Rear Main Seal Replacement Cost in 2023? Signs and Causes

Rear main seal replacement cost is more expensive than you would expect, not because the seal costs a lot, but because of the labor costs. If you notice signs of a damaged rear main seal, you should contact your mechanic for repairs immediately. How Much Money Does It Cost To Change Rear Main Seal of A Car Since replacing the seal is costly, you can consider doing it yourself as long as you’re handy with tools, as it’s a complicated process. Continue reading our guide on replacing the rear main seal and how much you should spend.

What Is the Rear Main Seal Replacement Cost?

The rear main seal replacement cost is an average of $1100. The parts needed to replace your rear main seal cost between $5 and $110, but mechanics would charge between $350 and $2000 for labor, depending on the make and model of your car.

If you purchase a seal from Walmart, it would cost up to $115, while purchasing it from Amazon would cost about $200, but these prices depend on the make and model of your car. In most cases, you can get the part for $50. But the replacement process is complicated. Mechanics charge a lot for replacing the rear seal because it is complicated. You have to remove the engine from the transmission or just the transmission. In some cars, you might have to remove the transmission, camshaft, crankshaft, and valve covers in your car just to get to the main seals.

Rear Main Seal Costs for Car Models

The cost of replacing your rear main seal depends on the car model that you are driving. Keep in mind that these prices are just estimates, and it also depends on other factors. Different Car Models in A Parking Here are the main seal repair costs per car model:

Car Model Labor Cost Rear Main Seal Cost
Chevy Equinox $550 – $1052 $9.49 – $80
Nissan Altima $670 – $1025 $23 – $51
Pontiac G6 $600 – $1100 $29 – $46
Jeep Cherokee $490 – $1230 $17 – $97
Toyota Camry $400 – $1500 $20 – $93
Toyota Tacoma $650 – $900 $7.50 – $35.99
Honda Accord $685 – $920 $16 – $64
Chevy Silverado 1500 $580 – $1790 $26 – $46
Ford F150 $700 – $1100 $35 – $89
Toyota RAV4 $380 – $1700 $15 – $37


What Determines the Cost of Replacing The Rear Main Seal?

What determines the cost of replacing the rear main seal is the labor costs. The labor costs depend on the make and model of your car, as engines are built differently. Other factors include the mechanic rates and the other damaged parts of your car.

Engine Build

The design of your engine determines how hard it would be to replace the seal. It can take a few hours or over eight hours to remove your transmission and install a new seal. You might have to remove the cam seal, engine, transmission, cams, clutch, clutch release, and other parts. If your car runs with automatic transmission, there are fewer parts to remove to get to the seal, but you would also have to replace the transmission fluid. You might also have to replace your crankshaft seal, so it would take up to 8 hours of work. That’s why it would be so expensive. But if you’re using a Toyota model, you might only have to remove the transmission and replace the seal, leading to about four hours of work.

Car Make and Model

Your car’s make and model would also affect the cost of the parts, although this won’t make a huge impact on the overall cost of the replacement. For instance, if you use a small car, you might spend between $25 and $60. But with a sports car, you might spend up to $200. Stores like Amazon and Walmart would also have alternatives to the expensive aftermarket options, costing as low as $10.

The Car Repair Shop You Visit

The rates of mechanics, garages, and repair shops differ based on their geographical area. It can cost between $15 and $210, which is an average of $60 per hour. If you are going to a dealer, you might also spend more money. But a local shop would cost less. If you have a rare car, you might not find a local mechanic that would handle it. That means you would have to spend more. If your car takes up a lot of time at the repair shop, you should also spend garage rates, which is a rate per day for taking up space at the garage. The seal repair takes several days, so you should consider it. Interior View of A Repair Shop In most cases, the rates would be added to the quote so you can pay for everything at once.

Other Damaged Parts in Your Car

When the mechanic removes different parts to replace the main seal and discovers other main seal leaks and damage, it would be more expensive. A Broken Engine Also, it’s more cost-effective to replace other parts while the engine and transmission are already out rather than paying the mechanic to do it all over again for a separate part.

What Are the Signs of a Faulty Rear Main Seal?

The signs of a faulty rear main seal include oil leaks, the engine light illuminated, the smell of burning oil, smoke from under the car, a buildup of debris, and excess oil consumption. If you notice any of these seal leak symptoms, you should visit a mechanic for inspection.

Leaking Oil

One of the early signs of seal failure is oil leaks. If you notice oil puddles under your car after you park it, that is a sign of early-stage failure. But, it’s expensive to replace the seal, so ensure this is the problem before you take your car for a replacement. A Black Spot of Leaked Engine Oil You might notice leaking under the transmission bell housing, but this isn’t a sure sign because another part of your car might be leaking and dripping towards that side. Leaks from an oil pan gasket might also be confused with the rear seal leak, so inspect it thoroughly.

