Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Axle Shaft Boot Leak?

2006 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport. The passenger side front axle boot apparently has a minor leak at the point where the metal band holds the boot to the shaft. The boot itself is fine, near tears or damage.

From the amount of grease slung onto the Catalytic Converter and front crossmember, this has been going on for some time. The axle is not making any noise and there doesn’t seem to be any problems with it, yet.

I have cleaned off the grease and have been watching it weekly. It’s not leaking very bad, so either all the grease has leaked out or what I found earlier had taken place over several years time.

Should I get the boot/clamp replaced or keep driving it? Don’t want to hurt anything just don’t know how serious this might be for the near future. Thanks.

With the grease getting slung out, the joint will begin to make noise at some point in the future. Even if you go through the trouble of removing the joint, separating it to replace the boot and re-grease the joint, damage has probably already been done and it will still start to make that noise.

With the effort and labor required to properly replace the boot, replacing the entire shaft would probably be a better option. Certainly a much cleaner option. And the half-shafts complete are about $100 remanufactured. Most of the cost would be in the labor.

When an axle shaft boot starts leaking most of the grease has been flung from the CV joint. Continue driving until the halfshaft CV joint starts making noise. Then replace the halfshaft at that time.


With one caveat: if you live in New England and you’ll be doing the work in the driveway, do it before the fall rains start.