So, your mechanic says your car needs CV “boots”? Who even knew your car had “boots”? And why are they important?
The CV (Constant Velocity) joints are located on the ends of your drive shaft/axle, and their purpose is to transfer the torque and power of the engine at a constantrate to your wheels. Most CV joints/boots are found on the front axles, but they may also protect the rear axle joints as well.
The CV joints, or axles, are covered by a sealed plastic or rubber “boot”. The purpose of the boot is keeping dirt and moisture out. They also enclose the grease packed around the joint, which serves to lubricate the moving parts.
As is the case with many of your vehicle’s parts, they can and will wear with time and mileage. The boot can disintegrate or crack over time, or get torn when running over an obstacle on or off the road. This allows moisture and dirt to get into the axle joint. If left too long, the lack of lubrication and corrosion will damage the CV joint.
Symptoms of a torn CV boot are clicking or popping sounds upon turning or acceleration. If you notice changes in the sounds in your vehicle, be aware of when and where the sounds occur (for example, with turning or always on one side) or if it occurs at a specific speed. All of this information will help your technician determine if the CV boot/ axle is creating the noise, or if it is coming from another part or assembly on your car.
Most CV boots will last around 100,000 miles. However, with newer and improved materials being utilized, they can last 200,000 miles and more.
Although the joint can be re-packed with grease and the boot can be replaced, it is generally more cost effective to replace the entire axle and CV boot. This is because the axle is sold as a unit, and it is less labor-intensive to replace the entire axle.
So, if you think you are hearing or feeling something different or odd when driving your car, be sure and mention it to your honest and accurate service writer. He will make sure the technician responsible for maintaining your car does a thorough inspection of the suspect problem or sound.