The national cost for an axle shaft bearing replacement in 2023 is between $140 and $560 with an average of $230​

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National average cost of a an Axle Shaft Bearing Replacement
for popular vehicles:

Car Model

Avg. cost


What is an axle shaft bearing and how does it work?

Many rear-wheel and four-wheel-drive vehicles rely on a set of bearings to suspend the drive axle so that it can rotate freely with minimal friction. The axle shaft bearing is mounted in the axle housing at the end closest to the wheel. When the axle shaft is inserted into the axle housing, it passes through the bearing and into the differential (gear box).

Made of high strength steel to support the weight of your vehicle, the axle bearings are pressed into the axle housing and are lubricated with the gear oil that is also installed in the housing.


How do I know if my vehicle needs a new axle shaft bearing?

If an axle shaft bearing fails, the axle will no longer be supported and will eventually rub against the edge of the axle assembly where the axle exits the housing. As it fails, the bearing will often produce telltale signs, including:

Grinding or growling noises while driving

Excessive vibration

Fluid leaking from the axle housing near the wheel

Loose wheel hub or axle

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How is a an Axle Shaft Bearing Replacement done?

To replace an axle shaft bearing, a technician must safely lift and support your vehicle in the air for access to the component. With the wheel and tire removed, the technician will follow these general steps:

  • Drain all of the gear oil from the axle housing (differential) and remove the rear housing cover
  • Detach the inner end of the axle shaft from the inside of the differential so that the shaft can be extracted from the housing
  • With the axle shaft out of the way, the pressed-in bearings are pulled from the housing with special tools before a new bearing set is pressed into place
  • Reinsert the axle shaft into the housing and fasten
  • Reinstall the axle housing/differential cover with a fresh gasket (if applicable)
  • Fill the axle assembly with fresh gear oil and reinstall the wheel and tire
  • Note - If proper procedures are not followed when removing and installing the pressed bearings, significant damage can occur to the axle housing that can cause complete failure of the component.

Other questions customers ask

Is a wheel bearing and an axle bearing the same thing?
Wheel bearings and axle shaft bearings serve similar functions. They each allow a wheel to rotate freely with minimal friction. However, whereas a wheel bearing is mounted in the wheel hub on a vehicle, an axle shaft bearing is installed inside the axle housing to support the outer end of the axle. In the case of a wheel bearing, its job is to allow the hub to spin. An axle bearing similarly allows the axle to spin.
What causes axle bearings to go bad?
Axle bearings can go bad for a variety of reasons. Lack of lubrication, contaminated lubrication from a lack of maintenance, abuse from harsh driving conditions, and excessive high mileage or wear are all factors that contribute to a bad axle shaft bearing.
What happens if a wheel bearing fails while driving?
If a wheel bearing fails while you are driving, the axle will leak gear oil. When that happens, brake failure is possible due to brake pad/shoe contamination. A failed axle shaft bearing can also cause the wheel to seize up and stop rotating. In severe cases, the wheel can even fall off of the vehicle.

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