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Axle Shaft Bearing Replacement Cost

Know what price you should pay to get your vehicle fixed.

The average cost for an axle shaft bearing replacement is between $357 and $518. Labor costs are estimated between $140 and $300 while parts are priced between $217 and $218. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.
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What is an Axle Shaft Bearing?

Many older or heavy duty vehicles use a wheel bearing mounted in the rear axle housing. This will be at the end of the rear axle housing nearest the wheel, and the rear axle will slide through the bearing before being inserted into the differential. These are heavy duty roller bearings, especially when used in trucks and large SUV's.

How do Axle Shaft Bearings work?

Wheel bearings are made of high strength steel and support the weight of the vehicle while allowing it to roll freely. Axle shaft bearings are pressed into the rear axle housing nearest the wheel. The axle will sit inside the bearing, allowing the axle to rotate the wheel smoothly and freely. They are lubricated by differential fluid or gear oil inside the differential housing, and this generally protects them against failure.

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What are the symptoms of a bad Axle Shaft Bearing?

If the rear wheel bearing has failed, the bearing will make a grinding noise while driving. For straight axle vehicle, this may also be accompanied by a leaky rear wheel seal pouring gear oil onto the brakes and ground. The vehicle may begin to feel unstable at all speeds, especially when turning. On modern vehicle, wheel bearing failure may cause the ABS warning light and traction control light to illuminate since the wheel speed sensor is unable to read wheel speed.

Can I drive with a bad Axle Shaft Bearing?

Driving with a failed wheel bearing is dangerous. Aside from the vehicle feeling unstable, the axle may become warped or damaged as the bearing disintegrates. If mechanical grinding is heard from the wheel bearing, the vehicle should be taken out of service to prevent further damage and unsafe driving conditions. Catastrophic bearing failure in the rear of a heavily loaded truck may cause the axle shaft to break, separating the wheel from the vehicle.

How often do Axle Shaft Bearings need replacement?

On average, a wheel bearing will last between 75,000 and 100,000 miles. Many vehicle may be fortunate enough never to replace a wheel bearing, but the majority will see this repair at least once before the end of the vehicle’s useful service life.

How are Axle Shaft Bearing issues diagnosed?

If the vehicle has a sense of instability, or audible grinding or chirping from the wheel, the wheel bearing will be inspected. If there is axle play, a rough feeling when rotating the wheel, a leak from the wheel seal, or any other cause for concern, the wheel bearing and wheel seal will be replaced.

How are Axle Shaft Bearings replaced?

The servicing technician will begin by raising the vehicle, and removing the tire corresponding to the failed wheel bearing. For straight axles, replacing a wheel bearing requires the differential cover to be removed, and axles disconnected from the differential. Then, the brakes and axle must be removed. The bearing and seal are pulled, and replaced, and the axle housing can be reassembled. Afterwards, the differential will be refilled with the appropriate type of gear oil, and the vehicle can be road tested.

RepairPal Recommendations for Axle Shaft Bearing issues

When the wheel bearings are being replaced is an excellent time for the brakes to be inspected. If they require replacement, typically the cost should only rise very slightly, since the brakes are already being disassembled and reassembled.

What to look out for when dealing with Axle Shaft Bearing issues

There are several types of wheel bearing, hub, and axle systems in use, and understanding which system your vehicle uses is key to understanding your repair. The most common types are sealed hub and bearing assemblies, found on most modern vehicle, and roller bearings that are mounted inside the rear axle housing, as found in many older vehicle and heavy duty applications.

Can I replace the Axle Shaft Bearing myself?

Rear axle bearing replacement is an easy DIY project for the novice DIYer to handle, if the bearings are sealed bearing and hub assemblies. The only caveat to that is the individual must understand how to properly tighten the axle nut with a torque wrench. This is essential in maintaining a wheel bearing, and preventing the wheel from dragging, causing excess friction and heat. It is not, however, recommended for most DIYers to attempt replacement of wheel bearings on straight axle vehicle, as specialty tools are required, and the axles must be disconnected from the differential. Inexperienced or overzealous individuals may cause harm to themselves or the vehicle, or create a safety hazard while driving.

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