Mechanics

TOYOTA 4RUNNER AXLE PROBLEM

2008 Toyota 4Runner • 56,000 miles

I have a 2008 toyota 4runner limited v6 4wd with 56,000 miles. I started hearing a humming sound and was told it was wheel bearings. It took 4 days for the shop to fix. They broke an axle in the process and cost me $1300+. My questions are: 1- how long do wheel bearings typically last? 2- is it common for axles to break in this process? 3- does this job typically take 4 days to fix and does it usually cost $1300? $480 for the axle alone? Thanks.
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Alamarca
January 31, 2013.



It shouldn't have taken that long, and it is not common for the axle to break. What actually broke on the axle? As far as a wheel bearing, they usually go over 100K miles. However, if you heard a humming, chances are that was the problem.

I'm going to the shop tomorrow to get more details. I'm not sure what exactly broke on the axle. Just see that I was charged $480 for a new rear axle and they said it took longer to fix since it broke and because they didn't have the right tools. Could the axle have broke due to the fact they didn't have the proper tools? The bill says I needed 2 wheel hubs with bearings that were $199 each. Does that sound right? I thought 56,000 miles was low for wheel bearings too.

Tiny
Alamarca
Jan 31, 2013.
You're right, 56K miles is really early to have problems with wheel bearings. As far as the tools, I need to know what broke. I have no idea what they did to break it. However, I would think since they broke it, they should be responsible for that part of the repair.

Thanks so much for your quick response. Hopefully I'll have more answers tomorrow.

Tiny
Alamarca
Jan 31, 2013.
Let me know what you find.

I've replaced a lot of these parts on Chrysler products so I can put this repair in perspective. For what you get for your money, the wheel bearing costs about double what the old Chrysler style cost but is about half of the newer style. The more expensive bearing assemblies require much less labor to replace. Yours is sort of a cross between them. It should cost in the area of $100.00, maybe $150.00.

There doesn't seem to be anything unusual about the half shaft, and I found them to cost less than the Chrysler products. A fair price would also be around $100.00 but that is very surprising. I would have expected it to be closer to $150.00 or even as much as $200.00. I can think of four things that can be damaged on a half shaft. One of the two rubber boots could be torn. If it looks like a smashed piece of meat, the mechanic likely did that and the shop should cover the cost of the part. On Chryslers we just replace the boot. On many imports that's a difficult job and it's less expensive to just replace the shaft. If you see grease sprayed around the area of a tear in the boot, it has been doing that for a while and the mechanic didn't cause it.

Second, if the mechanic was in a hurry and using air tools at an inappropriate time, he could have cross-threaded the axle nut and damaged the threads. I saw a fellow do that once many years ago. He was still able to fix the threads but it cost him a lot of wasted time. That is also something the shop should cover.

There's a spring inside the inner cv joint that can break. That's a judgement call if it happened while it was being worked on, because to break, it had to handled somewhat roughly, but if the spring is in good condition, rough handling isn't going to hurt it. In that case it was about to break anyway. Those springs for Chryslers cost $3.00 and take about an hour to replace.

The last thing would be if your vehicle has anti-lock brakes and the wheel speed sensor's tone ring broke. That's another judgement call. Yes, it was working fine when you brought it in, but if it was rusty and about to break on it's own, the normal bumping during other service would hurry that along. If it was not rusty, they can take plenty of pounding and abuse without damage. Until recently those rings were not available unless you found one in a salvage yard. Now we can buy them separately for many vehicles without having to buy the entire half shaft. The shaft still has to be partially removed to replace it.

Again, my experience is from working at a very nice Chrysler dealership for ten years as their suspension and alignment expert, but these parts on your vehicle are very similar in design. A typical repair, leaning toward the high end of the costs, would be $200.00 for the shaft, $200.00 for the bearing, and if I worked slowly, two hours labor. That does not include any time I would have spent trying to repair damage I caused, and it wouldn't include my time to diagnose the original problem you came in for. Most of the time I can explain why you were charged what you were charged. I will never defend a disreputable mechanic or shop. In this case, something is wrong. It should never have taken four days unless they had to special-order a part and wait for it to arrive. Most auto parts stores get parts shipped in from their warehouses in one or two days. The parts you got are typically stocked in most stores. $1300.00 is way too much unless there is something else you didn't tell us or you don't know about. Your bill should include an itemized list of the parts and the labor. I would ask why both are so far out of line with other cars and other shops.

Caradiodoc
Jan 31, 2013.
Hi guys. Sorry for butting into your conversation. As you can see, I type for a long time and I wasn't aware this was already handled.

Caradiodoc
Jan 31, 2013.
All advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks for your detailed response. Hopefully I'll get some answers tomorrow.

Tiny
Alamarca
Jan 31, 2013.
Caradiodoc, glad to hear from you. Add your thoughts anytime.

Joe

It was both rear bearings that were replaced. I asked to see the axle. It's actually bent. You can see where they were hitting it to get the part off. He said it was because it was too hot? Or too cold? I don't know what he was rambling about. He's going to look at the bill and see what he can do about the axle price. I don't feel I should pay $480 for a part they destroyed both I'm thinking I'm going to have to get stuck with this one.

Tiny
Alamarca
Jan 31, 2013.
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