FYI - Cardone Select Axles are made in China

mrrhtuner

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2011
Location
London Ont Canada
TDI
2003 Jetta Wagon TDI, 2015 Passat TDI, 2015 Touareg TDI
Hey guys,

My driver side axle decided to give me grief two weeks ago. I scoured the internet for my options.

Option #1 - Rebuild with all German inside/outside joints. As I want to do an allignment after, I wanted to rebuild both my axles and be done with the drivetrain. I looked at the price *YIKES* and decided to try another option and risk it. Bad Idea. HUGE

Option #2 - IDParts Metelli joints. Italian branded...chinese made. Confirmed by IDParts. Why even sell that garbage? PASS

Option #3 - I've been told to stay away from Chinese branded axles. I get it and I agree. We have had chinese axles on our B5.5 passat and they were utter s_hit.

So as I was reading forums, I've heard Cardon Select mentioned. People stating that they have a manufacturing plant in the good ol' US of A and Mexico.

Great...finally something with a promise to be good. So I placed an order from RockAuto. Each axle was CDN $60ish dollars vs a local shop selling the same axles for $180.00. RockAuto it is!


Both axles arrived pretty quickly and the first thing I noticed was...the box had a "Made in China" stamp. FU_CK.




Anyways...

The axles 'look' fine but they do NOT use anything OEM from what I can tell. Maybe at most they would use the inner/outer joints and rebuild them? but the shafts are nothing near what the OEM MK4 TDI shafts are (size wise).

So the shorter driver's axle installed and it appears fine. The passenger axle, when I took it out of the packaging looked like this:




So after messing with it, I was able to get the joint alligned properly by disassembling the inner joint but than the axle wouldn't flex at the joint or move in/out. Being 11pm at night, I tossed in my old axle and said I will never buy anything other than German for crucial car parts.


To top this off, I looked at RockAuto's commercial invoice.





So with the money plus shipping that I get back for the passenger axle, I will start collecting GKN joints and rebuild both of my OEM axles.



So all those location's that Cardone identifies on their website and people reference, means sh_it all.

https://www.cardone.com/about-us/locations-directions
 
Last edited:

KrashDH

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Location
Washington
TDI
2002 Golf
Sorry to hear your issues.
I actually had to go this same route as well. Same axle company. They weren't packaged very well and that inner joint was out when I got mine as well. I fussed with it for a while then took it to a driveline shop who make quick work of aligning it for me and getting everything back in place. They even went as par as packing the crap out of the joints with grease and did it all for beer money!:D

I've been driving 3 years on the axles (55k-ish). Out in WA where the roads are absolutely hammered. Our taxes go to lining pockets not fixing things. I've hit countless never-ending potholes that I was sure knocked my subframe out of alignment, toasted wheel bearings, and chipped teeth in my mouth. Both have surprisingly survived with no apparent issues. It could be that I got lucky with the quality control, but at the same time I didn't purchase them together, I purchased at separate times. The $60 I spent has already been paid for itself.

So I know it's a frustrating situation for you personally but mine have lasted thus far. Just different data points for people considering these axles.

One difference between the ones I have, the inner hub outside is coated (looks like fgold colored TiNi, but it's probably just a zinc coating)
 

mrrhtuner

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2011
Location
London Ont Canada
TDI
2003 Jetta Wagon TDI, 2015 Passat TDI, 2015 Touareg TDI
Sorry to hear your issues.
I actually had to go this same route as well. Same axle company. They weren't packaged very well and that inner joint was out when I got mine as well. I fussed with it for a while then took it to a driveline shop who make quick work of aligning it for me and getting everything back in place. They even went as par as packing the crap out of the joints with grease and did it all for beer money!:D
I've been driving 3 years on the axles (55k-ish). Out in WA where the roads are absolutely hammered. Our taxes go to lining pockets not fixing things. I've hit countless never-ending potholes that I was sure knocked my subframe out of alignment, toasted wheel bearings, and chipped teeth in my mouth. Both have surprisingly survived with no apparent issues. It could be that I got lucky with the quality control, but at the same time I didn't purchase them together, I purchased at separate times. The $60 I spent has already been paid for itself.
So I know it's a frustrating situation for you personally but mine have lasted thus far. Just different data points for people considering these axles.
One difference between the ones I have, the inner hub outside is coated (looks like fgold colored TiNi, but it's probably just a zinc coating)

That's good to hear. Cardone Select from my research during purchasing seemed to have been the *best* of aftermarket axles. I've messaged a few people and some have gotten about 35k miles on an axle.

