What does it take to break an axle?

I noticed a squeak coming from my rear wheels, thought it was the brakes, turned out my axle needs rebuilt. The tech said when my car was up on the jack they could see my wheel wobbling as it rotated. My car is a 2010 Wrangler with only 45,000 miles on it, so no chance of wear and tear. The tech said a pothole would do it, but I avoid potholes and I’d assume to do that damage would require a pothole that sends my head to the ceiling. But I got into an accident 3 months ago where I got t-boned on my rear drivers side. My car was fixed by my insurance and they cleared the car. This has to be related to it though, right?

Also, side note, the shop quoted me $4100 to fix. That seems ridiculous for an axle and other related parts. Thoughts?

This is an axle shaft


which is almost certainly the part that has failed if a rear wheel is wobbling as it turns and the rim isn’t bent. You need a more detailed estimate of parts and labor before allowing the work to be done in my NSHO.


Can you still drive the Jeep? Have the first shop put it up on a lift and show you the problem. If you can still drive it, get at least two more estimates. Just tell the other shops what issues you have and let them find the problem on their own.

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If the Jeep is still at the shop have the shop switch the left and right wheels and see if the wobble moves with the wheel.

THAT is what it takes to break an axle. This is part of the insurance claim that didn’t get caught by the body shop. Talk to your agent about getting the repairs covered under the accident claim.

And get a second estimate. You could buy and entire Jeep axle assembly for $4100. I’ve had an axle rebuilt for $1600. Add $150 for a new axle shaft and that should get it done.

I would be surprised if the rear end assembly is damaged beyond the axle shaft @Mustangman. An impact strong enough to break the rear end assembly would twist the rear suspension totally out of line and the Jeep wouldn’t be drivable. I strongly suspect that the wheel is bent and possibly the axle shaft also and only when the axle shaft is out can the interior of the housing be inspected for a crack but even that’s not likely. The rim is the weakest piece.

If it is just the axle shaft that needs to be replaced with a new one, $4100 does seem a little out of line. On my Ford truck anyway replacing an axleshaft is probably a 2-3 hour job. I haven’t ever replaced one, but I’ve removed both of them to fix the differential one time. That’s not overly difficult even for a diy’er like me, doing it in their driveway. If the axle housing has to be replaced too, then $4100 would be more realistic. I expect the accident is to blame, but no way to know for sure.

can you live with the squeak? you have been driving on it for 3 months. so, maybe a bent axle? or a slightly askew axle housing? a used rear axle assy is not crazy money at a boneyard

I don’t disagree with that at all!

It would amaze me if anything beyond the shaft itself god damaged. I think some shop didn’t want to even open up the housing to swap shafts or the bearing at the end of the housing. That $4100 they wanted to charge seemed like a “parts swap” job with a brand new axle assembly.

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