A drive shaft cover / constant velocity boot is this black color rubber-like material on your drive shafts. It’s main purpose is to keep contaminants away, and the lubricating grease inside the universal joint.
A torn cover can be detected very easily if you know where to look. All you need to do is put on some dirty clothes, crawl under the car and locate your drive shaft. You will notice a visible crack or a puncture at the drive shaft cover. Most of the time, this will be accompanied by grease splashes around your car tyre.
If you have a spoiled cover, we recommend that you get it changed immediately. Forget about groceries, forget about your laundry, you can do your dishes later but don’t wait on the repair.
Here’s why we’re making such a big deal out of this.
Fact is that the drive shaft cover is the only line of defense for your drive shaft. It keeps the lubricating grease in, and the moisture and dirt out.
For drive shafts and any moving parts really, it is always important to have lubricating grease. It cushions and reduces metal-to-metal contact within the constant velocity joint. Think of them like airbags. The ball bearings inside of your drive shaft is better off hitting a soft material rather than banging straight-on to the metal wall. Without the lubricating grease, the metal will start collide against each other and wear out significantly faster.
To make matter worst, when the constant velocity boot is torn, it opens up opportunity for moisture and dirt to get into your drive shaft. When moisture get in contact with metal, it will start to form rusts and eat into your metal.
Needless to say that it ruins the structural integrity of your drive shaft. Dirt and sand on the other hand, will grind against the metal part of your drive shaft and wear out your drive shaft way faster than it should. It’s like having sandpaper inside the constant velocity joint, definite a big no-no.
We hope we don’t sound bias because we do repair drive shaft. But, we hope that you see the reasoning and the value of detecting and repairing it earlier. Depending on how early you get it repair, it can mean huge savings on your car maintenance bill.
If the drive shaft is still in pristine condition, other than the fact that the cover broke, you can simply put in new grease, and replace the cover. It’s a simple repair and will cost you way lesser than replacing the entire unit. This is the single most important and cost-effective way of maintaining it.
Although I do have to say that it is easier said than done because when you have a spoiled or torn drive shaft cover, it often go unnoticed. Why? Because a torn drive shaft cover does not show any symptoms other than the puncture itself. When we do not change the cover, the drive shaft deteriorate at an exponential rate and you will start to notice noise and vibration.
It’s like a ticking time bomb!
That being said. If you are determined enough, you can do a routine inspection once every week or so. As soon as you find out that you have a torn cover, immediately to get it serviced.