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Old 17th Aug 2011, 11:20   #1
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Nearside Front constant velocity joint gaiter deteriorated

Bought a new car about 2 weeks ago: A Skoda Fabia 2 BlueLine.

Looking up the old MOT history online the only concern I have is an advisory note that reads
'Nearside Front constant velocity joint gaiter deteriorated'. Now I believe I'm right in thinking that this means that the rubber boot (gaiter) that holds the CV joint and keeps it protected and lubricated has cracked or torn?

Now I believe this might have already been fixed before I bought the car, but how would I go about checking to be sure? i.e. I'm not a car of technical person, so is it possible for my to see the CV gaitor somewhere to look if it's new? and if so what exactly would I be looking for and where?

If it's not an easy visual inspection then I'll run it to my local mechanic to be sure...but as it's only a check for peace of mind I'd rather do it myself if at all possible!

Thanks!
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Old 17th Aug 2011, 11:44   #2
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It's very easy to have a looksy. Get your car jacked up at the front and stick you head under

You're looking for something like this


It will be fairly easy to tell if it's torn or deteriorating at all. Be sure to have a good feel around and give it a wiggle to make sure it's all ok.

Now if it IS in need of replacement then it's more tricky since the whole lot (brakes, hub, etc.) will have to come off so the new shroud can be fitted over it, but to be honest i can't see that being in the log book and not having been done.
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Old 17th Aug 2011, 11:48   #3
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Originally Posted by Throbbi View Post
Now if it IS in need of replacement then it's more tricky since the whole lot (brakes, hub, etc.) will have to come off so the new shroud can be fitted over it, but to be honest i can't see that being in the log book and not having been done.
Or with the right tools and a few jacks you can slip the CV joint out from the hub without taking much off (maybe hang the caliper out of the way)

Edit: Don't bother with the replacements that are glued together so you don't have to disassemble anything, they suck, you will use at least 2 trying to get grease in without getting it on the glued surface and they will fall apart after 12 months.
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Old 17th Aug 2011, 11:57   #4
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Or with the right tools and a few jacks you can slip the CV joint out from the hub without taking much off (maybe hang the caliper out of the way)

Edit: Don't bother with the replacements that are glued together so you don't have to disassemble anything, they suck, you will use at least 2 trying to get grease in without getting it on the glued surface and they will fall apart after 12 months.
Yep, all very true, the glued ones are a complete waste of time.
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Old 30th Aug 2011, 15:30   #5
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Afternoon chaps,

Using a busy residential car-park with no real room to jack up the car I sorta put this off and forgot about it for a couple of weeks, until I past the dealer I bought he car from. Popped it in there and asked him to have a look, he said it was fine and had been changed. Thought nothing more of it.

until...

Popped into a tyre garage today as I needed my tyres checked. Left it with them while I go back to work. They tell me my nearside gator is completely empty and that it'd be best to replace the CV joint at this point.

WTF? Not happy! Have left a message for the dealer and will be making sure he sorts it this week, otherwise he's getting the car back under sales of goods and I'm taking him to small claims!
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Old 30th Aug 2011, 15:50   #6
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If the gaitor has split then it'll have flicked the grease packing all over the inside wheel arch and suspension components, that should be fairly visible. My suggestion would be to jack the car up with the supplied jack, get the wheel off and have a good look round. If nothing is greasy then it's been cleaned off before it was sold.

(Can you tell I've just had this problem? Heh.)
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Old 30th Aug 2011, 17:29   #7
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Just jacked it up, there's loads of grease sitting on the axle below it, couldn't see much wrong with the boot itself but it's really hard to tell how a black piece of rubber looks under a car!

I'm guessing all the grease means it's fubar however! In which case the dealer straight up lied to me (knowing it was under warranty) because he didn't want to pay to fix it.

How would I know if it's had a negative effect on the CV joint?
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Old 30th Aug 2011, 17:43   #8
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If there's grease spatter under there it'll mean the boot is split - if you run your finger over it you should find the leakage point, but there should be no reason for anything down there to be greasy.

The CV will have worn without sufficient grease on there - if it had sufficient grease in there the effects will be minimal, but you don't know how long the problem has persisted. I wouldn't settle for anything less than a completely new CV (which will probably mean a new driveshaft to save time).
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Old 30th Aug 2011, 18:18   #9
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I know that it was MOT'd in June of this year and that the gaiter had deteriorated and it was in the advisory notes. So It hadn't split at that point. So it could have split any time in the last 2 months....is 2 months (worse case scenario) enough time for a lot of damage to be done to the CV?

