it is a problem, the boot construction isn’t likely to be the issue. Rather it’s road debris and dry climate that cracks the rubber.

Not a “coating” of rubber…an infusion if you will. Doesn’t have to be canvas, I think I used canvas as an example of a woven fabric though any thin flexible woven fabric would work I suppose (whichever fabric is most amenable to soaking in the silicone (like gasket maker silicone or rubber) so in the end, the entire material and rubber are as one, no delineation between the two extant.

Then, or prior to impregnation put the corrugations in the material so that it looks like an accordion as CV boots do, so it allows it to be bent as when making a turn. I’m no mfg genius but I am sure this would be possible. The fabric would be a reinforcement material for the Rubber or Nitrile or Silicone…whatever rubbery substance would be best to use.

I think it would work extremely well indeed and is probably a solution to a problem that most, if not all mfg’s feel does NOT need to be solved…lol. I’ve just always felt that the CV joint deserved a better longer lasting boot. A boot that that wouldn’t be the direct cause of premature CV joint failure all because some rubber got brittle, cracked and thus spilled the critical grease out via centrifugal forces.

Did I use the term “CV Joint” enough times?

In that case, I don’t understand what the fabric is supposed to be doing. Whether the boot cracks due to age (in which case the rubber impregnated in the fabric is just as old as the regular rubber boot and therefore will crack and break the seal) or because it gets hit by road debris (in which case, unless the fabric in question is Kevlar, the fabric’s gonna get torn by the road debris just like the rubber), you still end up with cracked rubber and all the problems that come with it.

LOL… Yes @Shadowfax you are more than likely correct in your assessment, no argument there. How about Silicone or Nitrile? or something that doesn’t crack or dry out and become brittle? The cloth is basically reinforcement for toughness… But indeed the rubber or rubber like material would need to not get brittle or shrink or any of the things rubber does after a long period of time, so I don’t think I know what I am recommending for that…but something surely fits the bill.

Again…this is most likely a problem that does not need solving…lol The idea has just been rattling around in my head for a few decades and I thought I’d share it as food for thought.

Eh. Like I said earlier, I’ve got boots with 140k on them right now that aren’t showing any signs of drying out. They dont’ get nearly as much exposure to the sun as tires do, so dry rot really isn’t much of an issue with them. Every boot/axle I’ve ever had to replace in 25+ years of wrenching on my cars has been because something tore the boot, not because the boot wore out.

I do get the ideas rattling in your head bit, though. At about the same age as you when you came up with this, I came up with radial air scoops for airplane landing gear, to make the wheel start spinning before the plane touched down to save the wear caused by the tire going from 0 to 160-ish mph instantly. I’m sure there’s a good reason no one’s done it, probably involving weight. :wink:

Anecdotes and notes
I’ve been driving GM and Chrysler cars for 5 or 6 decades, hundreds of thousands (probably millions) of miles and have never had to replace any CV or axle related parts, or hardly any parts, for that matter. I usually drive the cars to nearly 300,000 miles each. I’ve never been stranded by a car problem (including lack of parts availability).

I can’t fault the owner for thinking that it’s disheartening… and NO part available in your own country! The price for repairs seems a bit excessive, too.

I’ve never bought into the Asian Car Myth. Some people do and are shocked when things go haywire (which from recent posts from Asian car owners seems to be increasing in frequency).

A guy who parks opposite my car at the condo bought a new Hyundai a few years back (not one that had the engine blow up). He enumerated 10 unexpected repairs he has had to perform on this low miles car, including replacing both CV/axle assemblies. He’s not buying another…

… just saying.

As Honda Blackbird points out above, CVs and other CR-V parts are in stock everywhere in America. The “myth” I don’t buy in to is a lack of available parts for the top-selling non-pickup vehicle model made in America. We had a CV done on a Fit (made in Mexico) in an afternoon. I do agree with you that Japanese vehicles’ reputation may be better than the reality. My Hondas and Subarus were certainly not perfect. Both did leave me stranded.

I replaced the original cv axle on my S-10 last year just because I noticed the boot cracked, grease splattered around wheel well. So I got 23 years out of it. The other original is still going. I wouldn’t be too upset if it broke only after 8 years.

You had a front wheel drive Chrysler/GM 60 years ago? That’s interesting.

Says the dealer

Because the work was done by the dealer, and there’s some confusion about what exact work was done. If they only replaced the joint, then OP got charged disassembly/reassembly labor for the axle.

Quite bluntly, anyone who sees people reporting problems on a car site devoted to reporting and solving problems and concludes that this means there are universally more problems doesn’t understand how statistics works.

OK. My wife bought one 8 years ago, and to date has had 4 problems. 3 were repaired under warranty, and one was caused by a teenaged driver ramming into the side at 40mph.

