At times we are asked why we so freely share this information. No, it’s not that Bruce has too much time on his hands. The answer is simple, a rising tide lifts all boats, we’re always happy to share what we’ve learned, it helps our customers, helps future customers, and yes, even other shops (you’d be surprised who reads our postings). Our service philosophy is simple, PREVENT PROBLEMS before they happen, fix SMALL things before they become BIG things, and delight every customer, every time.

Be it a Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Mini Cooper, Volvo or most other imported auto, the part which connects your vehicle’s transmission to your wheel is called a Constant Velocity (CV) Joint. The CV joints are lubricated by a special grease, enclosed in a rubber boot. As you may image, boot failure is bad news for any CV joint because it dooms the joint to premature failure. A split, cracked, loose or torn boot will throw grease, draining the joint of its vital supply of lubricant. Sooner or later the joint will run dry which is not a good thing for metal-to-metal surfaces that must withstand high pressure loads and constant friction. A boot that doesn’t seal can also allow outside contaminants, such as road splash and dirt, to enter the joint and wreak havoc on its precision machined and polished surfaces. If the boot problem isn’t discovered almost immediately, joint failure will usually follow within a few thousand miles.

As long as a Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Mini Cooper or Volvo CV joint remains sealed inside its protective environment, it will do its job until it wears out. But real world driving creates conditions that can cause bad things to happen to good boots. Age, heat, cold and road hazards can all conspire to breech the protective barrier provided by the boot around the joint. And once the seal is breached, trouble quickly follows. This is why you should always inspect the boots around both the inner and outer CV joints anytime you are under a vehicle for other maintenance or repairs. At Atlantic Motorcar, keeping with our service philosophy of PREVENTING PROBLEMS, rather than just REPAIRING, checking the CV joint boots is done each and every time your car is placed on our lift.

Under normal operating conditions, CV joints and boots are engineered to last upwards of 150,000 miles. Some go the distance, but a lot reach the end of the road far short of their design life. Some makes and models of vehicles are notorious for premature boot failures.

Bad boots are not the only thing you need to look for. You also need to listen for noise or complaints that might indicate a CV joint problem. These include: Popping or clicking noises when turning. This almost always indicates a worn or damaged outer CV joint. A “clunk” when accelerating, decelerating or when putting the transaxle into drive. A humming or growling noise. A shudder or vibration when accelerating. A vibration that increases with speed and load, can also be caused by a failing CV joint.

We’re here to answer any questions you may have on your vehicle. Or, if you’re looking for a new service home, we’re happy to give you the tour. It bears repeating – Our service philosophy is simple, prevent problems before they happen, fix small things before they become big things, and delight every customer, every time. If we sound like a place you’d like to do business…then give us a call, (207) 882-9969.