Is it safe to drive with an axle shaft leak? How much does it cost to replace?

Is it safe to drive with an axle shaft leak? How much does it cost to replace?

The axle seal connects the axle the transmission and keeps the transmission fluid from leaking. Depending on the size of the leak, it may be okay to drive with a leaking axle seal, but not for very long.

Common Causes

The most common cause of a leaking axle seal is improper axle installation or removal but the axle seal can also wear out over time. If you’re concerned that your axle seal might be leaking, here are a few things to look out for:
  • Oil drops below your vehicle after it has been parked. If you start to notice oil drops on your driveway, it could be a sign of a leaking axle seal.
  • Transmission starts slipping as you are driving on the highway. You might not see spots on your driveway, as the axle seal tends to leak more at high speeds. If the seal does not get fixed soon, you may cause permanent damage to the transmission.

Is it safe to drive?

The severity of the leak will affect how safe it is to drive. If the fluid loss is significant, the vehicle should not be driven; if the leak is small, you may be able to drive your vehicle as long as you maintain the proper transmission fluid levels.

How much will it cost to fix?

Fixing an axle seal can cost anywhere from $150 to several hundred dollars, depending on the make and model of your car. If you detect a leak it’s better to fix it sooner rather than later, as ruining your transmission is an expensive repair. A leaking axle seal may be covered by your vehicle’s Powertrain Warranty, so check your car’s brochure to see if this is the case.

At V&F

Our expert mechanics use the latest diagnostic equipment, and high-quality CARQUEST auto parts, to make sure we get the job done right. Plus, our auto repair services are backed by an industry-leading 3 year / 36,000-mile warranty on parts and labor. Call us today at (413) 314-2280 or schedule an appointment online.

Written by Nicole Palange