App version: 0.1.0

Car Axle Repair & Replacement Costs

Car Axle Repair & Replacement Costs
Austin Kilham
Austin KilhamUpdated September 15, 2023
Share this article:
Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
Your car axle is the rod that connects your wheels together. Standard vehicles have one in the front and one in the rear of the car. It’s critical that your wheels turn properly if your car is going to move, so when your axle is malfunctioning, it’s important to have it repaired or replaced. On average, replacing an axle will cost between $880 and $960. Front axle replacement cost is about $550 to $740, while back axle replacement cost is typically less, costing up to $550.That said, there are a variety of factors that will influence the cost of repair. Here’s a closer look at axle function, a breakdown of costs, and options for paying for repair or replacement.  

Front Axle Replacement Cost Breakdown

The two biggest factors that go into broken axle repair or replacement are parts and labor. Labor costs vary depending on where you live, but you can generally expect to pay a mechanic somewhere between $75 and $130 per hour. Replacing an axle should take one to three hours, which means you can expect to pay up to about $390 in labor costs at the upper end of the price spectrum. Labor costs for repairs will depend on the complexity of the fix. The rest of the cost largely comes down to parts. The make and model of your car will determine what types of parts you need. If you have a relatively common vehicle, it will likely be easy to find parts, which can reduce cost. Parts for high-performance or luxury vehicles may cost significantly more. Another option is aftermarket parts, which are parts not made by the original supplier. These are often cheaper alternatives to brand new parts. Recommended: The 11 Most Expensive Car Repairs

Get an Estimate

It’s recommended to get several estimates from mechanics to ensure you’re getting a fair price. Understanding average cost is a good start, but you may want to look at online resources, such as Kelley Blue Book’s Repair Pricing tool or Consumer Report’s Car Repair Estimate. These resources allow you to look up the make and model of your car, as well as your address, to get an estimate for repairs in your area. This can give you a more accurate idea of how much you’re likely to pay given your circumstances. With this figure serving as a benchmark, contact a few local auto shops and ask them for a quote. Compare their answer to the average price for your car to help you determine where to get the best deal. Once you find a mechanic, be sure to look up reviews to see if previous customers are happy with their service. You may also want to look them up on the Better Business Bureau’s website to see if anyone has lodged any complaints. 

How Axles Work

Car axles connect your wheels and use rotational force from your transmission to get your wheels spinning. Most vehicles will only have two axles, which can be classified as “live” or “dead.” A live axle receives power from the engine and propels the car forward. A dead axle does not receive power, however, it still supports the weight of the vehicle. The front axle may or may not receive power from the engine, so it can be live or dead. Axles typically have four parts: the beam, the swivel pin, the track rod, and the stub axle. They are built to be as sturdy as possible, often made from carbon steel or nickel steel. The rear axle, on the other hand, is “live,” meaning it helps rotate the car’s wheels and move the vehicle forward. They typically come in two parts, known as half shafts. These are connected by the car’s differential. 

Why Do Front Axles Fail?

An axle could fail for a variety of reasons. For example, you might be in a car accident that causes damage to the wheels or undercarriage of the car. Older vehicles might have damage from rusting that causes axle failure. If you overload your car with too much weight, you can put pressure on the axle that causes it to fail. Also, driving in rough conditions on bumpy roads with potholes, for example, might accelerate wear and tear, causing your axle to eventually break. 

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Front Axle

Watch out for the following signs that could signal your axle needs to be replaced: 
  • Vibrations and loud sounds: Look out for vibrations, clanking, and rumbling sounds coming from the underside of your vehicle. 
  • Wobbly tires: A broken axle may not hold your wheels on straight, which can cause wobbling. 
  • Your car won’t move: If your car won’t move even while your engine is revving, it may be a sign that your axle is broken and isn’t able to receive power. 

Preventing Future Axle Problems

You can help prevent axle problems by ensuring that your axles are properly lubricated. Also, check your owner’s manual to see how much weight your vehicle is designed to bear and avoid exceeding that limit. Be extremely careful when driving on rough roads, and avoid bumps and potholes when possible. 

Covering the Cost of Axle Repair & Replacement

You can pay for the cost of axle repair or replacement with cash or with financing, including credit cards, personal loans, or refinancing your current car loan. 


Paying with cash is the cheapest option as there are no associated fees or interest payments to be paid. Experts recommend that you keep an emergency fund with three to six month’s worth of expenses to cover unexpected costs, such as a broken axle. 

Credit Card

If you don’t have the cash on hand, you may consider using a credit card. However, credit cards are best used when you know you’ll be able to pay your bill in full at the end of every month. If you don’t, you’ll owe interest, which can be up to 20% or more. If you carry a balance from month to month, your interest will compound. In other words, you’ll start to accrue interest on your interest, which can push you further into debt. 

Personal Loan

As an alternative to credit cards, you could consider a personal loan for car repairs. Personal loans allow individuals to borrow a lump sum of cash that can be used for almost any reason, including car repair. In return, borrowers agree to repay the loan on a set schedule of regular payments with interest. Interest rates are around 11.5% for personal loans, according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve.

Auto Loan Refinance

Finally, you could also consider refinancing your auto loan to help free up some cash in your budget. When you refinance your auto loan, you pay off your old loan with a new one, ideally one with a lower refinancing interest rate, which saves you money in the long run. You can use your interest rate savings toward other goals, including paying for car repair. You can explore potential savings with a car loan refinancing calculator

The Takeaway

Replacing a car axle costs an average of $880 to $960, including parts and labor. Factors that impact the total price include where you live, what your mechanic charges in labor, and the type of axle your specific car needs.If you’re in need of financing your car axle repair or replacement, consider refinancing your auto loan with Lantern by SoFi. Lantern allows you to compare multiple lenders all in one spot, with just a single application and no obligation to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I drive with a damaged car axle?
How long does it take to repair or replace a car axle?
Are car axles covered under any warranties?
Does car insurance cover the cost of axle repair or replacement?
Photo credit: iStock/Patrick Daxenbichler

About the Author

Austin Kilham

Austin Kilham

Austin Kilham is a writer and journalist based in Los Angeles. He focuses on personal finance, retirement, business, and health care with an eye toward helping others understand complex topics.
Share this article: