Replace CV boot vs Axle?

My mechanic went for buying the boot and replacing on my Honda. He does NOT use the split boot.

Most other mechanics just replace the axle. Over the weekend, saw a classic Cadillac with the front wheel broken on the axle - am I potentially running the risk of having a broken axis on the wheel? Which repair is more safe? If the axle were being replaced the part might not be Honda unless I buy it - unsure what price is at the dealership.

It would be safer to replace the whole axle.Labor is the same because he has to remove the axle to change the boot. Remanufactured axles are fine and cost a lot less than Honda. My Toyota has a reman axle and never give me problems.

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Replace whole axle assembly.

Changing out a CV axle is such a routine job that I’d go that way rather than chance it with an old part.

In the past, I’d applied this “replace the whole axle with aftermarket/reman” motto to my Subaru Outback, and immediately vehicle started to show terrible vibration at idle when in drive.
Apparently, this is a well known issue for Subaru: it needs some free-play in the joints or it will transmit vibrations from the engine to the body.
Too bad, I’ve already returned my old one as a “core”, so I had to go to junkyard and buy an original Subaru axle, then it worked as a charm.
When another boot went south, I bought a boot only and was surprised that replacement was so easy to do.

The summary to my story is: “it depends…”

I would say: if boot is only recently torn, axle is not “clicking” and no dirt made its way inside, it is a good change that replacing boot only will be a better approach.

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I just did what thegreengrag0n did. My 1999 Civic had a small tear I discovered within a couple hundred miles of it happening. Tried a split boot, which leaked, and instead went ahead and installed a Honda OEM boot. I have more trust in the known OEM Honda axle with its 179,000 miles than an aftermarket rebuilt axle.

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em, this thread is split - seems more on the side of replacing the boot as one member gave specific example.

My car had less than 130k and 2000 model. It just seeing the classic Cadillac with broken axle is what drove my imagination. The classic Cadillac prob weighs ton more - prob 1950/60 model.

Perhaps if your car has 400k mileage, then it is time to change the axle?

With @thegreendrag0n’s example - is it to do with workmanship?

Perhaps you were looking at a vehicle with a broken ball joint, a broken half shaft or CV joint won’t affect the position of the wheel.

Plus it was a rear wheel drive so you are comparing apples to oranges.

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If you replace just the boot on your own vehicle, and the CV-joint starts making noise a month later, you’re the one who eats the cost.

But when you service other peoples vehicles and you do this, if the CV-joint starts making noise, you have to look the angry customer in the eye, and tell them they have to pay you again to do it the right way.



@Tester - my mechanic did them on two cars. One was recent the other was at least 4 yrs ago - not a single issue.

I do not know how he does it. My understanding was that he removes to expose it - pack it with grease and put the boot and bolt it back - and put a clip over the boot. BTW, he is the only one who does this way in this area - prob cost me around $170. I would go again to his CV boot service unless mileage is over 300k.

How much does a reman axle cost with install - believe $250 - not a huge difference?

The cost depends on the vehicle.

So are you willing to pay your mechanic twice, if a CV-joint starts making noise after the boot replacement?


It never happened to me. Its been more than 4yrs. And it was out joint boot that ripped. I believe that repair was done quickly and no dirt got in their.

It would cost you more in labor/shop supplies to remove the axle, clean/grease/reboot the questionable CV-joint, than to install a remanufactured axle.



I’ve replaced broken outer CV boots without replacing the axle or the joint on my Corolla and on my prior VW Rabbit, and never had a problem. It depends on how long the boot has been broken. In my case I must have always caught the boot-break early enough that no damage to the CV joint occurred. I just removed & cleaned the joint of the old grease, re-lubed, re-installed, re-booted, done. On newer Corollas the job isn’t quite as easy b/c the CV joint cannot be removed without destroying it. On my early 90’s Corolla I can remove the outer CV joint (after freeing it from the hub) by undoing a circ-clip and it slides right off. I don’t even need to remove the axle from the transmission.

Not saying I’d necessarily recommend this approach, just sharing my own experience. Good idea if you are a diy’er to inspect the boots frequently, especially the outer ones. And avoid getting any oil, gasoline, or solvents on the boots if possible. I always wash the Corolla’s boots with soap and warm water whenever I change the oil.


Labor isn’t the same in California southern California that is. Big difference in CV boot vs axle replacement