Everything You Need to Know About Axles

Axles have been a part of vehicle design since the beginning. Even the first automobile had a simple, solid axle. The axles are a prominent part of the wheel system, yet they aren’t given much thought by most vehicle owners.


The axles play an important role in the safe operation of your vehicle and should be monitored and maintained. As a responsible vehicle owner, you should have basic knowledge of what the axles do and learn how to tell when there is a problem with the axles and what you should do about it.

About Axles

All wheeled vehicles have axles which are used in braking, driving, and steering. In other words, the axles play an important role in just about every vehicle driving function. Axles hold the weight of your vehicle, including that of passengers and cargo, and distribute the weight evenly through the shocks and struts. Sustaining the weight of the vehicle is not their only function, however. They are also responsible for transferring power and torque from the engine to the wheels and they also need to endure the forces of braking and driving.

For automobiles, there are two basic axle types. One is the drive axle. The drive axle is connected to the driveshaft, which is a rod that reaches into the transmission and connects to the engine. The engine, then, helps to turn the axle. The second axle is called a dead axle. The dead axle does not connect to the engine. They only turn, with help from the drive axle, when your vehicle is in motion. Dead axles are meant to help support the weight of the vehicle.

Axle Wear, Tear, and Repair

Because they carry so much weight, axles are made to be tough. Regardless, like any other part of the vehicle, the axles will experience wear and tear over time. This may weaken them and could mean that there will be a need for replacement.

You should never ignore the signs of a worn or broken axle as it can be a serious problem. If one of your axles is broken, you should not drive your vehicle as it is no longer safe to do so.

The following are four signs that your axles need work:
• You hear a clunking sound when you put your car into gear
• There is a bumping, clicking or grinding noise when going into a turn
• You feel vibrations throughout your vehicle when braking, driving or turning.
• Your vehicle sounds fine, but it won’t move.

When the axles are failing you will usually still be able to drive your vehicle. However, to do so would be risky. At this point, they could fail completely, and if that happens while you are in motion you could lose control of your vehicle and cause an accident. You should, instead, have your vehicle diagnosed and repaired at the first sign of trouble.

For your safety and for the health and longevity of your vehicle, you should never ignore a broken axle and delay repair. If you think you are experiencing trouble with an axle or have trouble with any other part of your vehicle, bring it to the automotive repair experts at Accurate Service. We have over 20 years of auto repair experience and can easily handle any of your repair needs. Call 520.441.4744 or schedule your appointment online.