I drive a 1999 Isuzu Rodeo. The left front CV boot is cracked, but good. I don’t know how long it’s been this way. I planned to make an 800 mile trip tomorrow. What’s the danger? Will the car make it safely to my destination (Bozeman, MT)?
Personally, I wouldn’t do it. With the boot cracked, the grease will run out, and the joint will break down quickly once it is all gone. It would probably be OK, since some people have driven on CV joints that have been clicking for months, and yours hasn’t started yet. But, that’s my personal opinion.
I will add that rather than just having the CV boot replaced, you need to have the CV joint and the boot replaced. Since you don’t know how long the boot has been cracked, you have to go on the assumption that grit and dirt have entered the joint, in addition to the grease leaking out. That, unfortunately, is the “perfect storm” that leads to failure of the CV joint.
Since the labor charge for replacing the CV joint and the boot is not that much higher than the labor cost for replacing just the boot, you should bite the bullet and go ahead and replace the joint as well as the boot. If not, you will just wind up replacing the joint in a few weeks anyway, and you will pay labor charges twice on essentially the same job.
The book on the Rodeo says that to remove the axles, you have to drop the entire front axle assembly. This is wrong, and well, insane as well. The job can be done by disassembling the inner joints while still on the car. and popping out the upper balljoint. The repair can be done in 1/5 the time.
Discuss this with your mechanic when you bring it in. The book’s going to tell him its an 5-6 hour job, when it’s a 1-2 hour job, tops.
I have a Honda Passport (a rebadged Rodeo) sitting in my driveway with two torn outer boots that’s waiting for me to tackle.