Why is Rear Main Seal Replacement So Expensive?

rear main seal, rear main seal replacmentRear Main Seal Replacement is so expensive because mechanic’s labor rates are getting higher and higher and mechanic’s tools are getting more expensive as well.  Mechanic’s labor rates are based off what that shop’s expenses are to operate and can vary widely from shop to shop or from state to state. For a better understanding of how mechanics decide what to charge you, check out this AAA article on auto repair labor rates.

Rear Main Seal Replacement Cost Factors:

  1. The complexity of the job
  2. Special tools required
  3. Other work completed at the same time
  4. Parts

The complexity of the job

Replacing a rear main seal requires a unique knowledge of the construction of the engine as well as how it is attached to the transmission.  Since many vehicle manufacturers have different ways of installing the rear main seal as well as the transmission, independent shops have to charge a little more for the job as each rear main seal will be a little different.  Also, since so much of the vehicle needs to be taken apart for a rear main seal replacement, the mechanic has to know the engine and transmission well to make sure all the sensors get reconnected and all the other details don’t get overlooked.

Special tools required

Replacing a rear main seal will at least require a transmission jack and could require an engine hoist, engine support bar, a wide range of torque wrenches and possibly other specialty tools to complete the job correctly.  Repair rates for rear main seal jobs need to be high enough for the shop doing the work to afford to purchase and maintain that equipment.

Other work completed at the same time

Often times it can make sense to do other work while you are replacing the rear main seal.  For example, if the vehicle has a standard transmission, it can be a good time to replace the clutch since the transmission will already be removed for the job.  Similarly, if your engine needs to have the crankshaft removed to replace the rear main seal, it can be a good time to rebuild part or all of the motor. Also, some additional costs can’t be avoided like replacing the oil pan gasket if the oil pan needs to be removed for the job.


Parts are the smallest cost of the job but can add up quickly.  If you choose to change other gaskets or seals or do any sort of engine rebuild the costs of the parts can easily be a few hundred dollars which can continue to drive the cost of rear main seal replacement up.

If spending the money to replace the rear main seal doesn’t make sense for your vehicle, try repairing your leaking rear main seal using BlueDevil Rear Main Sealer.  BlueDevil Rear Main Sealer is added directly to your engine oil and will restore your leaking rear main seal as you drive!  
BlueDevil Rear Main Sealer





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rear_main_seal_replacement.jpg – By Phantom1311 – Licensed By Getty Images – Original Link