Reasons Behind Half-Shaft Boot Failure in VolkswagensPosted on: December 15, 2018
If “half-shaft boot failure” sounds like a scary—and unfamiliar— problem, you’re not the only driver who feels that way. While it would be nice to tell you that it’s not actually that scary, the truth is that half-shaft boot failure is actually a dangerous problem that you want to get fixed right away.
What is It?
So, what is half-shaft boot failure? Well, the problem is caused by an issue with your CV or constant velocity axles. They’re often called “half-shaft” axles because they’re half the width of the car. These axles are vital parts of any front-wheel drive vehicle because they work with the two CV joints which help your car to keep moving. The joints do this by transferring power from the engine to the two drive wheels. As such, each part is dependent on the other because without the joints to absorb the shock of sharp breaks, bumps, and turns, the axles would quickly break.
In order to do their job properly, the joints have to be coated with grease. They also need to be covered by a rubber CV boot (or “half-shaft” boot) to protect them from dirt and moisture, both of which will damage the joints and slow them down.
Normal Wear and Tear
Unfortunately, however, the grease will wear off over time, and although the boot is designed to endure a lot, it can also be damaged through normal wear and tear. In turn, this damage can leave the half-shaft axles unprotected. That might not sound so bad on its own, but once the half-shaft boot is damaged, the joints will be besieged by outside contaminants. This will cause further damage to the joints, which in turn will further destroy the boot.
Before you know it, both of these vital parts of your Volkswagen will be in severe disrepair. If not fixed quickly, these seemingly minor mishaps can compromise the holistic quality of your engine, thus jeopardizing the safety of both you and your car.
Although axel failure is a possible culprit for your half-shaft boot failure, it’s unlikely. Because Volkswagens are designed with such precision and care, it’s very rare that the axels simply give out or fail. Though it can still happen, it’s more likely that your problem is caused by the wear and tear of normal, everyday driving.
How to Spot the Problem
When your half-shaft boot begins experiencing issues, you might hear a grinding or clicking noise when starting your car or turning the wheel. If you hear what sounds like a consistent knocking or banging while driving at relatively low speeds, this is almost certainly your half-shaft boot.
The same is true of any grease you might find leaking from the front of your Volkswagen since this could be indicative of damage to the half-shaft boot as well. If the grease is leaking from the front, it’s likely because the boot can no longer support the grease needed to coat the joints.
You’ll want to rely primarily on these indicators because unfortunately, if the issue goes deeper—a damaged CV joint—you won’t be able to see it. This is because the joints are covered by the half-shaft boot. However, the good news is that you can still see the boot, and any signs of ominous damage to the boot will give you a clue about what’s wrong.
Fixing the Problem
Unfortunately, unlike some other types of car trouble, a damaged half-shaft should not be fixed at home. As much as you might want to fix it yourself, in the case of a half-shaft boot failure, your car is much like a sick person: it needs a doctor. And because European cars like your Volkswagen are designed differently, it takes a special kind of training to properly address the problem.
Luckily, at European Auto Service Center, that’s what we do best! Our mechanics are specially trained in European automotive technology and that training is backed by years of experience in working with Volkswagens.
We recognize that the durability of your Volkswagen is directly related to the quality of care it receives, and that’s why we’re committed to giving you and your car nothing but the best. With 3 different locations—in Aventura/Miami, and Boca Raton East and Boca Raton West—we’re here to address any problem that arises with your Volkswagen.
If you start hearing suspicious noises from your engine or you’re concerned about the safety of your half-shaft boot, don’t spend time worrying about it! Just bring your Volkswagen in to us and get the quality care you deserve.
* Volkswagen Tiguan image credit goes to: y_carfan.
* Volskwagen Logo image credit goes to: vesilvio.