The CV shaft rubber boots are one of the weak links in the longevity and survival of front wheel drive axles. If the boot stays intact the grease stays inside and the joint can last the life of the vehicle.
On the flip side the CV joint rubber boot can be damaged and the grease can be slung out by centrifugal force. The lack of lubrication can cause premature wear of the CV joint.
If the boot is damaged enough it can also allow water and dirt into the joint and at that point the joint and shaft will probably be ruined very quickly.
These CV shaft rubber boots need special care when you are servicing your vehicle. The following tips may save you some trouble down the road. And reduce the need to either replace the boot or replace the entire shaft assembly.
CV boot care tips
When you are using a floor jack to lift up the vehicle be aware of the angle of the axle shaft and CV joints. Consider supporting the lower control arm so that there is less stress placed on the CV joint and boot.
Never use your CV shaft, CV joint or tripod joint as a lifting point for your floor jack. In some cases it may be an easy point to grab and look strong but don’t do it! The CV shaft was not designed to lift the vehicle and can cause a huge amount of damage to the shaft itself as well as the transmission output shaft and even the wheel bearings.
When performing a front wheel brake job or removing the wheels for balancing or rotation you can throw some shop towels over the rubber parts of the axle shaft or even precut a plastic container to protect the CV boot from accidental damage. You never know when your screwdriver will slip and puncture the boot by mistake.
The CV shaft rubber boots can be damaged by gasoline, oil and other chemicals. Take the time to make sure your CV boots are clean and dry. If they have gotten oil on them from a diy oil change or fuel from a fuel filter maintenance service make sure you clean the boot with soap and water only.
Take care of your CV boots and they will take care of you. The longer you keep them intact and in good condition the longer the whole axle shaft will last. In some cases I have seen the original CV shafts and boots last for the life of the vehicle.
If you are interested in drive train components and the care and maintenance of these important parts I have put together a repair module with lots of free information. You can visit this page on my other website and learn more about manual drive trains. For the latest post to this blog the next link will take you to the homepage were you can get some more auto repair information.