I'll ride the driver's axle as long as possible and we will see how it goes.

Glad you have a positive outcome though! :)
 

gforce1108

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Location
Newburgh, NY
TDI
04 Jetta GLS BEW, 14 Audi A7 V6 TDI
Hopefully rockauto doesn't screw you on the return shipping! (see my forum signature).
I just bought a Matelli inner from idparts along with a spare boot/grease (in case it only needs lube). At 303k miles it's probably time for the joint since it's causing a vibration. Even though they are made in China - I saw them recommended over other brands. Guess I'll find out!

EDIT - you missed one option originally - A good used OEM axle
 
Last edited:

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
The phrase "you get what you pay for" comes to mind. A lot of products from China are fine. Others, not so much. Mann, Behr, Valeo, FAG, and a lot of OE VW products now come from China. In a plant owned and run by a reputable manufacturer, product quality can be fine. But when you go to people who buy from unknown manufacturers and private label products, you can run into quality problems.

You can't, as far as I know, buy a complete set of CV joints for a MKIV VW from GKN. No left inner joint. But you can purchase complete axles. They cost a lot more than $60, but they'll last virtually forever, just like the OE ones, if you maintain the boots.
 

Carlos_TJ

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2014
Location
Tijuana Mexico
TDI
2009 Bora (BXE PD)
The region of manufacture does not mandate the quality level.
Its the factory quality target mandated by parent corporation, enforced by competent staff using effective production, and qc confirmation practices. Comes from having your outsorcing vendors with at least the same quality targets as you have, with the same certifications as you, as end product. Quality costs money in the end...
 

mrrhtuner

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2011
Location
London Ont Canada
TDI
2003 Jetta Wagon TDI, 2015 Passat TDI, 2015 Touareg TDI
The phrase "you get what you pay for" comes to mind. A lot of products from China are fine. Others, not so much. Mann, Behr, Valeo, FAG, and a lot of OE VW products now come from China. In a plant owned and run by a reputable manufacturer, product quality can be fine. But when you go to people who buy from unknown manufacturers and private label products, you can run into quality problems.

You can't, as far as I know, buy a complete set of CV joints for a MKIV VW from GKN. No left inner joint. But you can purchase complete axles. They cost a lot more than $60, but they'll last virtually forever, just like the OE ones, if you maintain the boots.
I realize that. Same goes for any higher end devices...such as apple. Designed in California, made in China.

I'm just getting at that Cardone Select are a brand I've never really heard of before. Based on forum reviews, they were OEM axles rebuilt and resold. Apparently not so.


Any ideas why GKN doesn't have an inner left joint? Any alternatives for that?
 

mrrhtuner

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2011
Location
London Ont Canada
TDI
2003 Jetta Wagon TDI, 2015 Passat TDI, 2015 Touareg TDI
Hopefully rockauto doesn't screw you on the return shipping! (see my forum signature).
I just bought a Matelli inner from idparts along with a spare boot/grease (in case it only needs lube). At 303k miles it's probably time for the joint since it's causing a vibration. Even though they are made in China - I saw them recommended over other brands. Guess I'll find out!

EDIT - you missed one option originally - A good used OEM axle

The return process has been decent so far. Automated and the axle is being shipped back as we speak. Everything has been covered by them via a pre-paid shipping label. I just want to make sure that I get 50% of my bill back (including original shipping costs).

Regarding a used axle...well if I showed you my old one...it was fine. The boot was fine and the overall condition is fine. No grease leaking or anything.

I guess I could have tried to buy a 2.0L axle (lower KM/use) but I just didn't want to risk it. Silly me.


Edit:
 

KrashDH

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Location
Washington
TDI
2002 Golf
The region of manufacture does not mandate the quality level.
Its the factory quality target mandated by parent corporation, enforced by competent staff using effective production, and qc confirmation practices. Comes from having your outsorcing vendors with at least the same quality targets as you have, with the same certifications as you, as end product. Quality costs money in the end...
Everything stated here is 100% true.

One of the things that is buypassed most of the time when something is outsourced is the actual quality and composition of the material being used to make the product. Unless that is held to high quality standards and specifications, no matter what tolerances you hit, you will get an inferior part.