My Acura has cost me about $100 in 12 years in “unexpected” repairs, if that. My MR2 is only now showing signs of needing at most maybe $1,000 put into it for t-belt and all the seals, and it’s 26 years old. My CRX is 28 years old and the biggest problem it’s had was when a family of mice made a nest above the gas tank and chewed through the fuel pump wire. My Mitsubishi truck is 31 years old, has well over 200k on it, and the biggest problem it’s had since I bought it was that the cheap garbage battery it came with needed to be replaced. And that’s just me, with my current list of cars.

The gap between Japanese and American cars has narrowed since the 80’s and 90’s when America was turning out such garbage that GM actually ran a couple of ad campaigns essentially saying “We’re sorry, we know we sold you crap, please, PLEASE give us another chance before we go bankrupt again.” But the gap is still there, as I can attest since we drive American vehicles at work, and just the fit and finish alone on them is worse than the cheapest Japanese example.

Bottom line is if the CV boot is torn, that’s not the manufacturer’s fault. You ran over something that tore the boot. It can happen to any car that has CV boots. Sometimes you get lucky and don’t run over anything for a very long time. Other times, you run over something the week after you replaced a cut boot and have to do it again.

Basing generalized reliability conclusions about any vehicle or country of origin on CV boots getting torn is silly.

1 Like

Right… :face_with_hand_over_mouth:


That is not what I said. Reread the post. :face_with_monocle:
I stated that I have been driving those brands for that long, NOT driving FWD cars with CVs for that long.

My earliest FWD with CVs was a Dodge Aries I owned in the early 80s, 3 or 4 decades ago! I’ve driven strictly FWDs since.

Here we go again…
Quite bluntly, it has nothing to do with my understanding statistics any better than I do.

Please reread my post again. :face_with_monocle:
I wasn’t talking statistics. Notice the heading… do you understand what anecdotes are?

Thank you, thank you very much.

I’m going to answer your question here. What you should do is to specifically ask whoever does your oil changes to inspect all your CV joint boots at each oil change. As long as the boots are intact, the CV joints and the axles will be good until the next oil change.

If the oil change tech finds a torn boot, the best thing to do is have the CV joint replaced. Damage begins almost immediately after the boot is torn and it could have been torn for awhile before it was found.

For Honda, in my experience a new outer CV joint includes the axle shaft. The inner CV joint is reused but a new boot and fresh grease is used on it. The price you paid is about right for one outer CV joint replacement using new OEM Honda parts. BTW, a re-manufactured axle assembly is cheaper but I have had nothing but bad luck with those and do not recommend them.

New aftermarket axle assemblies are also available for just a little more than a reman. I personally have had good luck with them but I have heard many horror stories about them too.

I think your loss in confidence in Honda is not justified, but I can understand it. It let you down, but it probably wasn’t it’s fault. This kind of thing can happen to any vehicle no matter how well built or who builds them. Stuff just happens.

@Honda_Blackbird, in the 70’s when the first FWD cars arrived from Japan, the boots were made from natural rubber and would only last about 4 years. In Japan at that time, a car only stayed on the road for 4 years so the Japanese did not think that was a problem. Driving in Japan is VERY hard on vehicles. In 4 years, they are simply worn out.

In the US, the Japanese cars lasted much longer and having the boots (and timing belts) rot away every 4 years became a problem. They switched to urethane rubber for the boots and now boots can last up to 20 years, sometimes more. Silicone rubber boots would probably last forever. A car would rust away in a junk yard and eventually all there would be left is 4 (or 8) silicone rubber boots on the ground where the car once stood.

Edit: BTW it is almost always the outer boots that get torn. It can and does happen to inner boots, but not very often.

In Canada where the weather is rough,a lot of mechanics around here use silicone lube to coat the boots like you would on a pair of winter boots. I never used it personally though, but it wont protect it against foreign objects tearing it.

Well, yes, but since this thread is about CV joints and their reliability, the conclusion was either that you had CV joints in cars 6 decades ago, or your mention of 6 decades was irrelevant. I chose to give you the benefit of the doubt. :wink:

As to your tittering response to the CV boot thing - yeah, it was a part (joint) failure, almost certainly subsequent to a boot failure because that’s how most CV joints get killed.

At any rate, I don’t see the value in encouraging OP to decide that Honda sucks because an 8 year old part with almost 100,000 miles on it failed. OP, and apparently you, are going to be grossly disappointed if the expectation is 0 problems whatsoever in 100k miles.

Now, I don’t know where this “lack of parts availability” came from, but given that as @GorehamJ pointed out the CRV is one of the top selling cars in the country, I find it far more likely that OP was fed bad information by a dealership looking to make $600+ on a simple axle replacement than that Honda has decided to stop stocking parts for 8 year old cars in the US.

I’ve heard of that. I’m in Minnesota. Our weather is almost as bad as yours, and I’ve never used any kind of lube on my boots (car or foot). I suspect it’s mostly a placebo, though that might change when you get into really harsh conditions like up in the Arctic circle.

1 Like

What about making some kind of shield underneath the boot to protect it? Do you think its a good idea? Maybe there is a reason why engineers did not come up with this.