How to Check Your CV Boots In Mobile, AL
CV boots are an important element of your vehicle that is easily overlooked. Palmer’s Toyota Superstore wants to help our Mobile customers spot issues with your CV boots before a major problem arises. A CV boot is a cover that fits over each of the joints located on a constant velocity (CV) axle.
The CV axle is typically used on front-wheel drive vehicles but can also be used on the rear of all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive vehicles. The axle itself is used to transfer power from the transmission or differential to the drive wheels. This axle has a joint on each end that allows the axle to flex and move with suspension and steering components. The joint flexes through the use of bearings while maintaining a constant speed. The purpose of the boot is to over the joint and hold a special grease within the joint itself to keep it lubricated. The CV boot also prevents dirt and other contaminants from entering the joint.
If your CV boot fails, grease will be allowed to leave the joint, causing it to run dry which will ultimately lead to failure of bearings inside the CV joint. Should this occur, the entire axle assembly will need to be replaced. Often, drivers don’t know that CV boots have failed until it’s too late. You’ll know it’s too late when you notice the infamous ticking noise while driving and turning your steering wheel. The clicking noise indicates the joint on the axle has failed and the axle shaft needs to be replaced as an assembly. Knowing some of the signs of a bad CV boot can help you identify when the boot has failed, which can allow you to replace it or have it replaced for the axle joint fails.
Initial Inspection: Before lifting your vehicle off of the ground, there are several inspections that can be done to try and diagnose a failing CV boot.
- Check for Grease On Your Wheels – When looking at your wheels, if there is any grease on them, it is an indication that there is a CV boot failure. When the outer boot fails, grease comes out of the joint and as the axle spins, the grease will typically be thrown on the wheel.
- Check for Grease On Your Fender Wall – Due to some car designs, the CV joint grease can’t make its way onto the wheel itself. Many times it is thrown onto the fender well liner. Check out the fender wells for signs of grease which would indicate a possible failing CV boot.
Under Vehicle Inspection: An initial inspection may or may not reveal any signs of a bad CV boot. If nothing is found, further inspection of the boots needs to be done. At this point, you will need to inspect the area under your vehicle.
Materials Needed Include:
- Jack stands
- Wheel chocks
- Hydraulic floor jack
- Park Your car on a flat, hard surface and apply the parking brake
- Chock the tires by placing the wheel chocks around the rear tires
- Jack up the car. Working on one side at a time, place the floor jack under the front jacking points and lift the vehicle high enough that you can easily get underneath it.
- Lower the vehicle onto the jack stands by placing the jack stand under the jacking point on your vehicle and lower the vehicle onto the jack stand. With the vehicle in the air, you’ll be able to fully inspect CV boots. There are several things to look for which will help you to diagnose a boot that may fail soon or that has already failed.
- Check for a cracking CV boot using a flashlight, look closely at the boot. Between the ridges it is common for the boot to start to crack after years of use. If it’s starting to crack, it’s a good idea to replace the boot before it actually fails.
- Check for leaking CV boot clamps. It’s a good idea to take a close look at the clamps that hold the ends of the boots to the axles. These clamps can come loose over time and grease can begin to leak from them. If it’s caught early enough, the clamps themselves can be replaced to preserve the boot and axle.
- Check for a torn CV boot. If the boot is torn and leaking grease, it will need to be replaced.
- Check for a torn booth with dirt in the joint. If the CV boot is torn and dirt is in joint, then the entire CV axle needs to be replaced. Once dirt gets into the joint, it will cause the joint bearings to wear excessively and axle will fail.
These visual checks can be performed anytime and can typically assist you in diagnosing a failed boot so that you can be replaced before the entire CV axle fails. Do you need help checking on the condition of your CV boots? Come by Palmer’s Toyota Superstore at 470 Schillinger Rd S, Mobile, AL 36695 or give us a call at (251) 639-0800 to schedule your service appointment today. You can also schedule your service appointment online anytime. Our service hours are Monday-Friday 7 AM-6 PM and Saturdays 7 AM-4 PM.