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How to change a CV joint boot

Updated March 23, 2017

Changing the continuous velocity (CV) joint boot on a car is important, as the CV boot keeps grease in the moving components of an axle on both front- and rear-wheel-drive vehicles. CV joint boots do not require replacement unless they become torn, which allows grease to leave the boot, causing premature wear to the axle. If you catch it early, you can replace a damaged CV boot and repack it with grease before the axle is damaged.

Use a floor jack to raise the side of the vehicle that has a ripped CV joint boot. Use the designating jacking point as stated in your owner's manual. Then support the vehicle on a jack stand. Never work on the vehicle when it is supported only by a hydraulic floor jack; the vehicle could fall if the jack fails.

Use a lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts on the wheel. Pull the wheel toward you and remove it from the axle.

Remove the centre hub nut. This will require a special socket, as the hub nut is very large.

Remove suspension components. On some vehicles, pieces of the suspension may prevent you from accessing the axle shafts. If shocks or struts are in the way, unbolt them and swing them out of the way.

Remove the clamps that hold the CV joint boot in place, using a screwdriver.

Remove the CV joint boot.

Check that the CV joint is still packed with grease. If the joint is completely dry, it has been damaged and may also need replacement.

Pack the new CV joint with silicone grease.

Slip the new boot over the CV joint, and tighten it using clamps.

Reconnect suspension components, re-tighten the centre hub nut and replace the wheel. Lower the vehicle, using the hydraulic jack.

Tip

Some parts manufacturers make "split boots" that fit over the CV joint without your having to disassemble any part of the vehicle. You can install these boots in minutes; but because they do not always match the manufacturer's specifications, they may require premature replacement. In a pinch, a split boot is a good idea--but regularly check it for leaks.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Lug wrench
  • Hub socket
  • Socket set
  • CV joint boot
  • Grease
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About the Author

Michael Ryan is a freelance writer with professional experiences in the auto industry and academic training in music. Ryan earned a Bachelor of Arts with honors from Olivet College. Since college, he has been a featured speaker at music conferences at the University of Michigan and Bowling Green State University. Ryan is a published writer, with work featured on websites including eHow and CarsDirect.com.