A number of factors can affect the cost of axle repair, including which components of the axle have been damaged, whether they can be repaired or if they need to be replaced, and how much effort it will take to complete the job. The type of axle will also affect the cost of axle repair, as some types are more elaborate and intricate than others. A dead axle, for example, is one that simply supports the weight of the vehicle and allows the wheels to rotate; a drive axle contains far more components and is responsible for driving the vehicle forward.
If the axle housing is cracked, two solutions are possible: it can be re-welded, or it can be replaced entirely. Welding the axle is not a solid fix, as the crack may occur again and potentially lead to other problems. This fix is especially poor if the axle is a drive axle; the cost of axle repair will go up exponentially in this case, and welding will not be recommended because so many components can become damaged from the cracked housing. Vibration is more likely in such axles as well, which means there is a good chance the weld can let go again. If any of the internal components are damaged already, the cost of axle repair will go up because those parts will need to be pulled and replaced.
Some axles are quite intricately designed, which may increase the cost of axle repair. A portal axle, for example, is a heavy-duty axle commonly found on off-road vehicles. This specially designed component features bearings at each hub, as well as various components that lift the axle above the center line of the wheels. If this axle breaks, component replacement will be more expensive because the parts must be specially designed for this axle. If the entire component group is damaged, an axle replacement will be necessary, which will be quite expensive; the job is labor-intensive, and the cost of the parts themselves must be factored in.
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Sometimes just one component of the axle is damaged, which means the cost of axle repair will be far less, depending on the component. If an internal component needs to be repaired, the labor costs may go up since the mechanic will need to spend time pulling apart the axle, but if an external component is damaged or needs service, the costs will be much lower.