The drive shaft is a key part in your car that transmits the torque for the transmission to the rear wheels. Sometimes, however, the drive shaft will break, leading to a necessary repair or replacement. The price of the broken drive shaft repair cost on the high end can go upward of $2,000, with the average labor costs being around $70, but sometimes doubling if the car is a difficult one to assess. Parts will vary depending on the make, model, and year of your car, with the average cost of the parts of the broken drive shaft repair coming in between $400 and $600 to solve and fix the issue.
What is the drive shaft?
Before you can know how much you might spend on the total broken drive shaft repair cost, you should know the importance of this part in your car and the function of the drive shaft. The drive shaft. Also known as the propeller shaft, is a long rod that has a main function of transmitting torque from the transmission to the rear wheels. Basically, the torque must be sent from the output shaft to the rear differential.
The rear differential in your car functions to connect to the transfer case or transmission via the drive shaft. The differential is in charge of transferring the engine's power to the rear wheels to make them move, and is responsible for changing the direction so the car can move side to side and not just forward and backward. If the rear differential is broken, the broken drive shaft repair cost will be much higher.
In addition, another part of the driveshaft is the internal splines on the end, which are in charge of connecting to the transmission and the U-joint to the differential, ensuring all of the parts have firm connections and secure holds to prevent any leaks or damage.
In some cars, like if you have a four wheel drive vehicle for a high performance car, then you might have two separate drive shafts, like you will find in all-wheel drive cars. The one drive shaft is in charge of transmitting power to the front and the other drive shaft is in charge of the back and the rear wheels. If either one of these drive shafts are not working correctly, the broken drive shaft repair cost will be higher.
Common bad drive shaft symptoms
Since the drive shafts are constantly moving, and moving very quickly to transfer the energy, they have the power to move the rear wheels of your car at the proper speeds. The only way they can continue rotating at the right speeds is if they remain balanced and weighted at the right ratio.
If you notice that the drive shaft begins malfunctioning, then you are going to have to look into the broken drive shaft repair cost. Keep an eye and ear out for common symptoms that you will easily be able to recognize as a problem with the drive shaft in your vehicle.
If you are driving your car and you all of a sudden realize that it is not the smooth ride yo are used to and you feel vibrations, especially through the steering wheel, then this is a sign that you need to look at the broken drive shaft repair cost that you might have to pay. This is a clear sign your drive shaft is damaged and in trouble, and is oftentimes the first symptom that is extremely noticeable.
The vibrations are usually due to the worn out bushings located within the driveway since the bushings are typically in charge of keeping the drive shaft from moving or shaking in the first place. If these bushings are worn out, the drive shaft will become damaged, vibrate, and you are looking at a higher broken drive shaft repair cost.
If the problem with the bushings and drive shaft are not fixed relatively quickly, the vibrations will get more noticeable and more severe, leading to other issues like passenger discomfort and damage to other drivetrain components that can cause a much higher broken drive shaft repair cost.
When you have to accelerate your car, if you hear strange noises coming from under the hood or clunking noise then this can be a sure problem that you have a broken drive shaft. If you hear loud noises when you put your car in reverse or start to drive your vehicle, then this is a clear sign that your drive shaft has a problem and should be inspected to see the total broken drive shaft repair cost.
Not only can a squeaking noise coming from under your car be very annoying and disrupt your driving, but if you hear a consistent noise from under your car, this is a clear sign that you need to look into the broken drive shaft repair cost. This is a sign that your drive shaft could be damaged, worn down, faulty, or be out of balance due to undergoing extreme wear and tear over time.
Universal joint movement
If the U-joint in your car or your drive shaft is rotating too fast or does not rotate properly at the right speeds or location, then this is a clear problem with your drive shaft in your car. The seals of the bearings could have been corroded or rusted over time, or the U-joint has become shaky and unstable, leading to a higher broken drive shaft repair cost. In this case, you will have to pay the price for a drive shaft replacement, since the car is unsafe and unreliable to drive in this condition.
If you try to turn with your car and the wheels do not turn at the right time or when you expect them to, or they hesitate and shake while turning, then the drive shaft is causing resistance to the turning. Instead of the car turning smoothly when you turn the wheel, the wheels will fight back and prevent a smooth turn.
