cv boot repair costs? - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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cv boot repair costs?

a few months ago i bought an 05 OBW, my main mechanic checked it out before the buy and found the "left inner boot" had a tear or crack and i got the dealer to fix it before i bought it. i put that in quotes because that's how they said it, and i'm car-part illiterate.

i've felt, only on a few occasions, a vibrating sensation from the brake peddle when it's pressed. when i lift up, it goes away. this has happened maybe 5 times since i bought it.

yesterday i smelled a burning rubber smell from the front, couldn't tell where exactly. took it to the mechanic and they said the "left cv axel boot" was cracked or ripped and throwing some grease out, which might cause a smell.

cost is $250-275 to make this repair. is that about right? i like this shop, it's near my work and i drop off and walk to work. i'm dealer-averse, because i feel like they will overcharge (had that feeling from ford dealers). should i have gone to the subaru dealer?

thanks.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 04:20 PM
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Usually its the Right side boot that goes and pukes grease on to the exhaust. Are they just going to replace the boot? Changing the boot or whole axle is about the same labor.

I would suggest that you think about replacing the whole axle with a MWE Re-manufactured unit:

http://www.ccrengines.com/mwe/

There have been a number of reports of aftermarket axles causing vibrations at idle (Auto Trans).

or use a remanufactured unit from Subaru (2-3 times the MWE cost).

Wonder why the dealer said they fixed the left side and its the left side again? There are two boots per axle.

The pulsating when you apply the brake pedal is usually warped brake rotors and probably not related to the axle.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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miker104, i apologize for not reading this until now (i didn't receive an email notification about your post).

thanks for the link! and the tip about the brakes.

i might've misspoke, the left inner boot was found to be cracked, my mechanic said the dealer replaced the whole assembly (boots and axle), now it's the right side that spews grease, or was, maybe it's all gone now...

which brings up a new thing: we had about 8" of snow in columbia, south carolina (our first good snow in about 8 years), i had a blast driving around town! but i heard a vibrating rumbling sound from the right front... maybe that's the axle? now that the grease is all gone? i thought maybe it had something to do w/ the snow/ice, building up, but it makes the sound during turns now.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 09:29 AM
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That noise could be snow or ice build up. Many here have reported similar issues when snow/ice first meet their Subie. Since you have already had the left side axle replaced due to the boot issue, I would suggest the same for the right side. Might as well have bot fronts at same condition. OEM or quality rebuilt axles generally last a long time. Some have reported vibration issues at idle with parts store axles in the AT cars.

Many here swear by MWE rebuilt axles or Subaru Remanufactured ones.

http://www.ccrengines.com/mwe/index.html
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-17-2010, 01:24 PM
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I'm in the same boat.
I took my '04 OBW to get the AC charged up & the oil changed.
While he had it up in the air, he noticed a little bit of grease on the rotor. He told me there was a pinhole lead on the boot on the drivers side.
I asked about replacing the boot, but he said it'd be just as cheap to replace the whole axle. When I asked if replacing the axle was difficult due to it being an AWD, he stated no. He told me the leak wasn't bad, but to keep an eye on it.
I'm no mechanic & have no idea as to how the AWD works. Was he stating the truth about ease of installation of the axle?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-17-2010, 05:13 PM
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Replacing a CV axle in an AWD Subaru is no different than replacing an axle on a 2 wheel drive car. Only difference is there are 4 of them instead of 2 - one for each driven wheel.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-07-2015, 07:39 AM
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I was told by my independent repair shop in Boulder (Superupair - GREAT place BTW) that the right (passenger side) boot always fails faster than the left (due to it's proximity to the exhaust and the heat accelerating the fatigue of the rubber) but on my 07' OBW I've replaced both several times.

His explanation was that the angle of the boot around the axle was causing the boot to flex in and out with every vertical movement of the car (like bumps while driving) and when you flex rubber enough it eventually goes bad and cracks/tears. Once the boot is torn dirt and grime can get up into the axle bearings and destroy it.

The comments about replacing the whole CV axle (due to labor cost) is what I've been told by every mechanic that's ever worked on it. That makes sense.

I even asked if the boot tearing causes the axle to fail, then why not just keep driving with the torn boot till the CV axle goes bad? His comment was that once that starts to fail it can cause a chain reaction of failures that are far more costly and have potential to cause safety type failures - think accident.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-07-2015, 09:42 AM
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Beware the MWE axles, or anything remanned by Cardone. QC has slipped significantly lately.

I just bought a SUBARU reman axle for $189.

SUBARU reman is TOTALLY different from CARDONE or MWE reman.

Just so you'll know
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-07-2015, 02:14 PM
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I just replaced my left cv Axel, did it at the dealer because I only have one car and did not want to mess with it. 200 for the reman Axel and 200 for labor which is about right. I lost the right boot about 4-5 years ago so that has been done. Just as cheap to do the whole Axel vs the boot. They seem to last about 6-7 years on the right side above the heat of the Converter and my left lasted about 12 years. After 12 pretty much everything rubber under my car was cracked, driving in Texas. I have done both ball joints for boots, both steering boots, and both CV axels for boots, and both rear end links for rubber boots cracked. The rear CV boots are hard but have not cracked yet to cause a leak
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-07-2015, 02:20 PM
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Rebooting an axle is really only cost-effective if you do it yourself. Paying someone else $75-$100/hr to do it for you costs as much or more for a Soob reman.

Boot kits aren't expensive, but doing the work is time consuming.
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