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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All:

I hear a mild tapping sound when I make a right turn. I did some research and found that this might be axle related. My car is front wheel drive and GLX model. Took my car to Wheel Works to have it checked out and they said that the CV booth on the front right is torn and I need to replace the front right axle. Not sure if they are correct, b/c based on my research if the tapping sound is coming from the left front axle when I make a right turn, its the left front axle issue, but I'm not sure.

What do you think?

Also, what's the best aftermarket axle for my car and what's the labor cost looks like, b/c Wheel works quoted the cost: part B7184N DLG new CV axle $169.00 & labor $215.00.

Thank you for your help.
Ellie
 

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The tapping sound, which happens six times per wheel revolution, is due to the loss of grease in that Constant Velocity joint. There are six fairly large steel balls that move back and forth in grooves as the wheel rotates, but only when the car is not going straight ahead. Without enough grease to dampen their movement, they hit the limit of their travel with the audible click.

That quote doesn't look out of line to me, so if these people have been recommended to you, it's probably alright. Also, it's possible that there really is a torn RH boot, but the LH joint may have insufficient grease for some reason, and is the noisy one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much ylwagon. This is very helpful! Took my car to my VW mechanic, we did a test drive and he determined the right front axle should be replaced. Part $150 including tax and labor $175 = $325 and he will do it on Friday. $100 less than Wheel Works.

I will share your feedback on the tapping sound with him also.Is that something that can be fixed easily or am I in for spending more $$$?
 

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I’d be surprised if you can generalize which axle based on the turn direction. It’s more like which side of the car the noise is coming from. Either way, if the boot is torn, it needs attention., and these days the attention is just replacing the axle - least amount of labor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I’d be surprised if you can generalize which axle based on the turn direction. It’s more like which side of the car the noise is coming from. Either way, if the boot is torn, it needs attention., and these days the attention is just replacing the axle - least amount of labor.
Thank you Hirnbeiss. My car has 276K mileage on it and the axle is the original one. Nor sure how long is the lifespan for it, but concern about replacing it with an aftermarket one, so, I'm thinking just having the torn CV boot replaced and go from there. What do you think?
 

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The CV joint must be removed to change the boot. So the labor to replace the CV joint will be the same as replacing just the boot. The CV joint itself can be had for $100 ish. If the boot tore very recently the joint may still be fine but with that amount of miles and with the labor being the same it probably makes sense to replace the CV joint with the boot. If it was clicking then that would be even more reason to replace it since that usually indicates it is quite worn.
 

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With appropriate attention, the CV axle will last essentially forever, especially when used for easy commuting. Replacing just the boot (includes cleaning out old grease, filling with new grease, and a new axle bolt) is what I do when necessary. It will take more time for the shop than just swapping a ready-to-go axle, but then you save the $150 (minus a CV boot kit, say $25). If they would include the re-boot approach in that $175, it would be very fair I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The CV joint must be removed to change the boot. So the labor to replace the CV joint will be the same as replacing just the boot. The CV joint itself can be had for $100 ish. If the boot tore very recently the joint may still be fine but with that amount of miles and with the labor being the same it probably makes sense to replace the CV joint with the boot. If it was clicking then that would be even more reason to replace it since that usually indicates it is quite worn.
Thank you for this information. Just so that I understand this correctly, are saying that I should just replace the axle instead of doing piecemeal work?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
With appropriate attention, the CV axle will last essentially forever, especially when used for easy commuting. Replacing just the boot (includes cleaning out old grease, filling with new grease, and a new axle bolt) is what I do when necessary. It will take more time for the shop than just swapping a ready-to-go axle, but then you save the $150 (minus a CV boot kit, say $25). If they would include the re-boot approach in that $175, it would be very fair I think.
Thank you, this is very helpful. I read ton of stuff on line about the signs of a bad axle and except for the minor clicking sound and the torn RF CV boot (which has happened very often since I bought the car), my car runs just fine, no vibration, or any other weird stuff. So, what's exactly a sign of a bad axle? And based of the information that I provided, should I change the axle? I apologize, I am not as expert as you guys are and I worry about changing the axle, then having weird stuff happens, which I read on line that aftermarket axle are not good, well, there is mixed reviews actually.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've an appt., tomorrow morning at 9:00 with my VW mechanic who has done ton of work on my car and I trust him, but not sure if the axle should be replace of the torn CV boot, which he has replaced twice in the past year and half or so. Would it be possible that cheap CV boots just get torn quickly?

I apologize for too many post, but I am not sure what to do and I greatly appreciate your guidance.

Thank you in advance.
 

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are saying that I should just replace the axle instead of doing piecemeal work?
Often when people talk about replacing the axle they really mean the 'axle assembly' which includes the actual axle, both CV joints and both boots. The inner joint and boot rarely cause problems though.

