The factors affecting the cost of an axle replacement can vary greatly, depending on the type of vehicle the axle fits. Most often replaced is the drive axle in most vehicles, with axle replacement in four-wheel drive trucks commonly split between front and rear applications. Factors such as spring mounts, shock absorber mounts and axle housing damage all contribute to the final cost of the axle replacement. Also factoring into the total cost of the replacement are axle bearings, grease seals and the price of pressing the bearings onto the new axle. Axle lubricant and center section gaskets as well as C-clips, wheel studs and constant velocity (CV) joints also add to the total price in many axle replacements.
Typically lasting the lifetime of an automobile, the axle is occasionally subject to replacement. The cost of an axle replacement can vary due to many factors, such as vehicle type, age and drive configuration. Front-wheel drive vehicles often require the replacement of the CV joints added to the cost of the axle replacement, while some four-wheel drive trucks can require that the universal joints (U-joints) in the steering knuckles be replaced along with the axle. It is also common for the labor rates on trucks and vans to be higher than an automobile labor charge due to the added difficulty and heft of the components being changed.
The need for independent suspension axle replacement is also greatly increased due to the universal joints or CV joints at both the inner and outer ends of the axle, which allow for the articulation of the independently-moving axle. Common among all types of axle replacement is the cost of seals, gaskets and lubricating oil that must be added to the cost of the axle whenever this type of repair or replacement is required. For axles that have been damaged due to an accident or collision, the axle housing may also need to be replaced, which adds greatly to the total cost.
When replacing an axle housing, suspension mounts, spring mounts and sway bar mounts will typically require replacement as well as the axle shafts themselves. This type of axle replacement will also include the replacement of differential gaskets, seals and bearings. If the axle replacement is due to damaged drive splines within the differential, the damage to the differential may also require replacement. A factor associated with the replacement of an axle that is rarely calculated into the estimation of the replacement by the vehicle owner can be the tire on the damaged axle, which may require replacement as well.