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Every vehicle has either a front or rear differential, and some vehicles will have both of them. 4-Wheel drives are a good example of one with both differentials. This component allows the car to turn in different directions, so you can imagine there will be some issues when the differential starts to malfunction.
How much you will pay for a rear differential replacement depends on how heavy the repairs need to be. Are there a lot of parts to replace or just a few? Heavy repairs range from $400-$800, while lighter repairs should cost anywhere from $200 to $400.
Rear Differential Replacement Cost Comparison
|Parts & Labour||12 months||$249-$518|
|Parts & Labour||12 months||$318-$560|
|Parts & Labour||12 months||$304-$588|
|Parts & Labour||24 months||$325-$548|
What Is Rear Differential Replacement?
If you just need to have the oil seal changed out and the backlash adjusted, you should not pay more than $400. For heavier repairs, where large portions of the differential need to be completely replaced, you can expect to pay hundreds more and have your car in the repair shop for hours longer. Heavy repairs cost you more in parts and labor, and the costs of each depend on what kind of car you have and how serious the damage is.
Benefits of Rear Differential Replacement
Once you get your rear differential fixed, you can enjoy much greater control over your vehicle. It will be safer to drive and far more reliable. You will save on tire costs as well since a malfunctioning differential (either front or back) will cause undue wear and tear on the tires. You can prevent a lot of expensive future repairs by getting this problem fixed as soon as possible.
What Is Done during Rear Differential Replacement?
How much work the mechanic has to do to repair the differential depends on what damage has been done already. In some cases, it is just a fluid change, which can take as little as 30 minutes. Other times, entire pieces of the differential will need to be replaced, which can take hours. Most of the time, the mechanic will need to take off the wheels and remove the appropriate parts. Then he will replace any damaged parts and put the wheels back on.
After whatever repairs your mechanic has to do are finished, the mechanic will test the vehicle. This often involves a yard test and a road test, to ensure that the vehicle a performs well on the road and to make certain that no issues were overlooked.
When to Get Rear Differential Replacement
There are lots of different symptoms of a damaged or malfunctioning differential. You may notice that your steering isn’t as precise as you would like or that the vehicle has trouble making turns. There may be a grinding or squeaking sound near the tires if the differential is going out, and you need to pay attention to sounds and differences in vehicle operation to catch this problem as early as possible.
While you might be able to drive the vehicle in this state, with a differential issue, it’s not advisable. It’s best if you just have it towed and have the mechanic handle everything for you.
The differential should last for a long item, but if you drive on rough roads or operate the vehicle roughly, then it can wear out faster than if you were driving carefully on smooth roads. Take that into account as you try to determine when it would be a good time to check the differential and have a mechanic look for any potential problems.
How to Save Money on Rear Differential Replacement
There are some car repair jobs that you can do on your own to save yourself some money and a trip to the mechanic. This simply isn’t one of them, for most people. You probably need your own shop and access to some sophisticated tools to replace a damaged differential.
If you are looking for different ways you can save some money, then we suggest comparing prices for different mechanics in your location and sourcing some of the parts yourself. You can find used car lots that will sell you the parts you need at a decent rate, and that can save you money over buying them through your mechanic.
Sample Rear Differential Replacement Costs