Repairing Your Car

How To Replace A CV Axle Boot

The CV boot on a vehicle is a rubber piece joining the transmission to the wheels and axles. If you experience axle vibrations, or you notice grease below the front axle, the CV boot likely needs replacing. 

An axle boot that is not replaced allows dirt and grease into the axle joint, which eventually damages the parts. It is easy to replace the CV boot by following these tips.

Prepare to Replace the CV Boot

To replace the CV boot, gather:

  • work gloves 
  • safety glasses
  • jack stands and wheel chocks
  • shop rags or paper towels
  • bucket 
  • oil drain pan
  • parts cleaner
  • lug nut wrench 
  • boot clamp pliers or screwdriver
  • bench vise grip
  • box cutter tool or rubber mallet

If you hear a popping or clicking when you turn, it could mean the whole axle shaft is damaged, and it can only be replaced. Shut off the motor, let it cool, and activate the parking brake. 

Prop both sides of the front end with jack stands, checking for suitable jack points in your manual, if needed, and slide wheel chocks under the tires on the ground. You may need to loosen the lug nuts slightly on the tire first with the lug nut wrench. but don't remove the tire or nuts yet.

Remove the Old CV Boot

Detach suspension parts to access the boot, such as shocks or struts, if needed, then set parts aside in the order you remove them. Completely loosen the nuts while an assistant presses the brakes, then remove the wheel.. 

Slide an oil pan or bucket under the transmission to catch grease. Hold the axle shaft in place with a bench vise grip, and separate the CV joint from the shaft. 

Use the clamp removal tool or a screwdriver to disconnect the metal clamps on each boot end. Knock the boot off the axle with a rubber mallet, or cut it using the box cutter, beginning at the opposite end on the nearest edge facing you

Install the New Boot

Clean the joint and axle using a parts cleaning agent, discarding rags or paper towels in the bucket. CV boot kits should come with grease. Spread grease on the joints and a portion of the axle. If you find a damaged joint, get it replaced. 

You should see grooves on the new boot and on the shaft where it attaches. Slide the boot over the axle, using the adhesive in the kit to glue each boot end. Add more grease to the boot, move it over the housing, then reinstall the clamps and other parts. Lower the vehicle, and deactivate the parking brake. Visit an auto repair shop for more help.