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Q: Cost for replacing front axle seal on 2004 Buick Rainier

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I recently had an oil change and then noticed oil on the garage floor. I took my Rainier (2004 with 115000 miles) back to make sure that everything was tight - and it was. They said that there was alot of oil dripping from an area that they thought indicated a front axle seal leak on the driver's side. How much does this repair cost?
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Your probably looking at about 1.5 - 2 hours of labor plus the part. There are a few seals, so it's is tough to estimate this repair with 100% accuracy. I'm a little curious about the leak, are you sure it wasn't leaking before? And why didn't the mechanic inform you that it was leaking when they performed the oil change?
Hey dr.laura,
I'm not so sure about the information you are receiving. These are my opinions, but from my experience something doesn't sound right.
1. If the seals are leaking on the differential, why are they recommending replacement of the bearings? Perhaps they have found that it is better to replace the bearings at the same time, but I would want an explanation as to why they need replacement.
2. Sagging struts will not cause these seals and bearings to fail. Based on this comment alone I don't trust this mechanic/shop.
I would take this to another shop for another opinion. Here is a list of some otehr shops in your area:
Best of luck to you, let me know if you have any other questions!
Thanks for your quick reply, bretb. I had the oil change done at a shop that only does oil changes, flushes, etc. There wasn't a leak at that time (about 10 days ago), but we began seeing oil on the driveway shortly therafter.

We took the Rainier in for an estimate and were told that the seals on both sides need to be replaced. The estimate for "rebuilding the differential unit with new seals and bearings" was $600 for parts and labor. We were also told that the reason for the breakdown of seals/bearings was "sagging struts" and that we should replace these or we'll see the same problem come up again. The estimate for this was about $950 for parts and labor.

Does all this seem reasonable? I take really good care of the car and have always kept up with maintenance. I'm wondering, though, if it isn't likely that within the next year or so I'll be looking at even more costly transmission work. Should I fix or should I trade-in?
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