CV Joint Boot Damage

1994 Honda Accord 167K miles. Is it possible that the botts could inadvertently be damaged (like by a screwdriver or something) when replaceing the drive axles, if the mechanic is not careful. Here’s the story - After experiencing a knocking noise when making sharp turns, I had the front drive axles replaced, which fixed the problem. This was done by a mechanic I don’t normally go to, but one that was more convenient at the time, and they also service our company’s vehicles, so I trusted them. This was in June '07. Fast forward 6 months to Dec. '07 when I had may car in to my regular mechanic of 10 years for an oil change. They tell me that inner CV joint boots are leaking grease and need to be replaced. I scheduled the work for about a week later. When I brought the car back in to have this work done, they tell me that the drive axles need replaced due to excessive wear because the grease had leaked out of the boots and dirt had gotten in. They said there were a few small lacerations in both boots that looked like perhaps a screwdriver had punctured them (i.e. they were clean tears as opposed to jagged caused by something from the road). Is is plausible that the first mechanic damaged the boots when installing the axles? What else could have caused this?

It’s certainly plausible. How likely is another matter.

It could also be defective boots. Any warranty on the original replacements?

It is probable yes, but I do not think that the mechanic would have done it on purpose. He may have slipped with the screwdriver and not noticed that he cut the boot.

While what you suggest is possible, it seems unlikely to me. I don’t see why a mechanic would be using a screwdriver in the first place to install a new or reman axle. I’ve installed my share of axles and I never have. Possibly to remove an old axle but not to install one. When you say a few small lacerations, that sounds more like vandalism than a careless installation. I could be wrong though.

It is completely possible that the CV boots were damaged by something else like road debris. This is why it is important to check them at every oil change. If you catch damaged CV boots early enough, you might save yourself the cost of new CV joints.

It is going to be hard to make a case against the mechanic who replaced the drive axles in June 2007. Is that repair still under warranty? A warranty claim could make this easier on you.