If you damage one of your vehicle’s axles, it will usually need to be replaced. This can be a costly repair, but it depends on the make and model of your vehicle, as well as things like your geographic location.
Your axle is what allows the wheels to rotate, so damage to this part of your vehicle can’t be overlooked.
Front axle repairs can run between $500 – $800 while repairing rear axles usually cost between $700 – $1,000+. The average cost to replace an axle shaft is between $800 – $1,000.
The cost depends on the severity of the problem and the labor costs. The type of vehicle you have also impacted the price.
- Front Axle Repair Costs
- Rear Axle Repair Costs
- Signs and Symptoms of Axle Problems
- Cost For Professional Axle Repairs
- Other Repairs Related to Axle Problems
- Will Your Insurance Pay to Replace Your Axle?
- Replacing Your Axle At Home
- The Bottom Line on Replacing Your Axle
Front Axle Repair Costs
Repairing or replacing a front axle is typically a little less expensive than doing the same work on a back axle. The front axle is responsible for steering the vehicle, and it also takes much of the shock from the wheels.
Of course, this wouldn’t be the case in 4-wheel drive vehicles.
Front axles are typically made from carbon steel or nickel steel because they must be one of the strongest and sturdiest components of the vehicle.
In front-wheel-drive cars, the front axle is “live,” meaning that it delivers power to the wheels. This is the opposite of a dead front axle, which stays in place and doesn’t rotate.
On average, you should expect to pay between $500-$600 for a front axle, depending on your vehicle and how much labor is involved.
You’ll know that something is wrong with your front axle if you notice a clicking sound when you’re turning. The sounds may be louder when you take sharper turns or turn at a faster speed.
If your axle breaks completely, you won’t be able to steer your vehicle and it won’t move.
|Low-End Cost Estimate||$250 - $350|
|Mid-Range Cost Estimate||$450 - $650|
|High-End Cost Estimate||$700 - $800|
Rear Axle Repair Costs
The rear axle is usually more expensive to repair or replace. It can cost anywhere from $450 to over $1,000 for the rear axle, but most people pay between $600 – $900.
The cost for the rear axle will depend heavily on whether the vehicle is four-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, or rear-wheel drive.
Additionally, some vehicle makes and models are far more expensive for the parts than others.
For example, the rear axle for a 2007 Ford Escape might cost around $1,000 in some areas, while a very common, smaller vehicle like a Honda Civic might be a few hundred.
However, replacing a rear axle (or a front axle, for that matter) requires more than just the axle itself. There are many other components that also need to be replaced, and that will drive your total cost up.
Signs and Symptoms of Axle Problems
If you had a collision, or even if you hit something like a curb or pothole really hard, it’s possible that you damaged one of your axles. If the axle becomes bent, it will need to be repaired or replaced to protect the vehicle’s integrity.
Here are some signs that you may have a problem with one of your axles:
- Vibrations (unusual or more than normal)
- Rumbling sounds
- Sluggish steering
- Wobbly steering
- Clanking or clicking sounds after you shift into gear
- Grease leaking from the edges of the wheels
- The car won’t move even if it starts and the engine revs
Axle Expected Lifespan
Your axles should last a very long time as long as they don’t sustain any physical damage due to a collision or hitting something while driving. In addition, they’re usually covered under the vehicle’s powertrain warranty.
Depending on the manufacturer, your axles should be covered from damage for at least 3-5 years, or 35k-100k miles.
However, there are some situations that may increase the likelihood that your axles could get damaged. These include regularly driving on rough, rocky, or dirt roads, driving offroad, in ice or snowy conditions, and so on.
Cost For Professional Axle Repairs
A big factor in the cost to repair or replace an axle is where you take it to get the work done. Besides the cost of the parts, the labor charges may vary greatly from one shop to the next.
It’s a good idea to shop around and get several estimates before committing to one mechanic.
Let’s take a look at some cost comparisons for axle repairs at some of the major shops.
Axle Repair Cost Comparison by Provider
|Service Provider||Warranty||Price Range|
|NAPA||2-years||$475 - $1,150|
|Midas||1-year||$460 - $1,120|
|Mr. Tire||1-year||$460 - $1,050|
|Your Mechanic||1-year||$465 - $1,025|
In addition to where you take the car to get the work done, the make and model of your vehicle also plays a big role in how much the repairs will cost.
The reason for this is that the parts on some vehicles are much more expensive, and the time it takes to remove the old axle and replace it with the new one may be much greater with certain vehicle types.
In general, mechanics charge anywhere from $80 – $130 per hour. So, if a job takes 8 hours, that could be the difference between a $640 labor cost and a bill for $1,040 worth of labor.
Example Repair Costs
|Make & Model||Parts Cost||Labor Cost||Total Cost|
|Ford Fusion||$335 - $775||$155 - $200||$490 - $975|
|Honda Civic||$340 - $775||$165 - $200||$505 - $975|
|Chevy Silverado||$350 - $790||$155 - $200||$490 - $975|
|Ford Focus||$335 - $775||$155 - $200||$490 - $975|
|Toyota Camry||$325 - $755||$150 - $190||$475 - $945|
|Honda Accord||$340 - $775||$165 - $200||$505 - $975|
|Nissan Altima||$315 - $745||$140 - $180||$455 - $925|
|Toyota Corolla||$325 - $755||$150 - $190||$475 - $945|
|Ford F-Series||$335 - $775||$155 - $200||$490 - $975|
Other Repairs Related to Axle Problems
If you have to get your axle repaired or replaced, it’s possible that there are other issues with related components of your vehicle that may also need attention.
