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Protection of rubber boots, bushings, etc

It seems like a precursor to many part failures, particularly the failure of suspension components which are protected by rubber boots, is precipitated at least in part by the failure of these boots and the entrance of dust and dirt into the grease, and of course the loss of grease.

I was wondering if there is any substance which can be smeared on these rubber boots (in particular I’m thinking about ball joint boots, which always seem to crack) in order to prolong their lives? I’ve heard that petroleum products can deteriorate rubber, so I’ve stayed away from the Liquid Wrench spray silicone lubricant, which I believe says something about petroleum on the can.

I’m also wondering whether there’s anything that can safely seal up ball joint boots that are beginning to crack and rot before actual penetration to the grease area occurs. Black RTV perhaps?

If you want to protect rubber components? Nothing works better than silicone spray.


Actually I’ve never had a problem with a bad boot that I can remember. Usually by that time the joint is shot. Best protection against joints failing prematurely is to keep fresh grease in them to purge any contaminants that might get in there.