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Cv boot

I “had” a 1989 Acura Legend that had more than one cv boot replaced only to end up going back to have a more expensive cv boot and axle replaced. I am currently driving a 1990 Toyota Camry w/ under 90,000 miles ( no kidding!) and relived this expensive experience even though I relayed to the mechanic that in replacing the cv boot, If done incorrectly could then lead to an axle replacement and I shared my previous experience. The mechanic assured me only a cv boot was needed. After a little time I continued to hear “crackling” sounds when backing up and turning toward where cv boot was replaced. I returned to mechanic and he sprayed silicone under area of concern. Now, I don’t believe the crackling sounds when backing and turning wheel are any better but worse and I feel like I am being dealt a bad job. What should I do?

When a CV boot is open, and the grease has been flung out of CV joint, and the CV joint has been exposed to the elements the damage has been done. So regreasing the already worn CV joint and throwing on a new boot doesn’t fix the worn out CV joint. Always replace the axle assembly whenever an open CV boot is discovered.


@Tester respectfully I’ve replaced many boots over the years. I do all my own work, so price of parts is the only issue for me. It’s usually $15/boot for a decent part. One time I felt like being a real cheapskate and got store brand boots $15/pair.
I service my cars every 5K. At that time I do an oil and filter change, inspection and tire rotation. If I notice a torn boot, I immediately replace it. I immediately drive to the parts store with my other car to get the parts. I haven’'t yet had a noisey axleshaft after replacing a CV boot. And all of these cars have racked up many miles since boot replacement.

On the other hand, if the axleshaft is already clicking, replacing the boot won’t do any good.

@Kittys IMO either you didn’t tell the mechanic about the clicking before boot replacement.
Or he actually knew about the noise and incorrectly thought replacing the boot and grease would solve the problem.

So which is it?

I think the key is the length of time the boot is torn. If someone catches it quickly then a boot only can be a proper repair but most people are unaware of a problem until someone points it out to them; maybe months or years later.

There’s also the economics issue of just swapping a reman axle into it as compared to the cost of disassembling and cleaning an axle shaft along with the (often) possibility of the shaft needing both boots.
Around here boot kits are about 25 dollars each with tax so 50 bucks for boots alone might swing one into just going with another halfshaft.

@db4690 It’s one thing if you replace the CV boots yourself. It’s another thing if you’re paying someone else to replace them.

If you look at the price of remanufactered halfshaft and the time it takes to swap it out over the time it takes to remove the halfshaft, disassemble it, clean it, repack it and install the boot, you’ll pay more in labor in doing all that than the remanufactered halfshaft and the labor to replace it would cost. And you still have that worn out CV joint.


Most folks don’t have their boots inspected every 5k. It may be years with a torn boot before its discovered. Too late. And even if it’s in time the labor costs to fix it right aren’t much different than the total cost of putting in a rebuilt axle.

I can’t think of a reason for a repair shop to replace a CV boot anymore. Even if a potential customer requests it I decline, offering either a complete new replacement CV shaft or nothing at all. Why? I don’t care if the boot just tore open yesterday. If it lost any grease at all, if it drove through one mud puddle, if it sat outside overnight, it’s suspect and I can’t guarantee it.

So the cost to remove the axle, clean and reboot one old joint would be about $160.00, with absolutely no warranty of any kind. The cost to remove the axle and replace it with a brand new unit 12 month/12,000 mile warranty would be about $190.00.

I think the fault lies with the mechanic thinking he could make a reliable repair to a 20 year old axle shaft in the interest of saving $30. In the long run he cost himself money and you too.

@texases @asemaster @ok4450 I’ve had far too many problems with crappy remanned axleshafts.

If my axle is quiet and I notice a torn boot, I’m not even considering putting in a remanned part.
It’s getting boots.

Faulty reman shafts were practically a non-issue for me until a few years ago and then I seemed to get a rash of them.
It got to the point that the shaft comes out of the box and they get checked on the countertop before leaving the store.

For some reason, the VW joints hold up very well for a while even with torn boots. I’ve rebooted a ton of those with few problems.

It doesn’t take years for a torn boot to cause a CV joint to start clicking. I have had, on two occasions where it happened in a very short time, a matter of weeks. Like db4690, I check the boots with each oil change and if one starts to feel punky, then I replace it. But on two cars, the boots looked fine at an oil change, but in three to four weeks, I started hearing the clicking and found a torn boot. It seems to happen quickly

I too have also had a lot of problems with reman axles. Now that new axles are available for only a few dollars more than a reman, that is the way I go. I won’t bother with remans anymore.

I don’t know where you’re getting your remanned halfshafts from, but I’ve been installing CarQuest remanned halfshafts for years. Never had a problem with them.


The bad shafts I got were from O’Reillys although I did get one from AutoZone. Around here our choice of parts houses is limited to those 2 and NAPA. They’re the only game in town.

There used to be a CarQuest here but apparently CQ corporate took a dim view of the franchisee looting the till for 6 figures… :wink:

No more reman halfshafts, only new for me. Or I guess I should say for my customers. It’s been years since I installed a reman. Probably 10 or more since I booted a shaft.

Guys, I have also had problems with cheap new axles.

So as far as I’m concerned, there’s no good answer when you really do need an axleshaft, unless you want to spend big bucks for a factory part.