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Old 01-04-2019, 02:31 PM #1
Lolaya Lolaya is offline
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Left Front Axle Leaking. Replace at dealer?

Hi guys, this is my first thread after lurking for years (Even from when my dad owned my current 4Runner) and am in love with it. This will be my car for years! Hoping to get to at least 250k from my current 118k miles.

At my last 2 oil changes, dealership has been telling me that I have a left front axle that is leaking oil/grease(?). They are quoting me $879 to replace the whole axle.

Is there anything I should do? Maybe bring it to another mechanic if this is too expensive? Replace both front axles at this point (118k miles)? Do I really have to replace the axle to fix this issue?

If that price is reasonable, I will just do it at dealership but I want to make sure I'm not getting ripped off (in dealership standards).

Last question is... based on pictures below, how severe/time sensitive is this issue?
Thanks everyone!


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Old 01-04-2019, 04:30 PM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lolaya View Post
Hi guys, this is my first thread after lurking for years (Even from when my dad owned my current 4Runner) and am in love with it. This will be my car for years! Hoping to get to at least 250k from my current 118k miles.

At my last 2 oil changes, dealership has been telling me that I have a left front axle that is leaking oil/grease(?). They are quoting me $879 to replace the whole axle.

Is there anything I should do? Maybe bring it to another mechanic if this is too expensive? Replace both front axles at this point (118k miles)? Do I really have to replace the axle to fix this issue?

If that price is reasonable, I will just do it at dealership but I want to make sure I'm not getting ripped off (in dealership standards).

Last question is... based on pictures below, how severe/time sensitive is this issue?
Thanks everyone!
$878 for one side is a ripoff. They might be swapping it with a brand new Toyota unit which is expensive but you don't need to spend that kind of money. Ask if they can install aftermarket axles or go to a different shop.

You can buy rebuilt OEM axles from CVJ and ask to have the shop install those. Or pick up cheap aftermarket CV's for around $100 each, and labor is pretty minimal on a job like that. I wouldn't offroad heavily with the aftermarket CV's but for the price they probably aren't too bad for the street.

You can reboot them yourself but it is a greasy messy job that takes some down-time. You should be able to fix them up after you swap them out or sell them to a user on here for them to rebuild if you wanted. OEM axles last a long time.
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Old 01-04-2019, 05:39 PM #3
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remove clip, replace with stainless steel worm drive clip $2. tighten.
does not look like its lost grease, it would be everywhere, however, slide boot toward wheel, inject some with grease gun direct into boot. pull back and tighten worm clip.
infact, blow the budget with 2 clips for $4.

2nd advice, dont go back to that dealer.

go to a regular mechanic and have some grease injected & worm clips put on if your unabled. 20 minute job i doubt no more than 20 minute labor.

if you wanted to change both joints (i dont see why!) probably $180 in parts for both non oem, and 2 hours Max labor.

check carefully and see of there any splits further in the rubber boots anywhere. if not, no need to replace anything but clips and grease; unless you get knock-knock-knock sounds when you turn heavy on the steering going round bends which would indicate cv joint wear (the jointed flexible part of the axle assembly under the rubber)

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Old 01-04-2019, 05:52 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hutchison View Post
remove clip, replace with stainless steel worm drive clip $2. tighten.
does not look like its lost grease, it would be everywhere, however, slide boot toward wheel, inject some with grease gun direct into boot. pull back and tighten worm clip.
infact, blow the budget with 2 clips for $4.

2nd advice, dont go back to that dealer.
The grease is pretty much everywhere. The CV shaft, shock, and bump stop are all covered in crap, its just not fresh grease which could mean most of it has already leaked out. Removing the clip might be hard to do without cutting the boot in the process.

Reboot it if you want, but to me its more of a bandaid fix.
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Old 01-04-2019, 07:20 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inv4drZm View Post
The grease is pretty much everywhere. The CV shaft, shock, and bump stop are all covered in crap, its just not fresh grease which could mean most of it has already leaked out. Removing the clip might be hard to do without cutting the boot in the process.

Reboot it if you want, but to me its more of a bandaid fix.
i didnt see any grease flicked about apart from the obvious black shine at the part that has moved. perhaps the op could double check for this grease the pics are not that clear.

a clip is not a band aid fix, if the shaft does not knock and has not lost grease, then it could be all thats required if the boot is ok.

