Differential Repair Part III: Differential Repair or Replacement?

What is the decision gate when differential repair comes up?  When should you repair it, and when should you simply get a new one?  All very good questions that will be answered in part three of our series.

Part one of this series explored differential fluid, and part two explored symptoms and signs of a differential going bad.

How Much Does a Rear Differential Cost to Replace?

Where people get into trouble with this question from less reputable mechanics is that they’re quoted a relatively low part price, but then get shocked at the labor charges involved.  Instead of asking ‘how much does a rear differential cost to replace,’ you might want to ask ‘what are the costs involved with replacing a rear differential?’ As a rule, a good part starting rate for a new one is about $1500.  A rebuilt one is between $700 and $1200 on average.

The labor charges vary by mechanic, but add at least another $400 or even higher to the part price.  The key is to know when to replace it and when to repair your differential.

When Should I Replace My Differential?

There comes a point when differential repair is no longer an option. If you have a cracked case that is leaked fluid, by way of example, your car is essentially ticking away to a point when it is just going to break down.  If you believe in Murphy’s Law of Physics, that namely “what can go wrong will go wrong and at the worst possible time,”  your car will stop in the middle of an intersection during the height of summer, and with at least a week until your next payday.  Cynical?  Perhaps, but unfortunately all too likely.

So, use your head.  Listen for the sounds that a differential going bad makes.  Get it into a mechanic proactively, before the problem gets out of hand.  And assess the costs to you on both sides of the dilemma.

If the repair bill is getting too high, you might do better if you replace your differential in Mesa.

If you choose to replace your differential or repair it, call an expert: Trail Transmission.

Trail Transmission
11240 East Apache Trail
Apache Junction, AZ 85120-3529
(480) 986-7367

Differential Repair Part I: Replace Your Fluid
Differential Repair Part II: Signs That You’ll Need Differential Repair
Differential Repair Part III: Differential Repair or Replacement? epair Part III: Differential Repair or Replacement?

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