All aluminum, or all steels are not created equal. Unless they are held to a required standard.
 

Carlos_TJ

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2014
Location
Tijuana Mexico
TDI
2009 Bora (BXE PD)
One basic fact in manufacturing is that quality is created inside the process as you manufacture. All further during-process inspections and warehouse inspections are early detection and contention measures which add no value to the product.

So your processes must be designed to produce within the desired qc targets and be able to detect out of spec variations.

A good process requires
- inside spec raw material / sub assemblies
- trained operators
- periodically calibrated automated process machines
- trained supervisors and managers

Etc etc

By the way the products appear from the OP seems to me the company is more in a "produce cheap and fast, rework-refund later" this is a sure fire recipe to alienate your customers and destroy your brand...
 
Last edited:

KLXD

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 22, 2009
Location
Lompoc, CA
TDI
'98, '2 Jettas
The fact that it came apart during shipping doesn't make it bad and a new joint should be pretty darn tight. Are you sure you couldn't get any flex and axial movement?
 

gforce1108

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Location
Newburgh, NY
TDI
04 Jetta GLS BEW, 14 Audi A7 V6 TDI
The return process has been decent so far. Automated and the axle is being shipped back as we speak. Everything has been covered by them via a pre-paid shipping label. I just want to make sure that I get 50% of my bill back (including original shipping costs).

Regarding a used axle...well if I showed you my old one...it was fine. The boot was fine and the overall condition is fine. No grease leaking or anything.

I guess I could have tried to buy a 2.0L axle (lower KM/use) but I just didn't want to risk it. Silly me.


Edit:
Don't expect to get half of what you paid for shipping. They will try to tell you that the axle you kept cost xx amount to ship and the second axle (that you returned) only cost an extra couple bucks - and that's what they will refund. For me, it was a catalytic converter and gasket. They only refunded me $1.60 for the shipping on the converter and charged me $13 shipping on the gasket. This was after having to shell out the cost of a new converter before they would refund the failed part (and didn't cover the cost of one of the gaskets needed to replace the cat).

I buy everything non-tdi from Advance Auto who will price match rockauto (or beat them using discount codes). All TDI parts are through idparts.com

The big difference in what you ordered with Cardone is New vs Rebuilt. A rebuilt Cardone will be a better part than new.
 

mrrhtuner

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2011
Location
London Ont Canada
TDI
2003 Jetta Wagon TDI, 2015 Passat TDI, 2015 Touareg TDI
The fact that it came apart during shipping doesn't make it bad and a new joint should be pretty darn tight. Are you sure you couldn't get any flex and axial movement?

The joint wasn't assembled properly. I had to remove the circlip and reposition the piece there for the axle to sit properly.

No, no play. I was worried that if I forced it onto the transmission and tried to drive it, it would snap the joint.
 

joep1234

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2014
Location
NC
TDI
former '04 Beetle TDI, now 2x '15 Audi Q5 TDI's, 2007 Dodge Ram 4x4 6.7
Advance Auto sell them also. I am on my 3rd set in 55k miles. I have the factory ones that just need to be cleaned and rebooted. I only used them when the trans shop that put my new trans in couldn't get new boots to repair them. Live and learn, die and forget it all.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
The joint is the same, but the boot is different. So you'd have to buy two rights and throw out the extra boot kit.
 

turbocharged798

Veteran Member
Joined
May 21, 2009
Location
Ellenville, NY
TDI
99.5 black ALH Jetta;09 Gasser Jetta
I have spent a lot of frustrating hours with inferior CV axle parts due to cheap CRAP coming from china.

The Metelliinner joints were ok and appears to be made in Italy when I got them several years ago. The boots they came with on the other hand were total junk and split apart in less than a year.

I also bought some replacement outer joints and I do not recall the brand but they lacked any sort of rust coatings and I ended up bending a stub axle trying to remove the nut that holds it to the hub. So those when into the trash.

Right now I am on Metelli inner joints, OEM outer joints, and OEM boots all the way around and it seems to be holding up.
 

pdq import repair

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Location
idaho
TDI
09 Jetta
If I need to use cheap junk Chinese axles due to price and customer choice, I just get axles from the local Napa store. They are not any better than anyone else's but they deliver, price is similar and the warranty is easy.

