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Toyota Avalon Half Shafts

The half shafts (boots) were torn on my 1995 Avalon’s half shafts two years (and 21,000 miles) ago.I had them replaced with Toyota Reman units. Today, I’m rotating my tires. As I take the right front tire off, I noticed A LOT of grease on the inside of the wheel. I took a look at the cv joints and sure enough a torn boot. Same for the left side.
So let’s see; I got upwards of 180,000 miles out of the original shafts and only 21,000 mi. out of the replacements? Yeah, I know that they’re remans, but the problem was with the boots, not the metal innards.

As an aside, I had to STOMP on my lug wrench to remove the front wheels (dealer was the last to remove them when the steering rack was replaced). Now I need a wrench just to start the lug nuts on the studs. On the back wheels, two fingers will do the job.

Clearly, I’m not going back to the same shop. Am I better off with NAPA (or the like) NEW shafts? Or was this just a fluke?

I rebooted the outer half shafts on my Corolla at about 100 K miles, and now at a little over 200 K miles the boots are still looking pretty good. I’m guessing the same as you, your rebuilds came w/cheapo boots. As I recall the “Dorman” brand has had ok reviews here for their half shafts. It’s possible for a shop to just replace the boots too, and keep the rest in use.

There’s some possibility the rebuild boots themselves were ok, but were installed incorrectly. The two ends of the boots have to be spaced at the correct distance along the shaft or the ribs will rub against each other too much, or pull away from each other too much. And if any oil or grease products got on the outside of the boots, that will speed their deterioration. I learned that when I sprayed WD 40 on my VW Rabbit boots. Ooop! … lol … If you want to be proactive about your CV boots, you could do what I do, clean the exterior of the boots off every once in a while with soap and water. I do it whenever I change the engine oil.

As far as the lug nuts being too tight, that’s a very common problem reported here. Shops have an incentive to over-tighten, b/c under tightening poses a potential safety problem for the customer, and therefore liability to the shop. Anytime a shop tightens the lug nuts on my vehicles, the first thing I do is drive it home, loosen the lug nuts and tighten them by all by hand in the correct sequence, in 3 rounds, using a torque wrench. Good idea to purchase an 18-24 inch long 1/2 drive breaker bar and socket that fits your lug nuts and keep it in your trunk just in case you get a flat and the lug nuts are on really tight.


George: Thanks for the quick reply. Maybe some P/S fluid got onto the boots when the rack started to leak a year ago.
Anyway, can’t go wrong with your idea of cleaning the boots on a regular basis. Thanks!

Don’t forget!

Once you shampoo the CV boots, use a conditioner to keep them soft and supple.



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what is the best brand of CV boot conditioner to use?
I’m not sure if using wrong brand will limit their life :wink:

I use silicone spray lube on the boot. Never use Armor All rubber conditioner because it attracts dirt. You need to clean them first with soap and water and let them dry before spraying silicone lube.I never had a CV boot failure because of that.

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People often blame reman half-shafts or replacement boots for failure but I always look for rips or tears in the boots. In my neck of the woods this often happens when you run over chunks of snow and ice, as well as rocks. It is just the luck of the draw as it is impossible to avoid all snow and ice chunks in the winter.


I’ve never tried that. Good idea. My only experienced-based advice I can offer, don’t spray your CV boots w/WD 40. The reason why I tried it, my auto shop night school instructor said WD 40 — he explained that WD === “water displacement” — he said that WD 40 would help prevent water intrusion past rubber parts, bushings, seals, etc. So I figured it must be good for CV boots. Seems like common sense. Bad figuring on my part.

Exactly! WD 40 contains petroleum distillates and should be avoided.Anything that contains petroleum will damage rubber parts.