What is an Axle, and How Do You Fix It?
Axles and Related Repairs Explained
You probably didn't buy your car for the sole purpose of displaying it as a sculpture to adorn your garage or driveway. You bought it to drive, of course. Therefore, you have an obvious interest in keeping your vehicle rolling. That's impossible, however, without the axles. For diagnosis of axle-related issues, reliable help with axles, and all suspension repairs, count on the ASE certified technicians at Mad Hatter Auto Repair in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Axle 101: A Brief Overview
Each axle is an integral part of your automobile's suspension system. Specifically, the axle spans the distance between two wheels (either the front two or the back). It is connected by joints surrounded by rubber housings (the CV boots) to keep them protected and clean to the wheels, allowing the wheels to turn independently. There are two basic varieties of axles--a drive axle and a dead axle. The drive axle connects to the transmission and drive shaft. This allows the power produced from the engine to move the car forward via this axle. The dead axle, in contrast, is "along for the ride" as it does not receive direct force/power. (Note: Some vehicles have a transaxle which is a combination transmission and axle. Also, some autos have a split axle system that allows for independent rotation.) Regardless of the axle type, its importance can't be understated. First, it bears quite a load, including the car’s weight, passengers, and any payload. Second, it holds all that through motion that includes forward movement and the jolts you encounter as you drive, and other forces such as braking.
While an axle may appear fine to the untrained eye as long as it's still holding the car up, a qualified mechanic may discover a threat to the axle's integrity. One frequently seen problem is damage to a CV joint. It's important that your technician periodically check the rubber boot around each joint. It can allow moisture and dirt to enter if it’s torn, allowing corrosion to ruin the joint. Also, if the axle is rusted or otherwise weakened, the suspension's ability to carry the load and tolerate road conditions is compromised. Be sure to tell our technician if you feel strong vibrations when turning and/or braking or if you hear a clunking sound when you put your car in gear or start to move. Although these can indicate multiple potential problems, they could be signs that you need axle repair. An inspection by a certified technician is warranted. To have your axles checked and for expert suspension repair that's backed by a warranty, rely on Mad Hatter Auto Repair.