I recently took my Corolla to a chain tire and repair shop (no, not “Iffy Lube”) for an oil change, tire rotation, cooling system flush, and brake fluid change. When I picked up the car I was told I had a torn CV boot and that the half axle on that side needed to be replaced. I took it to a local independent shop for a second opinion and the owner told me the crack was so tiny it wasn’t worth worrying about right now and to have it checked again at my next oil change. Daughter’s boyfriend is a mechanic and he said shops bring up minor problems like this for liability reasons so the owner can’t say later that the shop caused the damage. So is this correct?
imho shop is correct to point out the boot is starting to crack. Why they told you, guessing they think it’s time to do the repair. No time like the present sort of thing. On my Corolla, any problems like this I notice on an outer boot, immediate boot replacement. I’m more forgiving on inner boots, some checking (tiny cracks)I allow there b/c inner boot isn’t flexed nearly as much.
Replacing boot only works on my vintage Corolla, but soon afterward design changed, makes replacing just the boot more time consuming, so replacing half shaft probably makes sense in your case. You’ll get both inner and outer boots replaced, seems like a good idea to me. As an alternative you can monitor the situation, as long as boot doesn’t have a visible hole in it, grease is staying inside, replace as soon as you notice visible hole forming.
Maybe not liability as much as giving you a heads up to a potential problem, our mechanic maintains a watch list of things to be aware of but that just need to be checked during the next visit. Dealer used to try to sell us all sorts of things that the regular shop said could wait until at least the next oil change visit.
It’s normal practice for a mechanic to inform a customer that they noticed a potential future problem after servicing a vehicle.
This gives the customer a heads up if they notice something unusual with the vehicle later while it’s being operated, and how important it is for the vehicle to be repaired.
We get all kinds of posts here from people who say they had some work done and then later an unrelated item needs repaired. They then want to know if the shop caused it . So yes the shop should mention what may be a future problem .
They are also hoping you will authorize immediate repair with them and if you have long term plans for this car you might want ir repaired soon so you don’t have to monitor it.
You might want the boot replaced before it starts leaking. It might cost as much as a new aftermarket halfshaft but factory cv joints are sometimes superior quality.
That was my take as well, that they wanted to do the repair–and didn’t want me to have a chance to get a second opinion. Or maybe I’m just being cynical? Owner of the independent shop says sure, it’ll need to be done eventually but why spend money until you have to? His shop does a brisk business and I doubt he needs the extra work.
When is it the right time to inform a customer their CV boot is leaking? Would you like a post card next week?
Except it isn’t leaking so I’m being informed of a problem that hasn’t happened yet.
In your OP you said the shop told you the boot was torn. Is it actually torn, or does it just look like it may tear soon? Or doesn’t it look torn or about to tear at all? Usually if there is a CV boot tear that goes all the way through it is already expelling some grease b/c the grease gets slung out by centrifugal force of the turning CV joint…
A “Trusted Mechanic” can save you hundreds in collateral costs by pointing out immanent future problems but a “Sleazure” can cost you hundreds in unnecessary costs, so which is it and who do you believe?
CV joint boots being rubber eventually form cracks which eventually result in failure it but would these “cracks” require immediate replcement?
It’s good that your repair shop noted the issue but more important is how long to you plan on retainung thecar,
Manager of the chain shop told me the boot was torn. I got the impression he was repeating what one of his mechanics had said. Owner of the independent shop had actually been under the car and told me there was a tiny crack and it wasn’t serious enough to worry about fixing.
I use to tell my customers when I found a torn CV boot to wait until the CV joint started making noise when making turns before replacing.