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Axle Shaft Replacement Cost

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

Axle Shaft Replacement
The average cost for an axle shaft replacement is between $558 and $608. Labor costs are estimated between $101 and $128 while parts are priced between $457 and $480. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.
Note about price: This service is typically done as part of a bigger, more expensive repair, so the estimate you see above may not represent your total cost. Some of these bigger related repairs are listed in the table below. Talk with a RepairPal Certified shop to learn which repairs may be right for you.

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Axle Shaft Replacement

What is a front axle?

The front drive axle is responsible for transmitting power from the transmission or differential to the wheel hub. There are two types: straight axles and constant velocity (CV) axles.

What are the symptoms related to a bad front axle?

When a straight axle fails, it may cause vibration while driving. If the wheel bearing has failed, the axle and bearing will make a grinding noise while you drive. This may be accompanied by vibrations in the steering wheel and brake pedal.

Can I drive with a front axle problem?

No, driving with a faulty axle or wheel bearing is dangerous. Aside from the vehicle feeling unstable, the wheel may come off when the bearing completely disintegrates. If you hear mechanical grinding from the wheel bearing, stop driving it and get it repaired.

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How often do front axles need to be replaced?

Straight axles tend to fail less often than CV axles because of their heavy-duty nature. The typical front CV axle should last between 80,000 and 100,000 miles, but your driving style can significantly increase or decrease service life.

How does the front axle work?

Front drive axles are made of strong metal in order to withstand transmitting power from the engine to the wheels and carrying the weight of the vehicle.

They have geared ends called “splines” that mesh with the differential and the hub-and-bearing assembly. Straight axles spin inside of a tube called the axle housing, which contains the differential in the center, the right and left axles, and the wheel bearings. Unlike a straight rear axle, the front axle must bend to allow the wheel to turn. This bending is accomplished using a universal joint.

Independent suspension vehicles use CV axles, which have articulating heads at both ends, allowing the wheel to move independent of the differential in all directions. The CV gears at the ends are enclosed in a thick rubber material, called the CV boot, that prevents grease from escaping and dust from entering.

CV axles have become far more common to see in modern passenger vehicles, while straight axles remain dominant in heavy duty applications.

Can I replace the front axle myself?

This job should be left to a professional. The vehicle must be lifted, suspension parts must be dismantled, and a lot of labor is involved. 

How are front axle issues diagnosed?

Diagnosis starts with a visual inspection and test drive. If symptoms point to a faulty front axle, the axle will be inspected for damage, and the CV axles will be replaced. If the visual inspection revealed torn CV boots, but no damage is evident to the CV gears, the CV boot may be replaced.

For straight axles, the wheels may be turned by hand before removing the axle for inspection. The bearing and axle will be examined, and if damage is present where the axle meets the bearing, they must both be replaced.

A warped straight axle is diagnosed using a straight edge, and can be evident from wear patterns.

How is a front axle replaced?

For CV axles, the wheel, axle nut or axle bolt, brake caliper, brake caliper mounting bracket, and brake rotor must be removed. Then, the most advantageous suspension component is disconnected from the steering knuckle to allow the CV axle to slide free from the bearing and hub assembly. The CV axle is then removed from the transmission or differential, and the new shaft will be installed in the reverse order.

For straight axles, removal of all the same components is necessary, with the addition of the differential cover. This cover must be removed to disconnect the drive axle from the differential. The differential will be cleaned, inspected and resealed when the new axles are installed.

RepairPal recommendations for front axle issues

We recommend following the manufacturer's maintenance schedule. Changing the differential oil for straight axles is the single most important maintenance task for this part, and the most often overlooked.

What to look out for when dealing with front axle issues

For both types of front axle, the amount of free-play in the wheel can be an indicator of a failed wheel bearing, which may cause damage to the axle if the vehicle is driven.

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