Average cost of CV Axle Boot Replacement for popular vehicle models in Boston:
Avg. cost $245
Avg. cost $212
Avg. cost $363
THE IMPORTANCE OF CV Axle Boot Replacement
What is a CV axle boot and how does it work?
A CV axle is a component of front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive vehicles. Also known as “half shafts”, these axles transfer power from the transmission or transaxle to the wheels. An individual axle is made up of a short, solid metal shaft with a special joint - the Constant Velocity joint - at each end. These joints allow for all of the up, down, in, and out movement of an independent suspension. They pivot in any direction to compensate for the suspension and steering while maintaining a consistent, or “constant”, velocity. Each CV joint on the axle is lubricated with grease and is encased in a rubber boot that also serves to keep it free from debris. This boot is called a CV axle boot.
Signs that a CV axle boot needs to be replaced
Most passenger cars and SUVs on the road today feature either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. If your vehicle falls into one of these categories, it also features CV axles with axle boots. Those components are important to proper function of the drivetrain, including the steering, suspension, and transfer of power to your wheels. When a CV axle goes bad, you might notice one or more of the following signs:
A clicking sound that can be heard when your vehicle is accelerating through a curve
A clunking noise upon deceleration
Excessive vibration at high speeds
Grease leaking from one of the rubber boots
FREQUENCY OF INSPECTION
How does a technician perform CV Axle Boot Replacement ?
CV axle boot replacement is not generally a simple procedure. The CV axle must first be removed from the vehicle. Because of this, and the fact that the cost of a new CV axle is not prohibitive, many technicians will recommend replacing the entire axle assembly rather than the boot(s). If one or more of the boots are to be replaced, a mechanic will lift and support your vehicle off of the ground and remove the wheel and tire. While the procedure for replacing a CV axle boot differs from one make and model to the next, the mechanic will need to do the following:
Remove the large nut retaining the CV axle and carefully loosen the axle inside the wheel hub
Set back any wiring that is in the way
Remove bolts to detach the steering knuckle from the strut assembly
In some cases, remove the tire rod end and lower control arm/ball joint from the steering knuckle
Work the outer end of the axle shaft out of the steering knuckle
Dislodge the CV axle from the transmission/transaxle or differential (may be bolted or retained with an internal clip
Remove the retainers that hold to boot(s) to the axle
Disassemble the CV joint(s)
Slide off the old boot(s) and clean off the grease from the joint(s)
Fill the new boot(s) with grease, insert onto the axle, and fasten with new retainers
Reassemble the CV joint(s)
Insert the inner end of the new axle shaft into the transmission/transaxle or differential, taking care to avoid damaging the part or the retainer
Insert the outer end of the shaft into the steering knuckle
Reinstall all other components and torque the fasteners
Check and top off the transmission fluid
OTHER QUESTIONS CUSTOMERS ASK
Can you replace just the boot on a CV axle?
If only the boot is damaged and there are no other signs that the CV joint is bad, it is possible to replace only the boot. Unfortunately, CV axle boot replacement requires that the entire axle shaft be removed and disassembled in order to install new boots. Because of the amount of work required - as well as the fact that the price of many new axles has come down in recent years - many technicians recommend replacing the entire axle assembly rather than just the boots.
Is it okay to drive with a torn CV axle boot?
It may be possible to drive for a short period with a CV axle boot that is cracked or leaking. Initial damage to the CV joint inside often results from dirt or other contaminants entering the CV joint boots and wearing away at the joint. Over time, the axle will show greater signs of damage and will eventually fail completely. It is difficult to know at what point that will happen. Since the CV axle is the only part that transmits power from your engine and transmission to the wheels, if it fails, you may be left stranded. Grease leaking from inside the boot can also cause quite a mess.
How do you replace a CV boot without removing the axle?
Some manufacturers make a replacement boot kit that can be installed on a CV axle without removing the axle from the vehicle. This is made possible because the replacement part has a slit all the way down the side that allows it to be wrapped around the CV joint once the old boot has been cut away. This repair is not recommended by most mechanics, since the boot does not seal the same way, nor does it offer the same protection that a seamless boot does.
What are some other common services related to CV Axle Boot Replacement?