What are the symptoms of a defective axle boot/ drive shaft boot? How much does the repair / replacement cost? What are the general costs? The most important information briefly summarized. Axle boot/drive shaft boot are two different names for the same part. These are bellows that serve to protect the drive shaft joints. They are currently produced from TEEE/thermoplastic. Each driven axle has four axle boots. Two on each side, on the inside of the gearbox and one on the outside of the wheel. Axle boots are highly stressed because they rotate with the drive shaft. They have to follow the movements of the joints and they have to cope with fluctuating temperatures. The axle boot has two important tasks. On the one hand, it protects the drive shaft joints from dirt and chemicals and the environment from escaping grease.
Symptoms/signs of a sprocket failure?
- Cracks may be visible on the outer cuff.
- Grease is coming out of the cuffs. It can be noticed when changing a wheel or collect on the wheel housing or the rim.
- At certain speeds, a slap in the steering wheel can be felt on level ground.
- Creaking or cracking noises can be heard when driving.
- Rattling when driving off with the steering wheel turned.
If it is to be checked whether a boot is torn or leaking, the wheel must be be dismantled. You can then see whether fat has leaked out. If grease has leaked out, it is likely that the boot has ruptured and needs to be replaced. Should the inner cuff (transmission side) checked, a lifting platform is required.
Can the vehicle still be driven with a defective axle boot?
The car initially drives on, but should not be used permanently in this way. A timely visit to the workshop is important. When driving with a defective cuff, fat is lost. In addition, the drive shaft joint is no longer protected from dirt and moisture. This can wear out the driveshaft faster than you think. In the worst case, a new axle boot is no longer sufficient. Then the vehicle may need a new drive shaft or a new drive shaft joint, which is associated with significantly higher costs. There is also a risk that the grease will penetrate through the cracks and be thrown onto the brake disc. A greasy brake disc results in limited braking, which is a safety risk.
With a worn axle boot to the general inspection?
In principle, should be known defects and before be remedied during the main inspection. If the defect in the axle boot was not yet known, it depends on how far it has progressed. If it's a bit porous, it's a minor defect before and the car is the HU. If the defect is more advanced, the vehicle does not pass the HU because the escaping grease is harmful to the environment.
Will the axle boot be changed or repaired?
It is theoretically possible to patch the cuff and mend the tears. However, since the cuff is a heavily used part, a repair would not last long. Therefore prefer change. Merely greasing is not enough, because that does not solve the problem. In most cases, the drive shaft is first detached from the inside of the gearbox and completely removed. The joint can then be dismantled outside of the vehicle, cleaned and checked for further damage. The cuff is changed and everything is greased again. Then the drive shaft can be reassembled. Theoretically, the axle boot can also be changed with the drive shaft installed.
Universal axle boots save work!
The change is much easier with universal axle boots. These cuffs are particularly elastic and can be easily pulled over the mounted joint with a special tool. In this way, a large part of the work is saved. However, there is a disadvantage here, damage that has already occurred due to dirt can easily be overlooked.
How much does it cost to change the axle boot?
If an axle boot is damaged, the other boots should also be checked, after all they have had a similar life, are often the same age and can therefore be in the same condition. In this case, it might make sense to replace several cuffs at the same time. A distinction is made between the inner sleeve on the transmission side and the outer sleeve. The costs depend on which sleeve is defective and how much installation work is required. A new axle boot costs between 10 and 80 euros. The vehicle model and the manufacturer of the spare part play a role here. Manufacturers such as Bilstein, Febi, SKF, Spidan or Triscan have axle boots in their range. The change itself takes between one and three hours. Here it depends on which components have to be dismantled in order to be able to dismantle the drive shaft. If the workshop takes an hourly wage of 100 euros, the working time will be between 100 and 300 euros. This calculation gives a total of 110 to 380 euros.
What is the purpose of the axle boots?
Their most important task is to protect the joints of the drive shafts. The axle boots must do the following:
- They have to be robust and able to withstand dirt, chemicals such as road salt, different temperatures and age.
- You must compensate for the movement of the joint, such as bending and shifting.
- They seal the joint so that the grease does not escape and the lubrication is permanently maintained. This also protects the environment from the fat.
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