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CV Joint Boot replacement

Hi, I own a 1998 Volswagen Golf. My mechanic recently told me to get the front CV joint boot replaced as it had a small leak. My question is whether $120 is a reasonable quote for this job?

Thanks.

It’s reasonable. You should make sure the car does not have any clicking or knocking from this joint before replacing the boot.
If it’s the right front for example make a hard sharp left turn and note if you hear any noise. If not, replace the boot. Vice-versa for the left front.

If you hear any noise at all then you would be better off replacing the complete halfshaft assembly as you do not want to replace the boot and have the joint completely fail several months later.

$120 sounds more like an entire drive axle than just a boot. There’s a lot of labor involved in replacing the boot, which is why many mechanics just replace the whole axle.

I’d ask exactly what you’re getting for $120, and if it’s just a new boot ask how much more for the whole axle with two new joints.

You have two CV Joints on each axle, 4 in all. If one has started to split, you need to act fast. All four will usually go, one after the other, the outer’s first. Each axle has an inner and an outer. Assuming that this is an outer boot, the inner has to come off to replace the outer so see how much the mechanic will charge for both boots on one axle. It shouldn’t be much, if any more than the cost of the inner boot since there isn’t any additional labor. You could space out doing the axles, that is having them done one at a time, but get both boots done on the axle at the same time.

If the boot hasn’t been torn for long and the axle isn’t damaged, your best bet is to get the new boots. Reman axles are usually junk. New axles usually run $500 for factory OEM each.

$120 for a boot replacement is reasonable.

I want to add several comments and suggestions:

  1. Replace only the failed boot and hope that the joint was not damaged. Your mechanic may have an opinion on this, knowing the extent of the boot damage. CV joints for me have given plenty of audible prior warning that they are failing such as 200 and often more miles. Mine have made noise when backing up and turning or a failing joint made the shift lever and steering wheel occasionally vibrate for a half mile or so while traveling at 60 mph.

  2. I don’t agree that one failed boot means the remaining three are ready to fail soon; has not worked that way with my VW.

  3. You might be able to buy a complete halfshaft assembly, made in China, ready for installation for about $50. Mine is two years and about 22,000 miles old; still working. You can find a new German made half shaft for a VW for $250. I don’t feel comfortable giving the name of the people that sell it for fear of post removal or being banned but they are in Auburn Hills, MI.

  4. After doing half shaft replacement and boot repair on my VW, it is obvious that a front end alignment check is a good thing to do as I have had to disconnect the “A” frame from the ball joint to remove the half shafts. The bolt holes in the “A” frame have enough clearance so that the assembly will not go back together exactly as it was which will affect alignment toe which can have a profound effect on tire wear. Ask your mechanic if a toe check is included and if he can remove the half shaft without disconnecting the “A” frame from the ball joint.