The choices are:

1) clean and re-grease the CV joint and replace the boot on the current axle assembly
2) replace the CV joint and boot on the current axle assembly
3) replace the entire axle assembly

1) and 2) are about the same for labor although 2) has higher parts cost due to the new CV joint
3) is the lowest labor cost but has the extra cost for the new axle assembly. Also, some folks have seen issues with after-market axle assemblies (vibrations or early failure). It's hard to say how likely that is so ask your mechanic about his experience if you go that route. I imagine some suppliers are better than others so it's hard to generalize.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Often when people talk about replacing the axle they really mean the 'axle assembly' which includes the actual axle, both CV joints and both boots. The inner joint and boot rarely cause problems though.

The choices are:

1) clean and re-grease the CV joint and replace the boot on the current axle assembly
2) replace the CV joint and boot on the current axle assembly
3) replace the entire axle assembly

1) and 2) are about the same for labor although 2) has higher parts cost due to the new CV joint
3) is the lowest labor cost but has the extra cost for the new axle assembly. Also, some folks have seen issues with after-market axle assemblies (vibrations or early failure). It's hard to say how likely that is so ask your mechanic about his experience if you go that route. I imagine some suppliers are better than others so it's hard to generalize.
Thank you so much, greatly appreciate your educational reply. I feel a great sense of relief now. I will share this information with my mechanic who is really a nice person, fair and knowledgeable too, see what he recommends and will share here. Thank you again.
 

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...he has replaced twice in the past year and half or so. Would it be possible that cheap CV boots just get torn quickly?
The same one twice in 1.5 years??? That is an abnormally short life for a CV boot. I typically use GKN brand CV joint boot kits, and they go bad very infrequently.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you so much, greatly appreciate your educational reply. I feel a great sense of relief now. I will share this information with my mechanic who is really a nice person, fair and knowledgeable too, see what he recommends and will share here. Thank you again.
I shared the content of your post with my VW mechanic and he recommended that it is best to replace the entire axle assembly due to the age of my car and mileage. He used a PDL Professional Driveline axle ($150 tax included) and charged me $175 for labor. We test drove my car and it runs just fine (knocking on woods).Thank you so much everyone for your expertise, for always helping me out and making me more and more educated about my car.
 

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...he recommended that it is best to replace the entire axle assembly due to the age of my car and mileage. He used a PDL Professional Driveline axle...We test drove my car and it runs just fine (knocking on woods).
Good that your car is back in service! The minor "downside" to aftermarket axle assemblies it that the axle shaft itself is usually a solid steel bar, rather than the steel tube type that originally was installed. The solid type, being springy-er, may tend to vibrate more when stopped in gear, such as at the traffic light. No harm, but you might notice it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Good that your car is back in service! The minor "downside" to aftermarket axle assemblies it that the axle shaft itself is usually a solid steel bar, rather than the steel tube type that originally was installed. The solid type, being springy-er, may tend to vibrate more when stopped in gear, such as at the traffic light. No harm, but you might notice it.
Thank you so much! My mechanic mentioned that also and said that he has this PDL axle and so far customers have not raised that issue. So, keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best.
 

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The tapping sound, which happens six times per wheel revolution, is due to the loss of grease in that Constant Velocity joint. There are six fairly large steel balls that move back and forth in grooves as the wheel rotates, but only when the car is not going straight ahead. Without enough grease to dampen their movement, they hit the limit of their travel with the audible click.

That quote doesn't look out of line to me, so if these people have been recommended to you, it's probably alright. Also, it's possible that there really is a torn RH boot, but the LH joint may have insufficient grease for some reason, and is the noisy one.
I agree as to the potential parts and labor costs, though I replaced my own passenger side half shaft. The hardest part was loosening the center bolt, which will require a special tool and an extra hefty breaker bar with an also hefty and long extension pipe. Not for someone who has "noodle arms", though mine are half noodled. Then the next hardest part is wiggling the mounting flange away from the transfer case, but gently turning the steering wheel (assuming the car is properly supported with stands) to get that required clearance. Proceed at your own risk, of course. Just trying to be helpful.
 

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Proceed at your own risk, of course. Just trying to be helpful.
Appreciate the tips, although from her posts, I believe that Ellie doesn't do the actual maintenance, but wants to be as fully informed as she can be, before talking to her mechanic.
 

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Appreciate the tips, although from her posts, I believe that Ellie doesn't do the actual maintenance, but wants to be as fully informed as she can be, before talking to her mechanic.
Indeed. I gave the information for others who might be thinking of replacing the half shafts, not necessarily the original poster. Mechanics almost invariably will try to convince unwitting customers that such repairs require many complex procedures and endless hours of labor. To wit, a local VW dealership recently charged me $351 to replace a purge valve. Remove two screws and hoses, replace. $351?
 
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