Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Is it Safe to Drive with a Leaking Axle Seal?

Axle Seal

An axle seal is the part of the vehicle that connects the axle to the rear differential, or the transmission. The purpose of the axle seal is to keep transmission fluid from leaking. Depending on the size of the leak, it may be okay to drive with a leaking axle seal, but not for very long.

If you have are concerned about a leaking axle seal, here are things to look out for:

  • One of the more common signs the axle seal is leaking is oil drops below your vehicle after it has been parked. Your driveway is one of the spaces you will notice the oil leak. If you start to notice oil drops on your driveway, it could be a sign of a leaking axle seal.

  • While an oil spot on the driveway is a common sign, it does not always happen because the axle seal leaks more during highway driving. This can be noticed once your transmission starts slipping as you are driving on the highway. Since the transmission fluid drops, there is not enough fluid for brake band friction, valve operation, gear lubrication, and the torque converter. If the leaking axle seal does not get fixed soon and the transmission is slipping, you could cause permanent damage to the transmission.

  • The severity of the leak affects how safe it is to drive with a leaking axle seal. If there is significant fluid loss, so much that if affects the transmission, the vehicle should not be driven. If the leak is small and you can’t make it to an appointment for a few days, it is okay to drive your vehicle as long as you keep the transmission fluid full. Do not push it too far though, as ruining your transmission is an expensive repair.

  • The most common cause of a leaking axle seal is it improper axle installation or removal. In addition, the axle seal can wear out over time, which can cause it to leak. A leaking axle seal may be covered by your vehicle’s Powertrain Warranty, so check your car’s brochure to see if this is the case.

If your vehicle has a small axle seal leak, it may be okay to continue driving for now, but you should look to have your car's axle shaft inspected and potentially replaced immediately. Make sure to keep your transmission fluid full so your transmission keeps running smoothly. If you have a large leak and your transmission is slipping, it is not a good idea to drive with a leaking axle seal.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
Auto Safety Tips
Driving is more than a way to get from point A to point B. Owning and driving a car can also be a highly enjoyable experience. Whether a person is driving...
P0291OBD-II Trouble Code: Cylinder 11 Injector Circuit Low
P0291 code definition When your vehicle’s PCM registers the P0291 code, it means that a voltage reading came from the fuel injector circuit – for cylinder number 11’s fuel injector –...


Related questions

Q: How do I use and adjust the bed extender?

If your car comes equipped with bed extenders, then there are three potential positions for the extenders. storage, divider, and extender. You can adjust the extender into either of the three settings. Storage position is the default extender position,...

Q: Main front seal

The front crankshaft seal seems to be one of those universal oil leak points on a car. If you desire replacement, simply request crankshaft seal replacement and the responding certified mechanic will get this promptly and professionally resolved for you....

Q: Oil under car

Oil leaks generally will become worse over time. Locations where leaks commonly develop are at the valve cover, oil pan or camshaft and crankshaft seals. The source of the oil leak will need to be located, and then the leak...