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Pinion Seal Replacement Cost

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

Pinion Seal Replacement
The average cost for a pinion seal replacement is between $227 and $282. Labor costs are estimated between $184 and $234 while parts are priced between $43 and $48. 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.
Pinion Seal Replacement

What is a Differential Pinion Seal?

The differential pinion seal is easily spotted between the differential and the pinion shaft flange (where the driveshaft attaches to the differential). This seal is combined with an 'oil slinger' to prevent the oil from the differential from running out of the differential housing as the pinion shaft is turned by the drive shaft. It is round, and uses a rubberized seal in the shape of a continuous circle to surround the pinion shaft. This rubberized seal is pressed against the pinion shaft by a light spring which is inside the rubberized portion of the seal, so it makes firm contact with the pinion shaft from all angles, at all times.

How do Differential Pinion Seals prevent leaks?

With the pinion shaft being surrounded by the seal, small lips on the seal face the inside of the differential, so any oil that makes it past the oil slinger (a small disc in front of the seal) will only slide up the oil seal, not under it. This causes the oil to return to the differential case instead of flowing between the seal and pinion shaft. It should be noted that these seals are not 100% effective against stopping oil, and in many vehicles seepage is considered normal after several thousand miles.

What are the symptoms of a bad Differential Pinion Seal?

The only symptom of a leaking pinion seal is fluid contamination on the exterior of the differential housing, driveshaft, and in a straight line across the bottom of the vehicle where the seal is located. This is because the leaky seal will leave oil on the driveshaft and pinion shaft flange, which will then throw the oil in a circular pattern while the driveshaft spins. If the leak has gone unchecked over time, the differential may begin to make rapid clicking sounds as the lack of fluid is causing contact between the metal gears inside the differential.

Can I drive with a bad Differential Pinion Seal?

This seal should be repaired when it is noticed to be leaking. It will normally seem small and insignificant, but over time this can destroy the differential due to oil starvation. Waiting until there is a noise present will nearly certainly cause failure of the differential assembly.

How often do Differential Pinion Seals need replacement?

These seals tend to fail between the 100,000 and 150,000 mile mark. Some of these are changed due to seepage, and that is decided by the manufacturer's recommendation. To prevent early failure, or even extend the life of the seal, the driveshaft and differential should be maintained properly, and driveline vibrations should be inspected and repaired appropriately once noticed. Replacing the differential fluid and cleaning the differential housing should be done according to the maintenance schedule for the vehicle, and accelerated schedules are available for severe use.

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