The transaxle of a vehicle is the integrated assembly of the transmission and the differential. This means the transaxle is responsible for allowing you to both change gears (just like with a transmission) and split the engine power amongst the wheels of your vehicle (just like a differential).
You will find a transaxle in many modern cars which have the engine in the same position as the area where the wheels are driven. The most common cars with transaxles include most four-wheel drive cars and all front engine front-wheel-drive cars. Corvettes including the new C8, are well known for utilizing a transaxle.
Do not confuse a transaxle with a transmission because they are two different things. A transaxle has a transmission integrated into it, but it is not just a transmission because it has a differential integration as well. In cars without a transaxle, the transmission and differential would be two separate assemblies and they’d be connected through a driveshaft.
The reason transaxles are more popular now is because they allow the weight of the rear and front to be distributed evenly. That way, the vehicle can be handled better and the overall weight is reduced.
Transaxle Repair Cost
The rebuild or repair cost of a transaxle often won’t cost as much as total replacement of the transaxle, but it depends on the root cause of the issue. At least with a rebuild, you are not purchasing a totally new transaxle part for your vehicle. You’re just taking the current transaxle and taking it apart, so you can rebuild it again with new components.
This is meant to replace any older components that may have caused the transaxle to malfunction or perform slowly in the first place. Although this is an expensive job, your parts costs will still be cheaper because you’ll get to retain a lot of the same components as well.
The average rebuild cost of a transaxle is between $2,500 and $5,000. You can expect the cost of the parts to be around $1,500 and $3,000 while the cost of the labor will be between $1,000 and $2,000.
If you’re a mechanically skilled individual, then you may be able to perform this rebuild job yourself and save quite a bit of money on labor. But if you’re like most people, then you will need to have a professional do it for you. They will ensure that you don’t make any minor mistakes which would have serious consequences.
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Transaxle Replacement Cost
The replacement cost of a whole transaxle is going to vary greatly based on the make and model of your vehicle. It will also depend on whether you’re purchasing a new transaxle or a used one.
On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000 for just the transaxle itself. The labor costs are going to be quite extensive too because it will take the mechanic many hours to perform the replacement job.
That is why the labor costs will be anywhere from $800 to $3,000. Therefore, you can expect your total expense for the replacement job to be from $4,000 to $9,000.
Obviously, if you’re replacing the transaxle on a Ferrari, Porsche, or even newer Audi, you’re going to be spending a whole lot more in both parts and labor. The sky’s the limit with exotic cars.
You may feel tempted to purchase a used transaxle in order to reduce your expense for the parts. A used transaxle may give you a few more years of life out of your transaxle, depending on how often you drive your vehicle. This may be a suitable option if your vehicle is already over 5 years old and you don’t plan on keeping it for another 5 to 10 years. Rebuilt transaxles or transaxles purchased from salvage yards can help save money.
However, if you’re the type of person that wants to just keep replacing parts and make your car last forever, then you’ll want to get a new transaxle instead. This means that you’ll end up paying the higher end of the parts estimate.