The constant-velocity joint, otherwise known as the CV joint, is a car component that lets power be transmitted by the drive shaft at a variable angle without too much friction being produced. The wheels receive the transmitted power so that they can turn and move.
A CV boot is needed for the CV joint because it prevents dirt and water from getting inside the joint. At the same time, it keeps lubricating grease inside of the joint and prevents it from escaping. If you want your CV joints to operate smoothly by staying lubricated, then you need to have CV boots on them.
Since the CV boots are made from rubber, they do not last forever. If the CV boots were to develop cracks or tears, then grease would escape the joints. Not only that, but water and dirt from the outside would make their way into the joints. If you let this problem go on for too long, then it could lead to a mechanical failure. Then your vehicle won’t move until you get it fixed.
Replacing the CV Boot
You should get anywhere between 80,000 and 100,000 miles out of your CV boots. It all depends on your driving habits. Once you experience the symptoms mentioned above, then you will know it is time to replace your CV boots. Of course, periodic inspections of the CV joints will let you know when it is time to replace the CV boots before any serious symptoms emerge.
10 Common Steps
Below are the steps for replacing a CV boot in your vehicle.
1) Gather all the necessary tools and materials that are needed. This would include gloves, clamp boot cutters, bucket, box cutter knife, hydraulic jack, parts cleaner, lug nut wrench, safety stands, rags, safety glasses, and wheel chocks.
2) Set the emergency brake on your vehicle and set the gear to park. Position the wheel chocks in the back of the rear wheels.
3) Jack up the vehicle with the hydraulic jack. Make sure you jack the appropriate side where the CV boot is located that you want to replace.
4) Get underneath your vehicle and place safety stands in the proper positions in order to secure the body frame and hold the weight of the vehicle.
5) Remove the lugs from the appropriate wheel with the lug nut wrench. Have someone else apply a small amount of pressure to the brake pedal as you do this.
6) The rubber CV boot has a metal clamp on every one of its ends. Take off the metal clamps one-by-one with the clamp cutters.
7) After you’ve removed the clamps, use the box cutter to cut off the rubber CV boot. Find the edge of the boot that is closer to you and begin cutting from there with the box cutter. Then proceed to cut in the direction away from you.
8) Place a bucket down on the floor. You will begin to clean the CV joint that was underneath the rubber CV boot. Put on safety goggles and gloves for this task.
9) A special cleaning agent and soft rags can be used to remove the old grease, dirt, and other residues from the CV joint. Throw away the rags after you’re done.
10) Apply new grease to the CV joint. Put on the new CV boot over the joint. The boot should come in a kit with some glue to help make it stick better.
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The replacement cost of a CV boot could be anywhere from $440 to $520. The parts costs are anywhere from $270 to $300, while the labor costs are anywhere from $170 to $220. There are additional taxes and fees added to these prices. Do not forget that.
You could always save on labor costs by doing the labor yourself. However, you must be familiar with auto work and replacing components in vehicles.