Thursday, 31 March 2016

Drive Shaft Boot Damage

Damaged Drive Shaft Boot

The front wheel drive vehicle have drive shafts which are subjected to much more wear and tear compared to a rear wheel drive vehicle. This is because the front wheel drive shaft have to provide steering control plus putting power to the wheels and also taking up the beating from the road surfaces. 

Depending on the transmission location, the shorter drive shaft would be subjected to more stress than the longer shaft.  

In my case, my left side drive shaft is shorter than the right. I had replaced the boot 4 times till date.  

How to tell if your drive shaft boot is torn ? This is a sure sign that it is gone !

Answer : From the oil spatter found on the mud guard.

The fold of this aftermarket rubber boot gave way......and the grease came flying out

Found this tell-tale sign. The same left side drive shaft had 3 aftermarket "specialist" boot replaced already since the first original boot tore when it was about 3 years old from new. This time around, I fitted an original Volkswagen repair kit !

The material of the original boot is of a very firm plastic like material whereas the aftermarket part from the specialist shop is rubber.

Lesson learnt :

1. Always inspect the undercarriage regularly to check of oil leaks or such failures. 

  • Note : Of course, you can always wait for the sound to tell you that your drive shaft is worn out because of the torn boot....but that would be an expensive repair as a new shaft assembly is needed versus a new boot kit here. 
  • The bearings inside the drive assembly is very easily damaged by road grim and dirt plus the loss of lubricating grease. Once worn down, it cannot be repaired. 

2. Use only original parts unless you are prepared do yearly replacement as I have experienced. 

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