Q: Seeping rear right axle seal

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Used car with spotty service history. One of the few things in the glove compartment was a repair invoice from a dealer. At 114K miles, they changed the Shift Motor and trans wiring harness and also recommended replacing the rear right axle seal (at a cost of $750). The previous owner declined. When I had the PPI, they also mentioned the seal.

It is only seeping to the point of collecting a little dirt (there are no drips) and the gear oil level was fine. How urgent is this to get fixed? I requested a quote from YourMechanic last week, but have not received a reply.

Hello, thank you for writing in. Apologies for the difficulty in obtaining a quote. Smart Cars are a little harder to price out, and our website may not have been automatically able to do so. The average price range for this repair over all makes and models is $89-$610. That may not help much at this point, but know after inspection a proper quote can be given. The price for parts will depend on what is available in your area. As far as urgency is concerned, do not expect the grease to leak out like oil or other less viscous fluids would. The grease is made to stay in place, and will continue to gather dirt and debris inside until that buildup reaches further and further into the axles. You do not need to stop the car immediately and rush to have it repaired, but you want to do your best to have it done soon. You will only cause more issues the longer you wait, but you are not going to break down. For more help, contact our service department about scheduling.

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