Axle Shaft Seal
The front axle shaft seal is what prevents the fluid in your differential from leaking out around the axle. The differential delivers engine power from your transmission to the wheels, and allows your wheels to move. Accordingly, it needs to be lubricated, as does your axle. The front axle shaft seal mounts into the axle shaft tube or the differential case depending on design, and prevents the internal fluid from leaking out. If the front axle shaft seal becomes compromised, transmission fluid will leak and possibly damage the transmission or differential.
Keep in mind:
- It is important to fix an axle shaft seal as soon as possible as the fluid can damage brake components.
- Fluid leaks can cause problems not just with the adjacent component – they can compound and affect other components in your car.
How it’s done:
- The vehicle is put on jack stands and the four tires are removed. The front and rear brake calipers and brackets are removed to access the axle.
- The front axle is removed to access the defective front axle seal. The seal is removed and replaced with a new seal.
- The rear axle is removed to access the defective rear axle seal. The seal is removed and replaced with a new seal and a new differential gasket. The axles are then refilled.
- The tires are reinstalled and the vehicle is removed from jack stands. Brakes are pumped up and set for operation.
- The vehicle is road tested to ensure proper operation of all the components that have been worked on.
The front axle shaft seal does not require maintenance, though it can fail unexpectedly. If there is a problem with your front axle shaft seal or any other part of your drive train, have it diagnosed and corrected.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Axle Shaft Seal?
- Fluid leaks noticed near the front wheels
- The transmission or differential fluid is low
How important is this service?
You should never neglect any type of fluid leak. If the front axle shaft seal is compromised, you could end up leaking transmission fluid, and at some point your transmission will seize up. You’ll incur costly repairs or have to replace the transmission entirely. A small leak can be monitored closely and managed, but if you’re losing a lot of fluid, get the front axle shaft seal replaced as soon as possible.