Reader Question Hi Austin. I have a Nissan Maxima 1999 with 105,000 miles on it. I am told by the dealership service that I need new front CV boots and they are costing this out to $400. What’s the likelihood that this is truly a problem considering the vehicle age and mileage? How can I be sure this is legitimate? If it is, is it better to replace the whole CV shaft and should that be cheaper?
Any advise is so appreciated. I just want to make sure I am not getting bad advice, especially since I am a woman.
It would not surprise me one bit to see broken CV boots with that mileage and age. You can easily get a second opinion though from a local repair shop or a fast lube place. Just have them raise up the vehicle and look at the rubber boots to see if they are torn and grease is coming out of them. If the boots are just cracked, you could postpone this repair awhile longer. If the boots are broken and you can put your finger inside the boot, they need to be replaced.
It is sometimes better to replace the entire CV shaft instead of just the boot. The dealership is not going to have the inexpensive rebuilt shafts like your local repair shop will have, so you might want to call around and get prices after you are sure you really need to do this repair. $400 is about right for the boots at a dealership; I would charge you about $500 parts and labor to replace both shafts.
The big question is do you really need to replace the shafts? If the boots have been torn open and grease has been slinging out of the boot and dirt and road debris has been getting inside the joint, then in my opinion I would recommend replacing the shaft.
If you have a “clacking” noise when you make a hard turn, definitely replace the shafts as the joints have been damaged by the loss of grease. On a side note, if the boots are in deed torn open, and have been that way for awhile….you need to have a strong talk with your oil change mechanic. Inspecting the CV boots is a free service when getting an oil change. If they overlooked something as simple as a torn CV boot…what else did they not inspect?