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I recently noticed that what I think are the inner CV boots on my 99 Nissan Almera have started coming apart:

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They were still in one piece this past August when I took the car for inspection, so this is fairly recent.

How urgent is it to deal with this and what are the possible negative consequences of waiting an extended period of time, say six months, before dealing with it. I ask that because I'm anyways planning on replacing the struts before the next inspection as they've been leaking for a few months and I'm starting to feel the car is more jiggly when going over bumps.

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From my experience of CV boots, you need to replace them immediately if you want to keep the CV joint it covers. It doesn't take long for dirt to destroy the joint once it gets inside the boot. If you leave it until the joint starts to deteriorate, then you risk failure of the joint at probably at dangerous time when the car is turning around a corner.

  • How hard is this to do? Does it help if I'm already doing the struts, or are the tasks pretty independent of each other? – Robert S. Barnes Jan 8 '16 at 8:10
  • I guess it will depend on the car, I can only comment on the ones I have done. Some would have be no easier since the drive shaft unbolted completely without disturbing the hub. Others needed the hub dismantling a little, so there may be benefits to doing them at the same time. – HandyHowie Jan 8 '16 at 8:15
  • There are also aftermarket "split boots" that are intended to be used without requiring as much dismantling. As the name implies, they are in two pieces which then get put together over the CV joint. Disclaimer: I've never used one and don't know how well (or not) they work. – Edward Jan 8 '16 at 14:53
  • @RobertS.Barnes - Doing the boots in conjunction with the struts would be a good time. In most vehicles with struts, half the work (taking the steering knuckle apart) is already done ... it's just a matter of pulling the axle shaft out, cleaning up the CVJ, and putting the new boot in place. Besides the installation, you'll need to do an alignment in either case ... doing the alignment once is going to save some time. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 8 '16 at 17:03
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IMMEDIATELY, If it is not too late already, I have seen CVs ruined with days not weeks, by the smallest amount of sand, mud, dirt whatever getting into the joint. These are way too expensive to take the chance. I am not familiar with your model, but trying to save on labour cost doesn't usually equate to the cost of new cvs, (depending on costs in your situation).

  • CV boot replacement can be inexpensive, or can have the same labor cost as CV replacement. I too am not familiar enough with this model to know which is the case. – kmarsh Jan 8 '16 at 16:55
  • @kmarsh You have to drain the manual transmission and remove the whole driveshaft in order to change the boots. – Robert S. Barnes Jan 9 '16 at 16:21
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you should take care that lubricating grease will go out which will cause CV damage by time.

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    The boots don't generally stop grease getting out, they stop dirt and water getting in. – HandyHowie Jan 8 '16 at 12:25
  • @HandyHowie - While the dirt getting in is going to cause most of the damage, the grease getting out is an issue as well (the CVJ needs grease to function) ... it's a two way street, both exacerbated by the blown boot. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 8 '16 at 16:59
  • @Paulster2 I have never seen a boot that is holding grease in. Whenever I have taken a boot off, there is never grease inside the boot, the grease is in the cv joint bearings. – HandyHowie Jan 8 '16 at 17:43
  • @HandyHowie - And what do you see when there's a split boot but a large streak of grease flung directly out from the tear ... The boot serves both purposes. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 8 '16 at 20:08

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