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Conflicting opinions on CV boot

My 2009 toyota needs a CV boot replacement according to the dealership. They found the CV boot to be torn/leaking. Since I don’t trust them I took the car to one of those chain auto repair places who inform me that no replacement is required at the moment and the dealership exaggerated. So while I am glad I am not shelling out the big bucks, I also can’t seem to decide on who should I believe. I mean, down the road I don’t really want to pay huge amounts just because I ignored this problem.


It really doesn’t matter.

If the CV-boot is torn/leaking, you don’t know how long it’s been that way. So the CV-joint is probably contaminated with debris. And if the CV-joint is contaminated the entire half shaft assembly is replaced.

Just keep driving the vehicle until you start hearing a clicking noise when turning. When you start hearing that noise, that’s when to replace the half shaft.


What @Tester said. No reason to replace the boot, I’d drive it until it starts making noise on turns, then replace the entire half shaft.

+1 for texases which is a +2 for Tester.

+1 for missleman +1 for texases which is a +2 for Tester.

Yep. If the boot is torn, no point replacing it. The joint is contaminated anyway. When it fails, its cheaper just to replace the whole axle.

I disagree. If you are NOT hearing a clicking sound on corners, then get this rebooted ASAP. It does not take long for contamination to get in and destroy the CV joint.

CV joint boots used to tear up about every 4 years. As customer complaints grew, manufacturers started using a better rubber compound that lasts much longer. Torn CV boots don’t seem to be a common so yours could be due to something in the road that hit it. In the past, I would recommend that you get ALL your CV boots replaced at once, not so sure today but at least do both on the axle that has the torn boot. There is an inner and an outer boot. The cost to do both should only be a little higher than doing one.

However, you need to get estimates for rebooting the axle on there now and the cost of replacing the axle later. Having someone replace only the boots involves a lot of labor. The cost to reboot may not be the best economic choice.

If you chose to replace the axle, you have three choices.

  1. A remanufactured axle will be the least expensive. But they will most likely have the shortest life. I personally have had nothing but trouble with these and I will never get another one again.

  2. A new after market axle is only a little more expensive than a reman. I have had good luck with these, but they are a crap shoot, I hear a lot of stories of people who have had trouble with them. The are mostly made in China and they are not quite as good as factory new axle, but to me, the differences have been cosmetic. Functionally they have been just as good as the factory axles.

  3. A new factory axle from your dealer. This is the most expensive option but I have gone this route myself for a vehicle that I plan on keeping for awhile.

So all together you have 4 options. Get a quote for each from several sources, including the dealer. I would avoid the chain place unless the local establishment has a good reputation (it happens). Seek a highly recommended independent mechanic with Toyota experience. Check them out on the BBB web site. But do give the dealer a chance too.

But if ‘rebooting’ cost about the same as a new axle (making a new axle the obvious choice), what’s the rush?

Let’s see, +1 + +2 + +3 divided by the… oh, never mind.

I agree with most of the others. Change it when/if it gets noisy.
Honestly, if it were mine I might look for a “split boot”. These are one way to seal it back up, and they can extend the life of the joint considerably if they’re properly installed and if it hasn’t lost too much grease. Split boots don’t have the long-term integrity that the OEM boot had, but the car already has 7 years on it and they don’t require removing the half-shaft to install, so what the hell.

To examine the tear yourself, get the car SECURELY elevated, slide underneath, and examine it with a good worklight. The tears are usually on the inside pleat, and you may have to spread the folds with your hands to find it. They’re often not obvious. I wear disposable rubber gloves for jobs like this to stay cleaner. For the record, if you cannot find a tear it wouldn’t surprise me. I’ve seen too many dealership shops these recent years telling people they need things they don’t really need. Trust, but VERIFY!

While you’re under there, you could even clean the tear with alcohol and put a bead of black silicone RTV on it. Can’t hurt, and might extend the life a bit. I might try it myself if it were mine.

A shop has to look at something like this differently. Rebooting will cost as much if not more than replacing the halfshaft for one.

Secondly, if a shop reboots a halfshaft and IF that shaft starts knocking 6 months or a year later you know who the customer is going to point the finger at; the shop.
It shouldn’t be like that but unfortunately it’s a sad fact of life.

Rebooting may cost as much or maybe even a little more than a reman, but what if the shop replaces the axle with a reman and it starts knocking 3 to 6 months later? Who will the customer point a finger at then?

If the customer has any common sense, the remanufacturer of the axle.


Yes the replacement of the boot can be very close to replacement of the axle, you need to do it sooner or later, do the whole boat and be done with it, instead of waiting for trouble at the probably most inconvenient time.

Tester is correct of course. The only cars I’ve ever felt good about rebooting were VWs and I’ve done a ton of them. Their joints hold up very, very well even after a lot of run time with all of the grease slung out and I’ve never had a rebooted VW come back.

Back in the 80s Subaru had a campaign (voluntary extended warranty) for the right side axle inner boot and which was paid for by Subaru. The bulletin called for replacing the boot only UNLESS the joint was knocking. If the joint was knocking Subaru would cover the new joint.
The boots were weakened by the proximity of the catalytic converter on that side.

Most joints did not knock; at least for a while. What often happened was that we would replace the boot on a non-knocking joint and then some months or even a year or so later the joint would start knocking. The customer would then come back and hit the ceiling after being told that the cost of a joint replacement was not covered and it was all on them.

They did not care about Subaru policy then; only that they were on the hook for it and it was near impossible to get most of them to understand how a campaign worked.

Drive until it is convenient to replace the axle or it becomes noisy. I agree with others, replacing is cheaper than re-booting on most cars.

Most reputable shops will warranty both labor and the parts they order.

if it were me, I’d throw new boots at the axle

I would NOT wait until it makes noise, and then install a new chinese axleshaft. They’re cheap because they’re garbage

Why ruin a perfectly good axle now, just to install garbage later?

some “savings” :frowning:

Keep in mind I’m proactive about axleshafts. As soon as I see grease leaking or a torn boot, I IMMEDIATELY buy boots. I do both ends.

One time I even installed cheapo $5 boot kits. Each kit contained the boot, 2 clamps and the grease pack. That was several years ago, and those boots are doing just fine. No noise whatsoever from that axle

$10 to save a good axle, versus letting it go, and then installing garbage?

No brainer for me :wink:

They found the CV boot to be torn/leaking.

This sounds like information from a check list, what were the actual observations?

I don’t know what car you have but Camry CV joint boots leak from the the clamped area. I don’t have a picture of Camry joints but this picture is of a rear drive Toyota;

I replace many boots but few axle assemblies. Replacing boots adds .5 to .8 hours labor to axle remove and replace (about 1.5 hours). I can’t replace an axle shaft assembly for the same price.

My parts department wont buy wholesale axles off Ebay for $70. The last axle shaft assemble I replaced was on a RX400h, it cost $800. I wouldn’t wait until an axle fails, replacing the boot will likely be less expensive.

Agree with driving on. We did this with our Nissan and when the CVs got noisy at about 130,000 miles we replaced both complete shaft assemblies for $500 or so.