Front wheel drive cars usually feature a design that combines the transmission and front axle into a single unit or transaxle. The drive axle is a split axle with a differential and universal joints between the two half axles. The half axles connect to the wheel by use of CV joint, allowing the wheel assembly to move freely vertically and also pivot during turns.
CV boots are the protective rubber boots that cover the flexible ends of the drive axles. The boot has an accordion like appearance with a large end and a small end resembling a funnel. The CV boots are attached to the axle with a metal band clamp on either end of the boot, which presses the CV boots against the axle to keep them in place. Special grease contained within each boot lubricates the CV joint. CV boots keep the grease from drying out and also keep dirt and grit from mixing with the grease. Contaminated grease forms an abrasive paste that can quickly damage the CV joint.
Regular checks and maintenance of the CV boots and axles can save you money. The parts must be kept greased and free from grit and dirt. Even a small amount of contamination can damage or destroy your axle assembly. Pay attention to any sign of defect in the CV boot immediately, such as leaks or breakage.
Is your vehicle in need of service for issues with CV boots and axles? Contact us today to set an appointment.
How critical is it to replace a compromised CV boot?
It does not take long for a cracked, leaking, or torn CV boot to damage the CV joint itself, quickly compounding the expense of a repair. If you experience any unusual noise when turning or accelerating, such as clunking, the CV joints themselves may already be damaged and the axle will need to be replaced. It is important to bring your vehicle in for inspection at the first sign of trouble, and not to put off repair.