Drive Shaft Replacement And Repair Cost

The repair cost or replacement for a new drive shaft differs, but a general rule of thumb can be applied! Here's an up-to-date guide for a better overview.

A drive shaft that does not work properly should be quickly assessed and replaced or repaired. In this article, we will cover the replacement cost as well as symptoms and signs that may occur.

We have previously covered car axle replacement costs for front-wheel drive cars, where we mentioned the transaxle and CV joints.

In rear-wheel and four-wheel drive cars, a drive shaft is implemented to transfer the power and torque from the engine in the front to the wheels in the back.

Below, we will mention everything you need to know regarding the drive shaft, including the replacement cost, repair cost and things you should consider when dealing with the drive shaft.

Let’s dive right in!

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Should You Replace Or Repair A Drive Shaft?

car drive shaft

As previously mentioned, and later described, many signs and symptoms can present if the drive shaft does not work properly.

In most cases, if the drive shaft splits, a replacement is the way to go.

Sometimes parts close to the driveshaft can be the culprit such as the U-joint, slip joint, center support bearing, and more. In those cases, a repair is sufficient.

Drive Shaft Replacement Cost

drive shaft

When replacing a drive shaft, all the abovementioned parts are usually replaced together with the drive shaft.

The cost of a drive shaft depends on the type of car you drive. Cars with a lot of power or big SUVs tend to have drive shafts that cost more than regular sedans or coupes.

To give a rough estimate, a drive shaft costs between $300 to $1300. If you are buying a drive shaft yourself, make sure that it fits specifically to your car model, engine, and transmission.

When it comes to labor, it should not take more than two hours, in most cases, it takes about an hour to replace a drive shaft.

This means that the total cost will be around $400 – $1500 including labor and parts. You could save a few bucks by replacing the driveshaft yourself as it is not a very difficult task.

Keep in mind that the type of car, model and drivetrain will affect the price but also remember that drive shafts can differ greatly between models, drivetrain, transmission, and engine.

In other words, two cars of the same make, model, year and engine can have different types of drive shaft if one has a manual transmission, while the other has an automatic one.

This is not always that case but it is important to consider when buying a new drive shaft.

Drive Shaft Repair Cost

auto drive shaft

A drive shaft that has gone into two pieces is not repairable, however, many times the problem may be due to a joint or another part that works together with the drive shaft.

If the latter has occurred, a repair can be done in many cases. These repairs are almost much cheaper than a drive train replacement and take about the same time as a replacement.

For example, a center bearing replacement will cost you around $300 including parts and labor. This also applies to a U-joint replacement

This DIY guide on WikiHow shows how to replace a U-joint in a few, simple steps.  

Symptoms Of A Bad Drive Shaft

pickup truck drive shaft

Before you start replacing a drive shaft it is important to find out if the drive shaft should be replaced. Unless the drive shaft has split in half, it can be a bit tricky to differentiate the problem.

Below, you may find the most common types of signs and symptoms for a bad drive shaft.

Noises Under The Car

When you hear clunking under the car, there is a good chance that the U-joints have gone bad.

As previously stated, the drive shaft may consist of multiple parts and joints that all can produce noise when they do not work as intended.


car shuddering while driving

Excessive vibrations can also be a sign of a faulty drive train. This may be caused by the same reason noises are heard.

A common reason vibrations occur is a drive shaft that is out of balance. If it is not bent, but only unbalanced, it is an easy fix that should not cost more than $300.

A rough shuddering may appear when accelerating, which may resemble a problem with the ignition coils or spark plugs even though the drive shaft is the culprit.

Related:Does Your Car Jerk When Accelerating? Here’s The Fix

Car Will Not Move

Without any power sent to the rear wheels in a rear-wheel drive car, it will not move. If the engine is running and you try to drive without success the drive train may be the cause.

If you have missed that the drive train has split and then try to drive, you may hear loud sounds as the shaft hits the car rapidly without any car movement.


truck drive shaft

The drive shaft is mostly seen in rear-wheel drive cars. Its function is to transfer the power and torque produced in the front engine to the rear wheels.

Four-wheel drive cars may have two drive shafts, one in the front and one toward the rear. Front-wheel drive cars have transaxles and CV joints as the engine is close to the powered wheels.

In many cases, a drive shaft repair is sufficient to tackle the potential problem that occurs related to the drive shaft.

These are mostly parts associated with the drive shaft such as the U-joint, center support bearing, slip joint, and more.

Not all drive shafts look the same or have the same parts, which is why it is important to carefully inspect the drive shaft on your car.

The drive shafts may even differ between the same model depending on the type of transmission, engine, and drivetrain. Therefore, make sure that you use a drive shaft that is specific to your car.

Because of the vast difference between different drive shafts, the price differs greatly. In most cases, a new drive shaft costs $300 to $1300 but fortunately, it only takes around an hour to replace it.

A replacement usually goes for much less, around $200 to $300 including parts and labor, but this also depends on what and how many parts must be replaced.

Whatever the case may be, it is important to fix a drive shaft as soon as possible. Some symptoms and signs that may occur include vibrations, noises under the car, and an unmovable car.

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Bajro Muric

Bajro is a big car enthusiast with a love for writing and teaching. He writes about anything regarding cars - from common problems and fixes to racing.