Unsure if your axle is in need of repair? We understand, Axle repair can be tricky, especially if you do not know what to look out for. Fortunately, our simple guide to axle repair will walk you through some of the most common warning signs that indicate your axle needs repairs.
Read on to learn more about this complex and highly technical process.
What is an Axle, Anyway?
An axle is a cylindrical part that connects your wheel to the vehicle’s chassis. The axle carries the weight of the vehicle and turns with the wheel, meaning any problems with the axle can affect your car’s performance.
Most axles are made out of metal, but some are constructed from fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) which is much lighter than traditional metal and therefore makes it easier for certain types of vehicles – like bicycles – to carry heavier loads.
Fiberglass axles usually last longer than aluminum because they’re less rigid, which gives them more time to dissipate vibration before failing altogether.
The Two Basic Types of Axles
A quick and inexpensive way to determine if you have a wheel bearing issue is to inspect the tire. If it is abnormally dry, this may be a sign that there’s not enough lubrication, which can cause premature axle wear.
Some other signs of wheel bearing issues are shaking or rattling noises when going over bumps or uneven surfaces and sound like squealing when making right turns. Axles often have less visibility than your front or rear tires and you might overlook them when considering maintenance tasks.
Single and tandem axles are two of your basic options. Each type is differentiated by how many wheels each axle supports, but you will also want to consider their load capacity, which is measured in tons or pounds. Single axles usually have a higher maximum tonnage than tandem axles because they are able to carry more weight between two individual wheels.
The key point here is between because single axles have higher overall loads than tandem models due to their ability to transport much more material through a double-wheel assembly. In general, single axles are most suitable for large loads that cover long distances at a slow pace, such as semi-trucks or buses.
Tandem axles are your more common type. They tend to be more popular on pickups and delivery vehicles since they can carry heavier loads than single axles, but still offer plenty of flexibility for maneuvering since both wheels work together.
Tandem axles have lower overall load capacities than single models, which means you’ll typically have a harder time exceeding their limits without breaking or damaging your axle assembly. Tandem axles are also limited by what they can handle between two individual wheels so keep that in mind when making transport plans. If you need a higher load capacity, consider using a dual-axle assembly instead.
The Three Common Types of Vehicle Axles and Their Lifespan
Different types of axles vary based on their durability, how long they last, and how much power they transmit. Axles can be broken or worn down, which can cause serious issues with your vehicle. If you think you might need axle repair, there are three common types that you need to know about: pinned type axles; rigid type axles; and semi-floating type axles.
In order to properly determine whether or not you need axle repair, it is important to be aware of some signs that indicate the possible need for an axle replacement. There is a general rule that axles can withstand 10 million revolutions before needing repairs, but this varies depending on what type of axle it is (e.g. semi-floating axles versus pinned axles).
When an axle starts feeling wobbly and making loud noises, it should be checked out by a professional as soon as possible because these are usually signs of deterioration.
While there are benefits and disadvantages to each type of axle, your main concern should be its condition. If you notice strange noises coming from your vehicle’s axle, or if it is otherwise damaged, then it is time for an inspection by a professional auto mechanic right away.
Durability of Axles
Axles are an integral part of every vehicle. Without axles, you would not be able to drive, as they provide a linkage between the drive wheels and the body, which allows you to steer. They also allow for movement so that your car can move in either direction.
The overall function of the axle depends on its design and construction materials. There are two main types of axles:
- solid axles (which are made from one piece)
- semi-solid axles (which consist of two pieces joined together)
The durability of axles varies greatly depending on what type they are but most factory-manufactured ones last from 60,000 miles up to 120,000 miles before being replaced which is not too bad considering all the other things we put them through such as going over speed bumps, potholes, and railroad crossings which all take a toll on tires and suspension systems as well.
Axle repairs can range from simple to complicated depending on what needs repairing. What’s most important when doing repairs is safety first. A common sign that your axle may need some type of repair service is if there are abnormal noises when driving over bumps or rough terrain surfaces like unpaved roads.
One other sign is unusual vibration while accelerating or braking- especially at high speeds. What should you do if these symptoms appear? You should contact a professional mechanic who specializes in axle repair to get their opinion.
Auto shops offer many different types of services ranging from oil changes to tire rotations and more. Many shops specialize in certain tasks such as tires, brakes, or engine work. So, make sure you find out what they specialize in before asking them for help with your axles.
