If you suspect your car’s axle has gone bad, you’re going to want to get it replaced or repaired as soon as possible.
Learn everything you need to know about symptoms your axle is damaged, whether it should be repaired or replaced, and how much this all will cost.
- Signs and Symptoms that Your Vehicle’s Axle is Bad
- How Much Does it Cost to Repair a Broken Axle?
- How long will the work take?
Signs and Symptoms that Your Vehicle’s Axle is Bad
Car axles are most commonly damaged after the driver has been in an accident or has driven on rough terrain like bumpy dirt roads or a deep pothole.
Below are some common signs that suggest your axle may have been bent or broken:
1. Vibrations, Shaking, Rumbling
You notice vibrations, shaking, or rumbling when you are driving, especially when turning or accelerating.
The severity of this can range from only strong enough that the driver notices when their hands are on the wheel, to all passengers can notice.
In this case, your car’s alignment may be off or you may have a bent axle or wheel.
Learn more about what it might mean if your car is shaking while driving.
2. Noises While Driving
You hear bad noises while driving.
Listen for clunking or sputtering noise when you put your car in gear or clicking noises when you turn your wheel.
This indicates friction between your axle and other parts of your vehicle.
You notice grease is leaking.
Look out for a leak of grease around your tires.
If your car is leaking, your CV joint may have cracked or failed.
4. Unstable or Wobbly Operation
Your car feels (or looks) unstable while you’re driving it.
If your car is out of alignment, you may notice a pull to one side or a wobble.
This may be caused by a bent axle shaft.
PRO TIP: Because this can sometimes be hard to identify as the driver, have somebody drive behind you and see if your car is wobbling.
5. Running Rough
Your car is straining when you try to move it.
If your car isn’t running as smooth as it used to, this could be a sign of a problem with your axles.
Is it safe to drive with a bent or broken axle?
Properly functioning axles are essential to safely drive your car, as they work with your transmission to transfer power from the engine to the wheels.
Driving your car with bent or broken axles is extremely dangerous.
IMPORTANT: If you suspect this may be the case, talk to a professional right away. Calling a tow truck is likely your safest option.
Can a bent axle be repaired?
It’s important to consult a professional on whether your axle should be repaired or replaced.
However, in many cases, the cost of a full replacement will be worth avoiding much more costly repairs down the line.
A badly bent axle can lead to severe damage to other parts of your car if not addressed.
How Much Does it Cost to Repair a Broken Axle?
The cost to repair or replace an axle depends on many factors including:
- The make and model of your car.
- Where you live.
- Varying costs of parts and labor.
- The type of axle your car has.
Check out some general estimates below.
The cost of replacement varies depending on whether it’s a CV, front, or back axle.
If just the CV axle needs to be replaced, that typically costs $150-$450.
If the whole axle needs replacement, on average, a front axle costs $750-$1,000 and a back axle costs $550-$800.
On top of that, labor generally costs between $50 and $140 an hour.
If your car’s axle can be fixed through a repair rather than a replacement, you can expect to pay $550 for a front axle and $800 for back axle, on average.
In addition, labor generally costs between $50 and $140 an hour.
How long will the work take?
The length of time it will take your mechanic to repair or replace a broken axle on your car is dependent on how bad the damage is.
If the axle is the main issue and you have brought your car in early enough that the suspension hasn’t been damaged, the mechanic can get this done in 1-3 hours.
If you’ve waited to long, you may also need to replace the car’s struts or suspension.