A whole new CV is going to be hundreds?


I jacked up both front wheels again to check for play/tilt (does leaving it in gear affect play...I always do this when jacking a car?)

Both front wheels have some clockwise/anticlockwise play (as in turning with the wheel and back), but I's say only an inch or two at the outter edge. and both front wheels have the same amount...so I think that's fine? I noticed one does make a 'knocking noise' but I think that was just when it hit the end of it's play...I assume noise from not being able to go any further in one direction is fine?

More importantly neither 'tilts' at all, as if you hold the top and bottom and 'wobble' the wheel there's no movement at all.

Any other home checks I can do?
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Old 30th Aug 2011, 18:26   #10
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If there's grease spatter under there it'll mean the boot is split - if you run your finger over it you should find the leakage point, but there should be no reason for anything down there to be greasy.

The CV will have worn without sufficient grease on there - if it had sufficient grease in there the effects will be minimal, but you don't know how long the problem has persisted. I wouldn't settle for anything less than a completely new CV (which will probably mean a new driveshaft to save time).
This. Do not let him fob you off with a band-aid fix. If it means you return it and go to someone more reputable, do so.
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Old 30th Aug 2011, 18:58   #11
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This. Do not let him fob you off with a band-aid fix. If it means you return it and go to someone more reputable, do so.
I think that will essentially be the threat - new CV or you can have the car back.

So essentially it goes like this:

-gaitor split
-all the grease came out (there's like a fist-fill in a pile)
-so we don't know how much damage there's been to the cv joint
-so we need a new joint to be on the safe side


My problem being how the hell do I tell if he actually does a new CV joint or just puts a new boot on it?
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Old 30th Aug 2011, 20:34   #12
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The knocking sound from when it reaches the end of its play would hint (at least to me, i could well be wrong or misinformed) that there's an excessive amount of wear between the balls and the housings. As Krikkit says, without sufficient grease it will have worn and due to their function CV joints without proper lubrication will wear fast.

You might get some knocking/grinding under acceleration and possibly excessive torque steer if you want to try and test it out some more. This is what I had when i borrowed a mates car, reported it to him (not at the time knowing it would be the CV joint) thinking it might be a wheel bearing and a few weeks later the CV went.

Either way, it should be replaced for safety's sake as if they go while driving at speed nasty things could happen from an drive shaft flailing around which is no longer connected to the wheel (although that might differ with newer cars, most of my experience comes from older vehicles)
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Old 30th Aug 2011, 20:39   #13
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The knocking sound from when it reaches the end of its play would hint (at least to me, i could well be wrong or misinformed) that there's an excessive amount of wear between the balls and the housings. As Krikkit says, without sufficient grease it will have worn and due to their function CV joints without proper lubrication will wear fast.

You might get some knocking/grinding under acceleration and possibly excessive torque steer if you want to try and test it out some more. This is what I had when i borrowed a mates car, reported it to him (not at the time knowing it would be the CV joint) thinking it might be a wheel bearing and a few weeks later the CV went.

Either way, it should be replaced for safety's sake as if they go while driving at speed nasty things could happen from an drive shaft flailing around which is no longer connected to the wheel (although that might differ with newer cars, most of my experience comes from older vehicles)

Well cars going in for some body work to the local official skoda dealer, so I'll get there opinion as a final one and take that back to my dealer.

I have noticed a little 'wheel bearing noise' lately...but put it down to my one terrible front tyre (new one on the way dont worry) as there wasn't any tilting/play in the front wheels...but could be a cv issue.
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Old 30th Aug 2011, 20:42   #14
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noob question - I've seen lots of videos of people jacking a car up and then spinning their front wheel....How the hell is this done? Do they leave the hand break off or something? or do you need both front wheels up at once?
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Old 30th Aug 2011, 20:43   #15
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Well cars going in for some body work to the local official skoda dealer, so I'll get there opinion as a final one and take that back to my dealer.

I have noticed a little 'wheel bearing noise' lately...but put it down to my one terrible front tyre (new one on the way dont worry) as there wasn't any tilting/play in the front wheels...but could be a cv issue.
That's the best direction to go to be honest (for it being checked out at least). If anyone can tell you, they can. There's a good chance that it's a wheel bearing or possibly something else making the noise but it's just safe to check it out.