How to Tell if Your Axle Needs to be Repaired or Replaced
Axles are one of the least-considered parts of your vehicle. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to steer or drive. Due to their strategic location and importance, axles can be an expensive and difficult component for cars or trucks alike.
However, the following are some signs that your axle is in need of repair:
Chances are you won’t even notice an axle failure until your car or truck starts pulling off course, swerving on the road during turns, or if your steering wheel locks up when making a turn.
You’ll also have trouble accelerating as well as braking as vehicles will start turning more slowly while drifting more drastically with sudden turns at high speeds.
If you are experiencing any of these problems with your car or truck then it’s time to get your axle repaired ASAP.
Axles can make your car’s performance uneven if it is either too tight or too loose. If you’re not careful, you could end up completely wrecking your vehicle and spending a lot more than necessary on repairs.
Here are some signs that your axle needs repair or replacement:
- The steering wheel is wobbly.
- A hissing sound coming from one side is louder than the other when you turn the steering wheel from left to right.
- The front wheels are out of alignment meaning they point in opposite directions at any given time, so when driving straight forward both tires on either side of the car will turn left, and then the other side will turn right
- Uneven tire wear is another sign that your axle needs repair. While uneven tire wear can be caused by a number of different issues, it’s important that you pay attention when you notice that one wheel on your vehicle is wearing out faster than its counterparts. This could be an indication that something is up with your axle.
Approximate Cost of Axle Repair
It’s not always easy to spot when a wheel has been damaged, but if you know what signs to look out for, you can get an axle repair before it’s too late. Most people don’t realize how important axles are for the durability of their car and wheel, as well as its suspension. With only a few hours and one part from your nearest auto parts store, you can repair your axle at home.
It costs about $30-40 for a replacement axle and this investment could save you around $150 per axle on car repairs or the costs of buying new wheels because the car won’t be drivable anymore. The more expensive the car is, the more expensive the replacement axle will be.
Keep in mind, the cost of axles also depends on the type of axle as well as its size. Aluminum wheels are typically more expensive than steel rims because they are lighter in weight, while heavy-duty axles tend to be more costly due to their increased durability and stability requirements.
A standard home mechanic kit includes an air ratchet and torque wrench that allow you to complete simple jobs such as replacing axles without any additional tools required. If there is some additional damage done to your car besides just a broken axle, then consult with a professional mechanic who knows what they’re doing.
You may also need them to provide you with advice on how best to handle things like rusting bolts or stripped threads which could mean that no amount of tightening will fix them.
Pros and Cons of DIY Axle Repair
There are some ways that you can fix this problem at home if it’s not too serious by looking into your vehicle manual for advice and checking online for videos about how to do so. Be sure to take care of the problem before it gets worse.
Axles play a vital role in what allows the vehicle to turn left or right and even move forward. That’s why signs of axle repair are so important; it is imperative for safety.
If you believe that your axle may need work, there are a few things that you should look out for. First, examine how the car handles and check for uneven wear on the tire treads on both sides as they rotate at different speeds on every revolution.
Pulling a little harder than usual when starting up or turning sharply could also be telltale signs that your axles may need repair or replacing. Additionally, driving over a bumpy surface might feel like someone else is stepping on the gas and brake pedals at the same time.
Audible clicking noise from either side of the vehicle when accelerating from a stop sign might also indicate that something needs repairing or replacing. A steering wheel that requires constant adjustment while driving and sometimes jerks uncontrollably can often signal axles problems as well.
Finally, checking with your mechanic would be recommended if any one or more of these symptoms have been noticed with your vehicle because it will not take long before the damage becomes worse and poses greater risks to drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and other cars on the road – and possibly yourself.
There are pros and cons to doing a DIY axle repair, so it’s really just up to you. You can save a little money, but if you don’t know what you are doing, it could end up costing more time or money because you have to take your car back and get another repair person to fix what could have been done right.
It also takes a lot of knowledge and equipment which most people do not have. This is why getting an expert opinion would be best.
Axles are an integral part of your vehicle. As such, if you are not sure if your car needs axle repair, it is best to check with a professional. It is well worth having it checked, and preventing any future damage that could lead to a costly fix later on.
This way, they will have time to thoroughly examine and assess what may need fixing or replacing right away before it becomes worse and potentially causes damage to other parts of your vehicle.