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I'm back! the subaru that had head gaskets replaced:) New much should it be to

to replace an axle boot ? So I need to replace them in pairs? I am taking a care maintinance class and we found the driver’s side front axle boot leaking - wondering what I have in my budget for this ?

Great to be back guys - you all have been very helpful and fun!

These days almost no one replaced the boots because entire replacement axles are typically easily available and cost-effective once compared to the time/labor involved in replacing the boots. It is also the case that joint contamination happens pretty darned fast once the boots are split. Are you going to do this in the car maintenance class? Or will you be paying someone else? If you’re doing it, just look up a new halfshaft online. If someone else will do it, just figure a couple-few hundred bucks per axle.

You don’t need to replace both CV axles at the same time, but if an axle is pulled out to replace a boot, then it is only sensible to do both boots.

The key question–which is likely impossible to answer–is:
How long have the axle boots been cracked?

If the breach just occurred, then it might be practical to just go ahead and replace the boots.
However, because cracked axle boots allow dirt & grit to enter–just as they allow grease to escape–there is a strong probability that the CV joints inside the boots are contaminated with abrasives, and are in need of replacement in the near future.

My advice is to replace the entire axle, which includes the inner & outer CV joints, as well as the boots. Depending on where you live and where he sources the parts, an indy mechanic might charge anywhere from $200-$300 for this repair.

Thanks! so - I can think not much more than $300. That is very helpful. As to your other questions…I am not learning much in this class- it’s been disappointing - but it’s been a bit helpful. I don’t think it has been leaking long as you all know what I have had done to my car- I am sure with all the people that have looked at my car- someone would have seen this. I don’t have a clear understanding of what these things are…I have a boo attached to each end of the axle is that it ? so - most people would replace both sides - the whole thing and that would be not much more than $300. Ok - that I can do.

If you replace both axles, you should double your estimate.
Believe it or not, just replacing the boots is not that much less expensive than just going ahead and replacing the axles.

They do make boots that are 2 piece and can be installed very quickly and easily. The only way that I would install them is if I knew I would be replacing both axles sometime very soon. They are not a permanent repair by any stretch of the imagination. They are installed without removing the axle.


I’m going against the grain here . . .

If your axleshafts are not making noise, I’d go ahead and have the boots replaced on both axles

The reason is this . . . I’ve had EXTREMELY bad experiences with cheap Chinese new axleshafts. And that is what the parts stores often stock

I’ve also had bad experience with Chinese remanned axleshafts.

I’ve had good experience bringing my axleshaft to a “mom and pop” shop that actually disassembled my own axleshaft and replaced the joints, boots, and clamps. The price was quite competitive, and the axleshaft lasted a lot longer than the cheap Chinese new axleshaft. I suspect pride in workmanship had something to do with it.

On the other hand, if you’re getting the parts . . . whether it be the boots, or the entire axleshafts . . . from the Subaru dealer, or if they’re going to do the repair, I have no problem with that. I just can’t see them using junky parts. But it will be expensive.

EMPI makes pretty good CV boots, by the way . . .

I have no problems with Chinese parts . . . as long as they’re good

Cost to remove your left axle shaft, clean one joint and repack with proper grease, install a new outer boot and install in the car, about $160 plus tax. If the inner joint needs to be serviced too add $40 or so.

Cost to remove your left axle and install a complete brand new axle $190 plus tax.

Which makes more sense?

However if you’re doing the work yourself you can find axle boots for about $15 or a complete new axle for $50.

This may sound irrational . . . and it doesn’t address costs

I’d still rather throw new boots on my axleshaft, which is not making noise . . . versus a brand new Chinese axleshaft, because of the extremely bad experiences I have had

Experience clearly weighs in when giving advice

@db4690, Yes, I understand where you’re coming from. There are one or 2 particular brands of CV shafts that I no longer use. But I seem to have found a brand that works well, in fact in over 3 years I haven’t had an issue with a shaft. The brand I won’t use may be in stock across the street but I will wait until tomorrow for the brand I prefer because of my experience.

Also, just because a joint isn’t noisy doesn’t mean it’s good as new. Remember, I have to warranty the job against any and all problems other than road debris for 12 months/12,000 miles. And once a boot is torn open, it’s a matter of a day or two before rainwater and mud/dirt/etc find their way into the boot. If I replace a boot and 6 months later the car is in for an axle vibration or noise I’m on the hook for it.

For your own car (or even my own in the right circumstance), replacing a boot is fine. But for a retail customer, you’d end up paying more for a used part with no guarantee vs a new part with a 2 yr/24,000 warranty.


thanks for your update . . . I can understand that if you’ve found a brand that works well, just stick with it

As for me . . . for my own cars I’ve always replaced only the boots, if the joint wasn’t yet noisy. It hasn’t come back to bite me yet. Not a few of those cars racked up some serious miles after boot replacement

But at work, it was a mixed bag. At the dealership, I installed only new or remanned axleshafts. But at my fleet job, I have on occasion replaced boots.

But then again, “the customer” won’t come back yelling and screaming . . . not at my current job

I think where you live may have some part in the decision as well. In the Seattle area, we’re lucky to go a week without rain. By the time that boot has been open for a month I guarantee there has been water in the joint.


wow1 I walk away and I see this conversation has taken on a life of it’s own! Now - first - I can’t do this myself - I wish - my almost nothing class ( we learned not much!) made me desire to learn more, but I don’t know where I can do that! - but - I got an estimate from the dealer and my local place. I think both of them said just replace the axle. Dealer around $315 local place - $250. I hope that is ok?


My advice . . . go with the dealer

They’ll use better parts . . . in my opinion . . . plus they’ll most likely stand behind the parts and labor for 1 year

If you want to use “the local place” make sure their warranty is just as good

this place has been very good about standing behind their work.