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Old 04-04-2012, 12:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Passenger side grease leak, Axle recently replaced

Hi all, this is my first post and I'm limited in my knowledge here but maybe you can help out. I had the front axles replaced 6 months ago after the passenger side busted and leaked grease over the exhaust. I was driving home from work today and smelled the same smell as six months ago and there was smoke as well. The boot is not busted (see first pic) but grease was on the exhaust like last time. It appears that the grease is coming from the two tubes that connect to the power steering fluid (see 2nd pic). I will inspect again tomorrow during the day but does anyone have any ideas on what blew and how much it should take to cost? This is for a my 2006 Outback
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Passenger side grease leak, Axle recently replaced-photo-70-.jpg   Passenger side grease leak, Axle recently replaced-photo-73-.jpg   Passenger side grease leak, Axle recently replaced-photo-74-.jpg  
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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That sure looks like grease, and not power steering or automatic transmission fluid, which would be runny (i,e. liquid and not a paste). As far as I know, the only place where there's grease like that is in the drive axle CVs.

The axle boot appears clean in the first photo except at the top of the third ridge (counting from right to left) where there appears to be a darker area. Have you actually checked it all around for a crack in one of the folds? It might be only a partial break, rather than all the way around.

At the bottom center of the first photo there appears to be a more-or-less vertical line of grease on the cross-member as well as dots of grease on the engine around the front differential dipstick. This suggests that the grease was being flung out from somewhere, and the only centrifugal force source in that area is the axle. I think you could almost look at the line of grease on the cross member and find the area on the boot that corresponds.
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The boots could have been overfilled with grease or the band securing the end of the boot could be loose or have broken. In the second pic, looks kinda like the boot is missing it's metal 'band'.

did you check the fluid level in the PS tank?
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Old 04-04-2012, 03:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1 Lucky Texan View Post
. . .In the second pic, looks kinda like the boot is missing it's metal 'band'. . . .
Good observation. I had a look at my 07 and as best as I could compare it with the photos, the band should be quite apparent, and isn't, and the line of grease on the cross-member is more in line with the large end of the boot, so it could well be grease leaking out due to a loose fitting on the DOJ.

Will have to see what BHenry7676 finds . . .
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The metal band is there, i think the light didn't reflect or something, see pic. I did find a very small (<1cm) slit after further inspection today on the complete underside of the boot. The grease spewed from the slit in the vertical line. I called the shop that did the work and looks like the axle still has a warranty and will be getting fixed. I appreciate the help!
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Surprising, perhaps, how much grease can be expelled through a small crack in the boot. This is a benefit in that although some grease gets out, it's less likely that dirt and water would have gotten inside the boot, so the CV joint is probably still clean. The appearance of grease despite the boot looking good can be an "early warning" if the area is checked regularly, i.e., before the boot completely splits.

Thanks for the update.
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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What is the brand or source of the 2 replacement axles?
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