This is a serious issue that can be very dangerous to drive on the road, since the car will not be as responsive as it normally is, leading to a higher incidence of crashes and a higher broken drive shaft repair cost.
Can you drive with a damaged drive shaft?
Although you might be able to drive with a damaged or worn down drive shaft if the origin of the problem is not too serious, this can sometimes lead to more extensive and severe problems that will lead to expensive repairs and a higher broken drive shaft repair cost.
If the parts of the drive shaft were to completely break in two and snap during use, you will lose power to the axle and prevent the ability to drive smoothly. In addition, the drive shaft can get wedged between the ground you are driving on and your car, leading to the inability to move your car forward.
In some cars, usually those that are four wheel or all wheel drive, if the axle becomes disconnected due to the broken drive shaft it can cause an extreme amount of stress to the differentials or the transfer case. This can lead to premature wear of the center differential, which is key to transferring power between the engine and the wheels.
If the drive shaft disconnects from the one side while your car is being used and the spinning is occurring, then this can severely damage the underbelly of your car, and lead to extensive repair costs along with the broken drive shaft repair cost.
Broken drive shaft repair cost
If you are just needing to replace a half-shaft for the broken drive shaft repair in the front of your car, then this price will usually range between $470 and $940 total for the fix. You can usually expect to pay between $320 and $750 for the average cost of the parts, while the cost of the labor is between $150 and $190.
If you have a rear wheel or four wheel drive car, then the price of the broken drive shaft repair cost will be much higher. In this case, you should be ready to pay somewhere between an average range of $600 and $2,000.
Drive shaft repair cost comparison
In order to give you an idea of how much you might spend on the broken drive shaft repair cost, we gave you a comparison of the most common auto body shops that perform this service to educate you on where is the best place to go for this service.
First, your mechanic will generally charge you an average of between $450 and $2145 for the service with the warranty lasting 12 months, while the chain store of Midas has a range of between $499 and $2110 for the same service. Another option for you is Mr. Tire, which provides the broken drive shaft repair cost at between $550 and $2195, which is a little bit more expensive than the previous two options.
Lastly, Midas has the broken drive shaft repair cost priced between $469 and $2099, with the warranty coming in at 2 years for extra confidence for owners. If you want to save money by getting your own spare or trying to do this complicated repair yourself, then you can get just the parts for the broken drive shaft at Walmart or Amazon, with the former costing between $4350 and $1750 and Amazon costing between $399 and $1684.
Sample Broken Drive Shaft Repair Costs
In addition, to give you an idea of how much you might spend on the broken drive shaft repair costs for various model cars on the market today, we have included some of the most popular cars to give you an idea of how much you might spend.
The least expensive options in this case are the Ford F-Series, Nissan Altima Ford Focus, and the Ford Fusion, with all of these cars costing an average of between $476 and $510 for the total broken drive shaft repair cost. The labor costs for these cars come in between $68 and $80, while the parts range between $408 and $430.
The middle of the road options include the Toyota cars – the Toyota Camry and the Toyota Corolla, with these cars ranging between $814 and $1010, with the labor equalling $147 and $160, while the parts cost the owner between $667 and $850.
Lastly, the most expensive options include the Honda cars – the Honda CR-V, Honda Accord, and the Honda Civic, with all three of these cars having an average broken drive shaft repair cost of between $1000 and $1045. The labor costs for these cars are between $70 and $80, which is relatively low, while the parts range between $930 and $965.
How to save money on broken drive shaft repair
Although you might be tempted to save as much money as possible when performing the broken drive shaft repair, you need to keep in mind this is a crucial part in your car and can cause various other issues if the repair or replacement goes wrong. In this case, the best bet to save money will be getting an estimate of the parts and labor costs from various places in your area.
See how much each mechanic or auto body shop will quote you for the drive shaft repair and check to see if you can get some of the parts on your own to save a few hundred dollars a month total cost. This is the best way to save money, as doing this repair or replacement yourself can wreak havoc in your car.
You might be tempted to try and do it yourself if you have mechanical knowledge, but unless you have the proper tool and extensive training to safely do this repair, it is best to leave this job to the professional mechanics and auto body workers.