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What Does It Mean When My CV Axles Boots Are Leaking?

Posted by: All About Automotive on December 2, 2011

The constant velocity joint axles of a vehicle are essential parts of the vehicle’s drive train. These axles transfer power from the transmission/transaxle or differentials to the wheels of the vehicle.  Besides delivering power the constant velocity joint (CV) of the axle allows for flexibility while driving.

This flexibility is needed for all the different angles that are created while turning the vehicle to the right and left, and for traveling over bumps and various road conditions.  Front wheel drive cars, all wheel drive cars and some rear wheel drive vehicles that have independent suspension are equipped with CV joint axles.  Some vehicles even employ CV joint axles in the driveline.  The CV joint of the axle is a collection of bearings and cages that the allow axle rotation and power delivery on a bunch of different angles and planes, and for the axle to change length as it travels up and down.  All these parts are protected by a layer of grease that is contained by a flexible accordion style rubber boot.  Without the boot the grease would simply spin out the CV joints, leaving them dry, and open to collect road dirt and grime, causing further wear.When the CV axle boots become either cracked, torn or compromised in some way, the protective grease needed to keep the constant velocity joint lubricated will leak it’s way out, then moisture and dirt will work it’s way in.  This causes contamination of the CV joint and the best repair is to replace the entire CV joint axle rather than just the boot, due to the fact that the CV joint has now become compromised.

Signs of a CV joint axle with an impending failure are:  click – click – clicking while driving and/or turning, metallic cracking or clunking noises while turning, accelerating or decelerating.  When a CV joint axle fails completely, it will render the car immobile, since the transfer of power to the wheels can no longer be completed.  So when you hear those warning noises, or are told that your CV axle boot is leaking, it is a good idea to get the axles replaced as soon as possible.

Steve and Karen Johnston are owners of All About Automotive in Historic Downtown Gresham. If you have questions or comments, call them at 503-465-2926 or email them at cars@allaboutautomotive.com. Steve and Karen Johnston are owners of All About Automotive, providing auto repair and auto maintenance in Historic Downtown Gresham. If you have questions or comments, call them at 503-465-2926 or email them at cars@allaboutautomotive.com, you can also visit our website at www.allaboutautomotive.com.

Filed Under: Transmission

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