EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CONSTANT VELOCITY BOOTS (CV BOOTS)
Most cars have rubber constant velocity boots (cv boots). The purpose of these cv boots is to retain the grease in the constant velocity joint and to prevent contamination of the grease by road debris and chemicals.
If the cv boot is damaged, it is essential that you replace it immediately as failure to do so will result in you having to pay considerably more to replace the cv joint / driveshaft.
It’s important that you check your boots on a regular basis; you should also have the complete driveshaft removed and serviced every 40 000 to 60 000 kilometers as this will save you money in the long run. The grease loses its viscosity and lubricating qualities after covering these distances, so replacing the grease extends the lifespan of the CV joint.
Avoidance of proper servicing of CV Joints
It’s one thing to just not bother to have your CV boots checked at regular service intervals, but it’s a completely different story when you take your vehicle to a service centre and they, in turn, take shortcuts.
You need to to be aware of how your chosen fitment centre replaces CV boots. The correct process is where the CV joints are completely removed from the vehicle, broken boots are replaced with either a high quality boot or a lower quality boot (see below), new grease is then packed into the boot and the CV joints are refitted.
There are also types of boots which have been specifically created to do away with the need to remove the driveshaft / cv joint, ensuring that the job can be done quite quickly. The most common of these types of boots is the split boot.
To fit this boot requires cutting off the old damaged boot, add grease and then you just simply glue it all back together. There is also a bolt version of the split boot. But, split boots have several severe drawbacks.
- The seam you glue together must be perfectly clean when the glue is applied, to ensure a good bond. The smallest speck of dirt or grease, on either surface may well cause the seam to fail.
- Secondly, it is impossible to clean and inspect the CV joint while it is in the car. You are unable to check for cage damage and wear on the race without the removal of this joint from the vehicle.
- It’s inevitable that some old grease would be left in the joint which will contaminate the new grease, causing the joint to fail eventually.
- Another pitfall is that often, when taking shortcuts like using a split boot, the incorrect grease would probably also used. The grease use din a CV joint must have a high molybdenum disulphide content. If an alternate grease is used the joint will fail. This grease allows for heavy loads, high speeds and lots of movement.
There are other systems that are used by fitment centers, where the primary objective is to do whatever it takes to avoid removing the joint. Driveshafts Centre would never recommend nor apply anything short of doing the job properly.
We’ve been in the busines long enough to know that without removing the CV joint, the old grease cannot be removed from the inner workings of the joint, secondly, the joint cannot be checked properly for wear and tear.
The customer who has just had his CV joint supposedly serviced would eventually face unexpected breakdown, Cv joint replacement expenses and considerable inconvenience soon after having a service, as a result of their fitment centre taking shortcuts.
Quality of CV boots
For most fitment centres, Hytrel boots seems to be a popular option. We don’t necessarily say it’s not, but caution is required when fitting them. If you look on car repair forums, you will see that many people complain about Hytrel® boots pulling off within days or even hours. This is true, it happens, but the root cause is that the person who fitted the boot has failed to use the specified equipment or straps. If the correct procedure is followed Hytrel® boots will last well in excess of five years and they can be as effective as the more expensive brands.
Unfortunately, in our 32 years of experience at DRIVESHAFTS CENTRE it has become abundantly clear that all the Chinese makes of boots will usually fail within a year and, consequently, the Chinese boot will end up not being a massive saving as you will be replacing a CV joint soon afterwards.
A decent boot will cost more but it will last a good few years. It is always advisable to find out what quality the replacement part is. The last 10 years has seen an influx of cheap eastern product that will save your pocket now, but severely deplete it in a few months. It’s worth noting here that the GKN/Löbro products are fitted by and endorsed by the majority of the car manufactures.
The Chinese products, are not specified by manufacturers and there is a very clear reason for this.
CV Joints deserve to be pampered, properly!
Considering the hammering a CV joint takes in fulfilling it’s in the drive train, it’s our opinion that the only way to to a do proper job when servicing CV joints is to take the joint off and check everything thoroughly. Anything else is simply a shortcut. As we all know, shortcuts cost money in the long term.
You need to ensure that your workshop (or you) fit quality boots even if you pay more, as it will save your pocket in the longer term.
Promotion: Driveshafts Centre is running a special promotion on CV boot services for all makes and models of 2X4 vehicles. The service includes full boot re-grease. If the boots are broken, they will also be replaced which is inclusive of the service fee. As mentioned above, we only replace boots with top with a quality brands. The service price during November 2016 for 2X4 vehicles is R1026 incl. VAT and labour and the replacement boot if replacement is required.
Please note that there is a slightly increased fee for 4X4 vehicles depending on the make and model.
Finally, we would like to re-emphasise our warranty. Driveshafts Centre is the ONLY CV joint fiitment centre that offers a 12 month warranty on CV boots fitted as a Driveshafts Centre Fitment Centre.