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How to diagnose a bad front CV joint

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Hi all,

New member here looking for some much wiser and more experienced help.

I recently bought an '01 turbo. A recent inspection found a torn CV boot on one of the front axles. I'm wondering how I can tell if the CV joint might need replacing or if it's still okay.

I know on a FWD car, a CV joint makes noises as you apply torque and turn, but on our cars, the front wheels rarely get any torque to them, so are there any other ways to tell if the joint has been damaged by having the boot torn?

Any and all responses greatly appreciated.


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I just changed out the CV boots on my Boxster, as I noticed the boot was torn when I changed the oil. The boot was not only torn, but ripped completely in two. In order to access how long it had been torn and how much damage had been done, I jammed my finger deep into the joint and pulled out a hunk of grease. I examined the grease to determine how full of debris it was, looking for small rocks and grimy dirt that would surely shorten the life of the CV. To tell you the truth, it wasn't all that bad inside, and I live in Canada where all of the rocks and dirt are still on the roads from winter. When I took the axle out and the boots off to replace them, I played around with the CV joint and no abnormal noise, clicking or friction so I figure the joints are fine.

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Thanks guys,

There's currently no clicking or other weird noises, but like I say - there's no torque going to to front wheels either and if I remember from my prior FWD cars, the CV only clicks if turning and applying torque...

I guess I'll have to rely on the mechanic's visual inspection to tell me if it should be done or not. Would just hate to either (1) replace a part that doesn't need to be replaced or (2) not replace it now and find out down the road that I should have and now have to pay all the same labour again...

Edited by Quiksilver
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