A broken or damaged axle is a serious issue that requires prompt attention. When an axle breaks, it can affect the drivability and safety of your vehicle. But how much does it actually cost to repair a broken axle?
In this article, we’ll break down the average repair costs, factors that affect the price, and tips for keeping axle repair expenses affordable.
An axle is a key component that connects the wheels to the transmission and allows them to rotate. Axles contain gears, bearings, seals and shafts that can wear out or break over time.
Common signs of a broken axle include loud clicking noises when turning, vibration at high speeds, and fluid leaks. Addressing axle damage right away is crucial to avoid further breakdowns or accidents.
- Average front axle repair cost: $350-$850
- Average rear axle repair cost: $400-$1,000
- Luxury vehicles, dealerships, and extent of damage increase costs
- Shop around, ask about part options to save money
- Preventative maintenance is key to avoid axle breakdowns
How Much Does Broken Axle Repair Cost?
The average cost to repair a broken axle can range from $300 to $1000 depending on the make and model of vehicle, whether it’s the front or rear axle, and who does the repair.
Front axle repairs generally cost between $350 and $850 on average. Parts alone can run between $150 to $500 for a front axle, while labor will add $200 to $350 for removal and installation.
Rear axle repairs tend to run slightly higher at $400 to $1000 on average. Rear axle parts may cost $250 to $700 with labor adding $150 to $300 more.
Luxury and performance cars will be at the top of the range due to higher parts costs. Economy cars and mid-size sedans will fall in the middle, while small compacts and older vehicles tend to be at the lower end.
Dealerships will charge the most – often $150 to $300 above independent repair shops. However, they may offer OEM factory parts.
Independent mechanic shops offer better rates at around $400 to $800 on average.
Chain shops like Midas or Firestone may charge $300 to $600 for axle repairs.
According to Lanterncredit.com for example, on average, replacing an axle will cost between $880 and $960. The front axle replacement cost is about $550 to $740, while the back axle replacement costs about $880 to $1,000.
The average cost of an axle repair booked via WhoCanFixMyCar is £195.96. The exact cost of an axle repair will depend on a few factors, such as car make and model, the garage you take your car to, and the fault at hand.
No matter where you go, be sure to get a detailed repair quote upfront so you know exactly what to expect cost-wise.
Factors That Affect the Repair Cost
Several key factors will determine how much you pay to fix a broken axle:
- Vehicle Type: Luxury cars and SUVs have higher axle repair costs. Smaller, older, and economy cars tend to be cheaper.
- Front vs. Rear Axle: Front axle repairs are typically less expensive than rear axles.
- Extent of Damage: A damaged axle shaft may cost $200 to $300 to replace. A complete axle replacement often tops $600 or more.
- Mechanic Rates: Dealers and specialty shops charge more per hour than independent mechanics. Shop around.
- Parts: OEM parts are most expensive. Aftermarket and refurbished parts can provide big savings.
- Drive Type: All-wheel and 4-wheel drive axle repairs cost more than 2-wheel drive vehicles.
- Location: Prices vary greatly by region. Urban areas are generally higher.
Considering these factors will give you a better idea of realistic costs to budget for your specific axle repair.
DIY or Professional Repair?
Some auto DIY-ers try faulty axle repairs themselves to save money. However, this is an advanced repair best left to professional mechanics. Special tools and know-how are needed to properly diagnose and replace axle components. Incorrectly doing axle repairs increases the risk of bigger problems down the road.
The complexity of parts like CVs, boots, seals, and bearings makes DIY axle repairs challenging. Without proper training and resources, you may end up needing a professional fix anyway, which will likely cost even more in the end.
Tips for Saving on Axle Repair Costs
While a broken axle is not cheap to fix, here are some ways to keep repair bills as low as possible:
- Shop around for quotes – prices can vary dramatically between mechanics.
- Ask if remanufactured or refurbished parts are an option, as they can save 40% or more over new.
- Avoid dealerships if possible, as they charge the highest hourly rates. Independent shops are best for big repairs.
- Inquire if an axle shaft replacement is possible rather than replacing the whole axle assembly.
- Consider aftermarket axles – they tend to be cheaper than OEM and can provide the same quality.
- Ask about a repair warranty to protect against defects in parts or labor.
- Fix other suspension issues like alignment at the same time to save on labor costs.
A bit of research and planning can potentially reduce your total axle repair bill by a few hundred dollars.
Choosing a Reputable Repair Shop
Going for the right auto repair shop is key to getting quality service at a fair price. Here’s what to look for:
- ASE Certified mechanics have passed testing to prove their expertise.
- Check for an AAA Approved Auto Repair shop with high ratings.
- Search online reviews and verify their reputation for good customer service.
- Look for warranties on both parts and labor for peace of mind.
- Ask if they use OEM or aftermarket parts and the warranty on each.
- Get quotes in writing before approving any work.
A high quality auto repair shop with trained technicians will provide reliable axle repairs and prevent the need for return visits. They can also properly advise you on the most cost-effective solution.
Preventing Future Axle Damage
The best way to avoid major axle repairs is through proactive maintenance:
- Regular oil changes – dirty fluid causes internal damage over time.
- Check axle boots frequently and replace damaged ones.
- Inspect all suspension components during alignments.
- Address vibrations and noises right away as they can indicate axle issues.
- Rotate tires regularly to prevent unnecessary strain on axles.
By staying vigilant with maintenance and repairs, you can get many more miles out of your axles and avoid big repair bills.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is a broken axle worth fixing?
Yes, a dead axle is definitely worth fixing. A damaged axle can seriously affect the drivability, wheel alignment, and safety of your vehicle if left unchecked. Addressing axle issues right away through professional repair services can prevent further breakdowns and avoid the need for a complete axle replacement.
Is a broken axle serious?
A broken axle is a very serious issue. Axles connect your wheels to the transmission and allow them to rotate properly. When an axle breaks or gets damaged, it can lead to wheels locking up, loss of control, detachment of the wheel, or even rollover accidents in severe cases.
It also causes alignment issues and rapid tire wear. Don’t attempt to drive with a known broken car axle – have it towed to a repair shop immediately to resolve the problem.
How long can I drive with a bad axle?
It’s not recommended to drive any distance with a bad or damaged axle. You may be able to limp the vehicle a few miles to a repair shop if you have no other choice.
However, the vibrations, noises, feeling of looseness, and handling issues from a bad axle make driving dangerous. Severe axle failure can even result in the wheel separating from the vehicle while driving.
Avoid any unnecessary trips and have the vehicle towed to minimize mileage before repairing a bad cv axle.