I hope it's nothing too major and that, if it is, the dealer either sorts it deals out the refund.
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Old 31st Aug 2011, 00:20   #16
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noob question - I've seen lots of videos of people jacking a car up and then spinning their front wheel....How the hell is this done? Do they leave the hand break off or something? or do you need both front wheels up at once?
The hand brake only acts on the rear wheels, so just jack up the front wheel and put it in neutral. The wheel should spin freely... If it doesn't your brakes might be binding.

And thanks for the thread - I've got the same advisory

Edit: Cerberus is right, I should clarify that - I meant that you would be able to spin the wheel easily, its not going to keep spinning.
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Old 31st Aug 2011, 10:06   #17
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The hand brake only acts on the rear wheels, so just jack up the front wheel and put it in neutral. The wheel should spin freely... If it doesn't your brakes might be binding.

And thanks for the thread - I've got the same advisory
The wheel won't spin freely.

You'll have to turn it as the drivetrain (gearbox and diff) will still resist the motion. It shouldn't be hard to turn, but it won't spin around and around like a non driven wheel would.

Also, from my experience, a slight knock when your turning the front wheels of a FWD car, when turning just a bit, is normal, its just taking the play out of the drivetrain. Of course not being able to hear or feel yours, I can't say for sure that yours is normal, just wanted to point it out.
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Old 31st Aug 2011, 10:19   #18
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As Cerberus says there is usually a little play in the drivetrain, as the diff and shafts etc reverse direction etc. It will likely be the same for yours, but it's more of a feeling as to when it's the right kind and wrong kind of movement.

A heavily worn CV joint will make grinding noises, then once it gets really bad you'll get some pretty amazing driveline shunt (i.e. a clunk when lifting the clutch, lifting off the accelerator etc, as the shaft wobbles around on the worn CV), and eventually if it really fails you get the drive shaft completely detached from the hub, which can be bad if it comes loose, otherwise you'll just find a complete loss of power and terrible noises.

If the MOT is 2 months ago with the advisory, and all that grease is out there (it sounds like quite a bit) I wouldn't settle for anything less than a renewed CV/shaft. Probably the best way to check is to go down to the garage and get them to show you the new and old part on the day. They might swap the whole driveshaft and fit a new CV to that for another use, or they'll swap the CV joint out on the old shaft.

If you're going down to the main dealer get them to have a quick look at it, explain the situation and ask their opinion on what they expect is needed. It might cost you 20 for their time, but it's worth spending to get what is effectively the manufacturer's opinion.
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Old 31st Aug 2011, 16:52   #19
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Originally Posted by Krikkit View Post
As Cerberus says there is usually a little play in the drivetrain, as the diff and shafts etc reverse direction etc. It will likely be the same for yours, but it's more of a feeling as to when it's the right kind and wrong kind of movement.

A heavily worn CV joint will make grinding noises, then once it gets really bad you'll get some pretty amazing driveline shunt (i.e. a clunk when lifting the clutch, lifting off the accelerator etc, as the shaft wobbles around on the worn CV), and eventually if it really fails you get the drive shaft completely detached from the hub, which can be bad if it comes loose, otherwise you'll just find a complete loss of power and terrible noises.

If the MOT is 2 months ago with the advisory, and all that grease is out there (it sounds like quite a bit) I wouldn't settle for anything less than a renewed CV/shaft. Probably the best way to check is to go down to the garage and get them to show you the new and old part on the day. They might swap the whole driveshaft and fit a new CV to that for another use, or they'll swap the CV joint out on the old shaft.

If you're going down to the main dealer get them to have a quick look at it, explain the situation and ask their opinion on what they expect is needed. It might cost you 20 for their time, but it's worth spending to get what is effectively the manufacturer's opinion.

Seeing the main dealer tomorrow morning to do just that, guy sounded nice on the phone and essentially said he'd chalk it up as a freebie seeing as I'm buying a couple of bits and pieces from them (fitted mats, a missing wheel nut!, and replacing some missing rubber trim - tune of about 30).

Ah I always have my car in gear when I jack it, thought that was the safest option - I assume that's why it didn't spin...off to test it now!
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Old 1st Sep 2011, 12:40   #20
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MOT places are known to jab them with a screw driver to create work also. If you can do the work yourself then its low cost on parts... the grease is the worst though it just doesnt wash off lol
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