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Old 01-04-2019, 08:13 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hutchison View Post
i didnt see any grease flicked about apart from the obvious black shine at the part that has moved. perhaps the op could double check for this grease the pics are not that clear.

a clip is not a band aid fix, if the shaft does not knock and has not lost grease, then it could be all thats required if the boot is ok.
I feel you're not seeing what is truely there in the photo, there has been a fair amount of grease loss out of the boot and can be seen in the photo, if you look on the shaft, the boot and also on the shock you'll see, the best way to put it is "fuzzy dirt" coating everything, this is a sure sign of grease being slowly thrown out of the boot over some time and then being coated with dirt/dust, there's no way to tell without removing the boot and inspecting for wear/looseness in the joint to know if indeed the joint is damaged beyond repair. it's possible that there's still enough grease in the joint and it hasn't been damaged to the point of not being savaged by removing the boot cleaning it up, new grease and then install new boots....BUT I don't think you will find a shop willing to do so, if it were me I would buy CVJ replacements and have both shafts changed out, I would do the work myself but I think the OP doesn't have the means or experince to do it so I would have a shop other than the dealer to do it because of the dealer's high labor charges, but the OP could buy the CVJ shafts and have the dealer do the work if that is what the OP want to do or can't find another shop to do the work. IMHO
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Old 01-04-2019, 09:13 PM #7
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Actually that's about right for oem parts installed by the dealer.

I was quoted about 1700 for both with torn boots and leaking grease.
You can do a boot kit but the labor to remove, strip, clean and replace is almost the same and it's reusing the old shaft vs replacing with a complete new assembly.

There are many aftermarket replacement options at a fraction of the price.
It all comes down to how long you plan on keeping it and whether you mind aftermarket vs oem parts.

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Old 01-05-2019, 12:18 AM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuSeeker View Post
I feel you're not seeing what is truely there in the photo, there has been a fair amount of grease loss out of the boot and can be seen in the photo, if you look on the shaft, the boot and also on the shock you'll see, the best way to put it is "fuzzy dirt" coating everything, this is a sure sign of grease being slowly thrown out of the boot over some time and then being coated with dirt/dust, there's no way to tell without removing the boot and inspecting for wear/looseness in the joint to know if indeed the joint is damaged beyond repair. it's possible that there's still enough grease in the joint and it hasn't been damaged to the point of not being savaged by removing the boot cleaning it up, new grease and then install new boots....BUT I don't think you will find a shop willing to do so, if it were me I would buy CVJ replacements and have both shafts changed out, I would do the work myself but I think the OP doesn't have the means or experince to do it so I would have a shop other than the dealer to do it because of the dealer's high labor charges, but the OP could buy the CVJ shafts and have the dealer do the work if that is what the OP want to do or can't find another shop to do the work. IMHO
you are right i dont see the pic clearly enough.
my ideal is to replace if it is knocking when steering.
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Old 01-05-2019, 09:26 AM #9
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If you are able to do the work to pull and re-install the axle, check with local driveshaft service places. Some places will reboot it with the purchase of the boots.
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Old 01-05-2019, 09:40 AM #10
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I disagree with some of the earlier posts. There’s really not very much grease. The metal bands can loosen over time. The inner band on my left half axle became loose and it began leaking grease. I replaced with a new band using a joint banding tool and it has been dry for over a year. The band was less than three dollars and took about 10 min to replace. The tool was about $15. I purchased both on Amazon.

I would ask the mechanic why he thinks it should be replaced. If there is no clear tear and it’s not making noise while turning I’d try replacing the inner band. Good luck!

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Old 01-10-2019, 11:58 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wc11 View Post
Actually that's about right for oem parts installed by the dealer.

I was quoted about 1700 for both with torn boots and leaking grease.
You can do a boot kit but the labor to remove, strip, clean and replace is almost the same and it's reusing the old shaft vs replacing with a complete new assembly.

There are many aftermarket replacement options at a fraction of the price.
It all comes down to how long you plane on keeping it and whether you mind aftermarket vs oem parts.
Are aftermarket parts not as long lasting as OEM?
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:48 AM #12
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Yes, OEM is better than the auto parts store replacement parts.
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Old 01-12-2019, 12:58 PM #13
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Makes sense. Does that mean I also can't upgrade to better performing axles? Is an axle not considered a performance part where you can acquire a new one (non oem) and expect better performance?
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Old 01-12-2019, 01:16 PM #14
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There are, but they cost $2.2K. I am forgetting the manufacturer at the moment. But, they will cause the front diff to break before the CV, and CV's can be swapped out on the trail if one breaks.

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Old 01-12-2019, 03:00 PM #15
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Toyota sells Boot replacement kits for the axle. Ask the dealer to price out a Boot Kit plus installation for that half axle. They are trying to sell you a brand new axle which you likely do not need.
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