A Scam Opportunity
Some of your lesser honest garages will not always let you know that there are repair options for a broken part. Rather, they rely on a much more expensive (and quicker to do) replacement strategy to charge more for service and repair so that they can then move onto the next customer.
The most dishonest garages will come to you with a glob of grease on their finger and tell you that you have a leaky axle problem requiring a total axle replacement. The more industrious ones may even take the trouble to smear some grease around an axle boot just in case you want to see where the grease problem lies. In other words, you really don’t have a leaky axle problem and are being scammed.
When a Leaky Axle Problem Does Exist
Basically, axles contain moving parts requiring constant lubrication to prevent excessive wear of the CV (Constant Velocity) joints. Rubber boots are part of the axle assembly to hold the packed grease surrounding the joint in, while keeping water and dirt and other contaminants out.
While CV boots can last a long time, they do age and become brittle over time developing cracks and are sometimes damaged prematurely when struck by road debris and other hazards. When this happens that packed grease lubricating the CV joints begins to leak out increasing the risk that the joints will wear enough to require total replacement.
There is Hope for a Potentially Leaking Axle
In a recent Car Care Nut YouTube channel episode, the host explains to his viewers that all may not be lost if you have a potentially leaking axle and that axles are rarely ever in need of replacement because Toyota makes them so well.
The primary message of the video is that when an actual leak of a CV boot occurs, it likely does not require an axle replacement with the exception of when a leak has been so severe and gone on for so long that the CV joint winds up damaged.
In most cases, there will have been loss of some grease, but the leak was caught in time during your vehicle servicing such as an oil change or tire rotation.
The secondary message is that this is one of the Toyota parts you do not want replaced because:
(1) You do not really need an axle replacement--- Toyota axles should last nearly forever
(2) Replacing an axle with an OEM one is very expensive
(3) Replacing an axle with an aftermarket one is a bad idea
(4) Toyota has an axle boot replacement kit that fixes the leak and allows you to keep your original axle at a much lower cost than total axle replacement.
Related article: Why Car Maintenance and Repair is So High Today, Says This Mechanic
The point of this video selection is that it is an excellent opportunity to understand a little more about your Toyota to be able to question someone when they come to you with a leaky axle diagnosis ( and avoid being scammed); and, it is one of those DIY jobs many capable shade tree mechanics can do by following the host’s excellent demonstration of how to do the repair yourself.
While I am a believer in car repair manuals, the benefit of following the video is that the host points out those little details not always provided in manuals to make the repair easier and with fewer mishaps.
That said, here is the video which is highly recommended to watch throughout to make the most of its value to you and your car.
Related article: Toyota Mechanic Reveals the Truth About New and Used Lexus Models
TOYOTA OWNERS! Never Replace Your Leaky Axle | Fix Them Instead!
For additional articles about DIY repairs on Toyota vehicles, here are a few for your use and enjoyment:
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Timothy Boyer is a Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily new and used vehicle news.
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