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2004 Hyundai Accent Base 3dr HB Coupe Manual

2004 Hyundai Accent
Trim Info:
Front Wheel Drive, 3 Dr Hatchback Cpe, Subcompact
29 mpg city / 33 mpg hwy
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January 7, 2013, 4:48 pm

Eva H
 

Question: Can a failed axle seal cause the bearing in the differential to fail?

My mechanic replaced my axles and the axle seals - then 4 months later the car stopped working. Turns out the axle seals have failed and the entire transmission needs to be replaced/ rebuilt. I have a warranty for the axle seals so it would seem that this warranty should cover the new transmission, since the axle seals breaking were what caused the transmission to fail.

But the mechanic is now saying that the axle seals broke because of the bearing, and therefore he is not responsible for replacing the transmission. He claims there's no possibility that the broken axle seal they installed could be what caused the problem with the bearing. Is that true? I don't know whether the bearing got messed up first and caused the seal to break (like they claim), or if the axle seal they "fixed" broke and caused the bearing to break. If the latter is true, then they are responsible for the transmission failing, right? Is there any way to prove what caused the transmission to fail?

Thanks for your help!


January 18, 2013, 4:03 pm

Ron W
Expert Mechanic

Well without seeing the vehicle I can't really say.

What I can say is both scenarios are possible. When a bearing fails, it tends to heat up and cook the seals. If the seal failed first, the fluid may have leaked out and not allowed proper lubrication for the bearing which could cause it to fail,

If it was 4 months later, I suspect the seals were fine when installed, but about all I can be sure of long distance.

You might want a second shop to look at it and give you their opinion.

If this had happened at my shop 9and I was sure my work was correct), I think I would have at least offered to cover some the labor cost to replace the transmission if you bought the part.


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