Engine Oil Light Is On

If you notice your engine oil light is on, there are different causes, but a bad seal might be the problem. If the engine light keeps on coming on, that means you have a leak, or you keep on running low on oil. Oil should not be burning excessively in your car, so if you notice this, ask a mechanic for an inspection.

Smell of Burning Oil

Another sign is the smell of burning oil. Main seal leaking oil can drip in very small amounts and stick to some engine parts, causing it to burn under high temperatures. This would lead to a strong smell of burning oil that you can barely notice inside the cabin. But if you’re standing outside of your car, you would smell it strongly.

Debris Buildup

Leaking oil from the rear main seal can also lead to a buildup of dirt and debris. Oil leaks can act as an adhesive, so if you have a crankshaft leak, all the places covered with oil will attract dirt and debris. Mechanic While Fixing an Engine If you notice a lot of dirt stuck between the engine and transmission, it means that you have a leaking rear main.

Smoking Engine or Car

If you notice smoke from under the car or in the engine, then you should check the seal for damage. The leaking oil from the rear seal might drip into the exhaust, causing smoke to come from under the car. It would look different from the normal smoke that comes from the tailpipe. Your engine might also be smoking because of an oil leak. If your engine is smoking, especially if it is blue, you should inspect your car. Keep in mind that oil leaks could be from anywhere, so check for other issues, like the clutch and the crankshaft, before you spend a lot of money on having the seal replaced.

Excessive Oil Consumption

Another sign is if your car is consuming more oil than usual. If your car starts losing a lot of oil without any damage to the engine or clear leaks, then the cause might be because of the rear seal. A car that consumes a lot of oil would make noises when moving, and the engine light would blink constantly. With these signs, contact a mechanic for leak repair.

What Can Cause a Bad Rear Main Seal?

Poor engine conditions can cause a bad rear main seal in your car. If you use the wrong type of oil with chemical additives, it can affect the seal and cause damage. If you don’t make oil change regularly, it can also make the seals deplete. Other causes include:

  • Excessive heat or an overheating engine.
  • Filling the oil past the maximum line.
  • Environmental conditions like driving on ice or off-roading.
  • Wear and tear of the main seal.
  • Wears on the crankshaft system.
  • Misalignment issues with the manual or automatic transmission.
  • The seal was coated with oil during installation.

If any of these happen, it can cause the rear main seal failure and will require repairs.

How Can You Replace Your Rear Main Seal?

You can replace your rear main seal by disconnecting the battery and removing the transmission to get to the seal. Remove it and install a new one, and replace all the removed parts. Read your owner’s manual to know more about where the seal is located for your specific car. Keep in mind that if you are not experienced with tools or mechanical systems, you should give your car to a trusted repair shop instead. Also, be careful when replacing your rear main seal because if you damage another part of your car when taking them all out, you will spend more on repairs.

  1. Disconnect the battery to remove the starter.
  2. Remove the transmission and whatever might be stopping you from removing the transmission. You might have to remove the torque converter, exhaust system, and driveshaft, depending on the car you’re using.
  3. Remove the flywheel and the clutch, or the flex plate, depending on if you are using a manual or automatic transmission.
  4. Remove the rear main seal bolts that house the seal.
  5. Remove the seal gently and compare it to the new one to ensure they are similar.
  6. Install the new seal, the seal housing, and the other components you removed.


The rear main seal replacement cost is quite expensive, but it’s important to hire a mechanic because doing it yourself can lead to more damage. Here’s a summary of our guide;

  • The average cost of replacing the rear main seal is $1100, as the cost of the part can be up to $110 while the labor costs are up to $2000.
  • The cost of replacing the rear main seal depends on the engine build, car make and model, the car repair shop you visit, and if there are other damaged parts.
  • The signs of a faulty rear crankshaft seal include leaking oil, burning smell, debris buildup, and excessive oil consumption.

Before you ask a mechanic to replace your rear main seal, you should be absolutely sure that that is the problem. If not, you would end up spending a lot of money on a part that is not damaged.

What Are the Signs and Causes of a Bad Rear Main Seal?

The signs of a bad rear main seal include oil leaks, engine oil consumption, and smoky exhaust. Common causes are wear and tear, incorrect installation, or engine overpressure. To address these issues, it is important to diagnose the problem accurately and seek solutions for bad transfer case symptoms quickly to prevent further damage to the vehicle.

What Could Cause Transmission Issues in a Car?

Transmission shifting issues in first gear can be caused by several factors. A worn-out clutch, low transmission fluid, or a faulty pressure plate could be the culprits. Additionally, a defective gear synchronizer or a misadjusted shift linkage might be to blame. Regular maintenance and proper driving techniques can help prevent these problems and ensure smooth gear transitions.


5/5 - (18 votes)
Ran When Parked