Should I repair my car at the dealer or a local garage?

–The Associated Press

Should I pick up a used drive shaft and let a local garage do the repair, or should I just have the dealer install a new one?

Q. There is a rumble-like vibration when accelerating in my 2012 Toyota Highlander with 165,000 miles on it. The dealer determined that the car needs a center-driveshaft replacement. The cost will be about $1,100, including labor. Do you think I should look for a used drive shaft and have it replaced at a local garage, or do you think I should get a new drive shaft replaced by the dealership?

A. Replacing the driveshaft with aftermarket or rebuilt units — or even a used unit from a salvage yard — could be an economical alternative. Make sure, however, that the shop carefully inspects the part before installing it in your vehicle. If the donor vehicle was in a bad crash, the driveshaft could be damaged.



John Paul is AAA Northeast’s Car Doctor. He has over 40 years of experience in the automotive business and is an ASE certified master technician. Email your car question to