CV Boot/Axel Boot - Auto Repair

Reply Tue 31 Jul, 2007 09:12 pm
I recently purchased a 1996 Honda Accord LX from a good friend. The car was thoroughly checked out by her mechanic (who has worked on the car since she purchased the vehicle in 1998). The mechanic stated the axle boot needed replacing, which it was, as part of our negotiation.

My concern is that this new part is faulty or that there is something else/something wrong with the CV Joint that should have been corrected and wasn't. My concern arose when I was driving this car on the 405FWY (those of you in the LA, CA area will recognize this, especially)...the pavement is grooved with verticle lines/each lane which causes car steering to swerve a bit. My prior vehicle (which was a lower-profile vehicle...sportscar) would swerve a bit in this area, but because the steering was much tighter, it was not as noticeable as it is on this vehicle ('96 Honda) and much easier to control. Driving the Honda on this particular type of pavement I experienced a more drastic swerving - to the point I felt as if I were driving on an ice patch. Does the CV joint/boot have anything to do with this? If not, what else might cause this, other than the pavement surface? I admit I am a bit paranoid as I lost my prior vehicle earlier this year in an auto accident...lost control while trying to stop... due to bad pavement (what a surprise)...I really don't want to re-live that experience if I can help it.

The car has 4 brand-new tires, allignment and balancing, all completed at the time of purchase. The brakes were checked and ok'd by the seller's mechanic at the time the axel boot was replaced. The seller was charged $350 for this repair, which I gathered was mostly due to the labor involved...isn't everything? Rolling Eyes

If anyone has any information to share, I would really appreciate it!
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Reply Tue 31 Jul, 2007 10:33 pm
The CV boot covers a joint in the stering train between the steering rod and the wheel. If the boot has been broken for some time grit and dirt build up in the joint and cause wear inthe CV joint. the end story is slop and play in the steering. That is, the wheel will turn left or right a little without turning the steering wheel. It is even possible (if both joints are badly worn for the right wheel to turn to the right and the left wheel to turn to the left.

If you wish to test the CV joints yourself you will need to jack the car up and push a wheel to the right and left to check how much play/or slop there is before the steering train begins to operate.
Sometimes if the wear in the joint is minor a new boot and grease will stop the play sometimes its a matter of try replacing the boot If that doesnt work replace the joint. 10 years is around the time you would expect to get this problem.

It is possible that any component of the suspension/drive train to have the effect you describe, even the tread on very new tyres may engage the grooves you describe.

A good mechanic should assist you in assessing the problem.

My advice is NEVER buy a car from a friend ( you wont be friends for long), and always have the car checked by YOUR Mechanic.
Reply Fri 12 Sep, 2008 11:26 am
Hello I just bought a car (92 sentra) that does the exact same thing , and I know what car of 405 your talking about. Did you ever get this fixed? what was it and how much? I have a small child and Im concerned thanks
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Reply Sun 13 Sep, 2009 09:58 pm
I'm sorry, but I need to interject as your advice here w/r/t CV joints is completely wrong. The CV (constant velocity) joint transmits power from the transaxle to the wheels -- it has NO ROLE AT ALL in maintaining steering geometry. You are confusing CV joints with ball joints/tie-rod-ends which most definitely will result in sloppy steering (or a complete loss of control) if greatly worn. The ball joint typically forms the pivot point for the front suspension, while the tie rod end joins the steering arms to the suspension.
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