Right front axle assembly question

geo
prizm

#1

In March the mechanic “replaced the right front axle assembly.” Now in September they tell me the “right/front inner axle seal needs to be replaced.” Did the work in March include the inner axle seal? And if so, should it need to replaced after 6 months?


#2

There are probably some mechanics that will replace the seal every time an axle goes in. To the best of my knowledge, however, it isn’t obligatory if the seal isn’t leaking. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten new axle seals just as a matter or course. So you probably didn’t get new ones.

If you did get new ones then - no - it shouldn’t be leaking. But I’ll bet that your actual warranty on the work is 90 days.


#3

The inner seal is not typically needed to be replaced with the axle assembly. These seals are very robust and hardly ever need to be replaced. I’ve replaced many CV joint assemblies without replacing this seal. However, I did just replace that seal on one car, a 1992 Toyota, because a very visible leak on that seal that was lucky enough to also have a bad CV joint on the same side. The seal cost just $8.00, and was very easy to replace during a CV joint assembly replacement.


#4

Thanks for your message! I take it if the inner axle seal was replaced in March it would have been listed on the receipt as a separate item. I’m sure this is essential and the work (cost:$161) needs to be done.


#5

Thanks for the information you sent me! I take it replacing the inner axle seal is rare and is appropriately need for a car that’s 16 years old. It has only 133,000 miles on it and I expect to keep it for a few more years. I will pay the $161.

What’s a CV joint assembly?


#6

The axle assembly. I just used a different term. They are also known as a ‘half-shaft assembly’. Basically you have two of different lengths for driver’s side and passenger side, with a shaft, an inner CV joint and an outer CV joint, all pre-assembled and lubed ready to install.


#7

Yes, there would be a separate item listed under the parts if the seal was replaced.

Take it as a lesson learned (though there’s really no way you should have known). If you have a higher mileage car and it needs any work, ask the shop whether there are normal wear parts that are easy to replace while doing the work. If they are inexpensive parts (like that axle seal) you can just ask them to replace it while they’re in there. So, e.g., if you need the driver’s side axle anytime soon, as them to put in a new seal with the axle.


#8

Thank you! That’s a great suggestion and one I had not thought of. I will remember this inquiry.

Funny or slightly strange that they didn’t initiate replacing the axle seal in March “while they were in there” with the understanding that it wasn’t needed but probably will relatively soon given the mileage.

Thanks again – a good lesson learned!


#9

Thanks so much for the explanation.