CV boots are one of those car parts that for most people remain shrouded in mystery. Yet this component, as well as the problems that are likely to beset it, are actually fairly easy to understand. If your mechanic has recently mentioned that your CV boot is in need or repair, read on. This article will help you understand just what they're talking about.
The Role Of The CV Boot
Before discussing the role of the CV boot, it helps to understand a little bit more about the constant velocity joint. The constant velocity joint--or CV joint, for short--is a ubiquitous feature on all front-wheel drive automobiles. There are four CV joints at the front of a car, two for each wheel. The inner CV joints act as the point of connect between the driveshafts and transmission, while the outer CV joints connect the driveshafts to the wheels.
CV joints are in movement virtually anytime that your car is. In order to facilitate smooth movement, the joint is packed with lubricating grease. The role of the CV boot is to protect both the joint and its grease from degrading as the result of exposure to the elements. The boot consists of a flexible covering made out of either rubber or plastic.
What Goes Wrong
Over time the CV boot is exposed to a good deal of wear and tear. This is the result both of its having to flex each time the car turns, as well as its constant exposure to water, heat, road salt, and other factors that tend to break it down. Eventually cracks or tears will open up along the boot. This exposes the vulnerable joint beneath to those same agents of wear and degradation.
Why Replacing A Damaged CV Boot Is Important
A CV boot that has become cracked or otherwise damaged places your CV joint at a greatly increased risk of failure. This risk increases the longer the compromised CV boot is left in place. For one thing, the damaged boot will allow the lubricating grease around the joint to gradually become contaminated with dirt and debris. The lubricant will also begin to leak out of place.
Both of these things will act to hasten the demise of the CV joint. Eventually, should the problem be allowed to persist long enough, it will cause the CV joint to fail. Should this happen while driving at high speeds, it may put you in a dangerous situation. In any case, it will likely cost you hundreds of dollars to repair. Replacing a worn CV boot, on the other hand, will only cost a fraction of that. Contact an auto shop like P & T Automotive Repair for more information.