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How Much Does Car Axle Replacement Cost? 

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Axle replacement isn’t a common car problem. However, depending on the damage and your car model, an experienced mechanic can get it done within a few hours for $200 – $1000. Find out when you should take the car to the shop and how the axle replacement cost is estimated.  

Broken or bent, a bad axle must be replaced as soon as possible! It is a serious safety issue, and driving with a broken axle causes major damage to your car. Because the axle is a vital part that keeps the wheels in place and supports your car’s weight. So, don’t wait and worry about the axle replacement cost while your car is on its last legs.  


To understand how the replacement is estimated, first, let’s take a quick look at the types of axles and what they do 

What is an axle in a car? 

In its most basic form, an axle is a shaft that rotates a gear or wheel. Axles in cars started out as iron beams that support the vehicle’s weight and keep its wheels in place. As the design and functions of a car evolved, axles also advanced into different types. But its base function remains the same – support and balance.  

What are the types of axles used in a car? 

Axle shafts, CV axles, and half shafts are used synonymously for car axles. However, each type of axle is different one way or another. And though they are the most common type, not all cars have a CV axle.  

Axles are also categorized into live axles and dead axles. The difference is that a live axle transfers power from the engine to the wheels, while a deal axle only bears the car’s weight and does not receive any power.  

Want to know more about axle types and how they function? Read this blog for everything you need to know about Your car’s axles. 

What is a CV joint, and why is CV axle replacement common? 

Constant Velocity Axles or CV Axles connect the driveshaft transmission and the wheels. These are mostly used in front-wheel drive cars, the most common drivetrain. However, some rear-wheel drives and AWDs use CV joints in the back, so the wheels move up and down freely.  

You’ll find the CV joint at the end of the axle near the wheel; it is inside the rubber boots to keep the elements away. There’s one CV joint for each wheel and are thus called half-shafts – each joint does half the work of the axle. So, you can also cut your axle replacement cost by half if only one side is damaged.  

broken constant velocity joint mounted on the vehicle
Broken Constant Velocity Joint mounted on the vehicle

How long do car axles last before replacement? 

CV axles, the most common type in today’s cars, last for 70K – 130K miles. So, they rarely break due to normal wear and tear; however, for safety’s sake, you must get your car axles inspected regularly.  

Damage to axles is usually caused by a strong physical force – an accident or rough driving. For example, if you drive over a deep pothole or crash your car. The vehicle’s age also impacts how a crash or rough roads affect the axle.  

How do I know if my axle needs replacement? 

It’s hard to miss a broken axle – your car will make sure you know. But on the other hand, a bent or moderately damaged axle presents a few symptoms that only worsen over time if you do not address the issue. Overall, you’ll notice that the drive is not smooth – the car rattles and shakes when you turn the wheels, sputtering noises when you shift gears, a strain in movement, etc.   

Here’s what you need to look out for: 

  • When your car is in drive, a damaged axle will cause vibrations strong enough for the passengers to notice. If the intensity is much less and you feel vibrations through the steering wheel, it could be a faulty ball joint or another much less dangerous suspension issue.  
  • A bent axle or damaged CV joint also causes unusual noises. A clicking sound when turning is quite common in the case of CV joint replacements. You might need to change only the joint, but a knocking or grinding sound might indicate damage to the whole axle. 
  • Grease leakage from the wheels is a symptom you might miss. As CV joints move constantly, it requires lubrication, and grease is used for this purpose. If the grease leaks and leads to lesser lubrication, the CV joint can be damaged. Check under the car and along the sides of the wheels for leakage.  

How much does axle replacement cost? 

Axle replacement cost depends on your car’s model, drivetrain, and the type of axle that needs to be replaced. In most cases, you could save money with repairs, but we highly recommend replacing your CV joints if there is a safety issue.  

The cheapest estimate for replacing one CV axle is $150 – $450. Meanwhile, if the whole axle needs replacement, you’ll spend around $600 – $1000 (including labor) at the shop. Front axle replacement usually costs more, considering FWDs are more common. Typically, back axle replacement costs $500 – $800.  

Replacing the CV boot is much simpler – and cheaper; it costs around $100 – $200 for the replacement and labor. CV axles can cost at least $50 – $150; remember that your mechanic might recommend high-end parts depending on your car model. Additionally, labor costs for axle replacement are $100 – $300 or higher, depending on the amount of work needed.  

If you decide to patch up minor damage and leave the axle replacement for later, don’t forget that a broken shaft can cause further damage to the transaxle. The repair bill will then run to several thousand, depending on the extent of the damage. So, don’t risk it and change the bad axle as soon as possible.  

How long does axle replacement take? 

A couple of hours, usually. But it depends on how damaged your car is – especially if a delay in replacing the bad axle has caused further problems with the suspension system. From diagnosis to the final check, the mechanic will spend at least one to three hours on an axle replacement.  

If you were in a crash – even a small one – it is a good idea to spend more time at the shop and give your car a complete checkup before you drive it again.  

Can you still drive a car with a broken axle? 

10/10 Would Not Recommend! Even if you think you have a bad axle – bent, not broken – the only place your car needs to be at is the auto shop. Avoid driving as much as possible; if you do, be extremely cautious. With the tire alignment compromised, driving a car with a bad axle is dangerous.  

Safety first: Call a tow truck to take your car to the shop if the wheel looks like it has given up.  

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