Or, issues with these areas may be causing your troubles rather than the axle itself. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the various related repairs so that you’ll be prepared for whatever news the service technician delivers.
Replacing the axle shaft seal may cost between $235 – $290.
The CV joints connect the drive shafts to the transmission and the wheels. They have a rubber or plastic covering on the outside and they’re filled with special grease.
The CV joint will last a very long time as long as it doesn’t get damaged. If it becomes cracked or suffers other physical damage, the special grease will leak out and dust, dirt, and moisture will be able to get inside.
If this occurs, replacing the CV joint may be costly, as these jobs typically run between $1,190 and $1,240.
Replacing just the outer cover, known as the CV boot, is a cheaper repair. It usually costs between $320 – $375. A U-joint replacement is usually even less expensive than the CV boot.
Replacing the U-joint may cost anywhere from $235 – $285.
Before your mechanic removes your axles and replaces them with new ones, they’ll check for these other issues first to make sure that the axle is truly the problem.
For example, if they find that clicking noise is coming from the CV boots, they will check for gear damage. If the gears are still good, then only the CV boot may need to be repaired, rather than the entire axle.
When the service technician removes the axle, they’ll have to also remove the differential cover, brake drum, rotor, and hub.
They’ll also inspect these elements while they’re working, so it’s possible that your mechanic may find additional issues that need attention.
If you need to have your brakes done, it’s a good idea to do them at the same time as your axle. In addition, you may want to have your vehicle’s alignment checked and adjusted after the repair.
Most garages will include this service standard with an axle and wheel work, but it’s possible that you’ll be billed for an alignment separately.
In general, an alignment may cost anywhere from $40 to $150+.
Will Your Insurance Pay to Replace Your Axle?
There are some instances where your car insurance might cover the cost to replace or repair your axle.
If the damage occurred due to a collision with another vehicle, then the chances are good that you may be able to make an insurance claim to cover the repairs.
However, if the damage occurred due to hitting a curb, pothole, or other road debris, your insurance may not cover it unless you have full coverage (comprehensive auto insurance).
Even with full coverage, insurance will not usually pay for new tires or tire damage, and they may not always pay for damage to your rims. Consult your policy documents to know for sure.
Replacing Your Axle At Home
You may be able to save some money by replacing your own axle, but you should have some experience working on cars and be comfortable using the various tools that you need for the job.
Each axle costs, on average, about $100 each if you buy them outright. However, axles are not one solid piece.
The front and rear axles have a left and right side, so you’ll actually need two axles to do the front and two to do the back.
This can raise the price significantly from what you were expecting if you didn’t know that they’re sold by the side.
You can usually get a better price by purchasing axles by the pair. In some cases, you may even be able to find a replacement part at a junkyard and get a better deal.
Sample Parts Cost for Axle Replacement
|Vehicle||Item ||Price Estimate|
|2011-2013 Hyundai Sonata||Pair - Front Axles||$272|
|2006-2009 Lexus IS250 AWD||Rear (right)||$295|
|2006-2009 Lexus IS250 AWD||Rear (left)||$272|
|2008-2015 Nissan Rogue AWD||Pair - Front Axles||$182|
|2011-2014 Nissan Juke FWD||Front (left)||$115|
|2003-2015 Toyota Corolla||Pair - Front Axles||$160|
Once you have the axle(s) that you’ll be installing, you’ll also need to make sure you have the right tools for the job.
An impact wrench isn’t required, but it will make the job go much faster and easier, so it’s very helpful if you have access to one.
Other tools you’ll need include
- Screwdriver ($5-$15)
- Pliers ($8 – $30)
- Socket set ($20 – $100+)
- Floor jack ($36 – $130+)
- Jack stands ($30 – $160+)
- Pry bar ($10 – $25)
- Hammer ($5 – $15)
- Brake cleaner ($3 – $10)
- Lube ($5 – $10)
- Replacement cotter pins ($5 – $20)
Here are some tips for replacing your axle:
- Always work on a flat surface, like a garage or level driveway.
- Check your owner’s manual for any special instructions that are specific to your vehicle.
- Safety first – always wear protective gear (gloves, goggles) when necessary.
The Bottom Line on Replacing Your Axle
If your axle becomes bent or damaged, you’ll need to have it looked at sooner rather than later.
Continuing to drive with a damaged axle can cause further damage to the vehicle, or the axle may fail altogether, which will result in your being stranded at best, or cause an accident at worst.
The good news is that most people shouldn’t have to deal with replacing an axle during the lifetime of their vehicle unless it’s damaged during an accident or collision.
While replacing your axle may be a costly repair, it’s well worth it to keep you and your family safe on the road.
Don’t forget that you may be able to save a few dollars by asking about discounts for military members and their families, senior citizens, students, or AAA members, so it never hurts to ask.
In addition, you should always get multiple quotes and shop around for the best price. Always check the shop’s reviews online and choose a reputable garage that guarantees its work.