Factory axles in my car though.
 

truman

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 18, 2000
Location
columbia,MO,usa
TDI
'05 Passat Variant, Still miss the 03JW
As a point of reference, when I needed new axles on my 05 Passat, my local guru used MVP remans(Mexico) from OReilley. They have been on for over a year and no complaints, no unusual vibrations. They are about $65ea. I am curious to see how long the boots last. The Passats are a challenging application.
 

tpitt1946

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2004
Location
Willits, Ca.
TDI
Jetta Wagon 2004 Silver
As a point of reference, when I needed new axles on my 05 Passat, my local guru used MVP remans(Mexico) from OReilley. They have been on for over a year and no complaints, no unusual vibrations. They are about $65ea. I am curious to see how long the boots last. The Passats are a challenging application.
On my 2005 Passat I put on two A1CARDONEs on it. One has close to 50,000 miles on it. Smooth as glass.
 

Duke_962

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 16, 2017
Location
Northern new jersey
TDI
2003 jetta 5spd
Words to live by "if it's cheap, it's cheap for a reason" I have been burned by rock auto several times doing side work for people that want cheap fixes.
 

mrrhtuner

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2011
Location
London Ont Canada
TDI
2003 Jetta Wagon TDI, 2015 Passat TDI, 2015 Touareg TDI
I realize that. Same goes for any higher end devices...such as apple. Designed in California, made in China.

I'm just getting at that Cardone Select are a brand I've never really heard of before. Based on forum reviews, they were OEM axles rebuilt and resold. Apparently not so.


Any ideas why GKN doesn't have an inner left joint? Any alternatives for that?

?


Don't expect to get half of what you paid for shipping. They will try to tell you that the axle you kept cost xx amount to ship and the second axle (that you returned) only cost an extra couple bucks - and that's what they will refund. For me, it was a catalytic converter and gasket. They only refunded me $1.60 for the shipping on the converter and charged me $13 shipping on the gasket. This was after having to shell out the cost of a new converter before they would refund the failed part (and didn't cover the cost of one of the gaskets needed to replace the cat).
I buy everything non-tdi from Advance Auto who will price match rockauto (or beat them using discount codes). All TDI parts are through idparts.com
The big difference in what you ordered with Cardone is New vs Rebuilt. A rebuilt Cardone will be a better part than new.

Seems like RockAuto has changed their ways since you last dealt with them.

Based on what you said, I was expecting a low refund...but last night around 10:00pm I got this email:

Refunded Items
CARDONE SELECT 667251: Part: $51.79 + Original Shipping: $25.49 + Tax: $7.14 = Total: $84.42



Seems their refund and return process is pretty good IMO for my first return experience with them.
 

gforce1108

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Location
Newburgh, NY
TDI
04 Jetta GLS BEW, 14 Audi A7 V6 TDI
?
Seems like RockAuto has changed their ways since you last dealt with them.
Based on what you said, I was expecting a low refund...but last night around 10:00pm I got this email:
Refunded Items
CARDONE SELECT 667251: Part: $51.79 + Original Shipping: $25.49 + Tax: $7.14 = Total: $84.42

Seems their refund and return process is pretty good IMO for my first return experience with them.
That's good. I had a pretty good fight with them and eventually they offered me a credit for the $20ish. But that horrible experience ruined it (I told them a credit was useless since I'd never purchase from them again). I spend thousands a year on auto parts and now none goes to them.
Once I found out that advance auto will price match rockauto - there was no reason to deal with waiting for parts to be shipped. Most of the time, the 30% discount at advance auto beats rockauto anyway.
I am happy to hear that you made out well!
 

turbocharged798

Veteran Member
Joined
May 21, 2009
Location
Ellenville, NY
TDI
99.5 black ALH Jetta;09 Gasser Jetta
I would rather walk than buy from advanced auto. Overpriced Chinese crap with clueless drugged up teenagers working behind the counter. At least that is my experience with the ones around here.
 

gforce1108

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Location
Newburgh, NY
TDI
04 Jetta GLS BEW, 14 Audi A7 V6 TDI
I would rather walk than buy from advanced auto. Overpriced Chinese crap with clueless drugged up teenagers working behind the counter. At least that is my experience with the ones around here.
I never use the clerks in the store - I order everything online and pick up in store. That's the only way I know that I'm getting what I want, and it's much much cheaper. There are always 30% coupons to use. I mostly order brakes from them, but I still find name brand Bosch sensors, etc., cheaper than amazon, rockauto, etc. I still use idparts for everything TDI related
 
Top