Your car may not be able to move or go anywhere if the axle is damaged. While you may have the option of enjoying free spins online in the comfort of your home rather than driving to a casino venue for entertainment, you still need a well-functioning car.
Several things can cause a vehicle not to move, and damaged axles are one of them. They are designed for the sole purpose of transferring power from the transmission to the wheels. They are also tasked with carrying the weight of the passengers and, for this reason, built strong. However, they get broken or develop and a wide range of problems.
A significant percentage of car accidents are caused by poor operating conditions, which can be addressed through regular inspection. Car axles being important auto components, you should always be alert about indicators of potential problems.
Here are the common signs that your car axles have a problem, and a professional needs to be brought into the picture.
1. Leaking grease
If you notice leaking grease underneath the vehicle, it could mean you have a CV or a leaking axle boot. The CV boot is the rubber cover found under the CV joint or drive axle joint. Vibrating axles when driving is also a sign that there is a leak.
With the time of using the vehicle, the CV boot usually dries out, resulting in cracks and tears. Once there are cracks, the CV boot will let grease seep through. The grease will either seep through inside the wheel, spread on the chassis and other areas under your vehicle.
Another sign you should look out for in a leaking CV axle is clicking sounds coming from the direction of the axle.
It is worth noting that a leaking axle may not cause problems immediately, but it is something you should not ignore. As aforementioned, leaking axles is a sign of wear and tear. If the wear is too much, your car may be rendered inoperable after some time.
If there is leaking grease, it could also be a sign of a broken joint cover that can let dirt through and eventually cause the failure of the axle.
It is best to resolve the issue in good time. While you may be required to replace the entire joint, it is best to call a professional to advise on the best course of action. Leaks are usually visible underneath the vehicle and should be regularly inspected to prevent future problems.
2. Your vehicle is not moving
If you successfully turn on the engine and go into gear and your vehicle is not moving, your axle could be damaged. If it starts to wear, it will eventually get torn apart. This means that your vehicle’s wheel will no longer receive power and will be immobile.
In the worst-case scenario, the axle may break while moving fast and cause an accident. Therefore, it is recommended that you don’t drive if any of your car’s axles are broken. Also, look out for signs of failing axles, such as clicking or grinding noise. If the axles are damaged, they have to be repaired; your car will remain immobile until then.
Bad vibrations are a sign of axles in despair. Broken axles often cause suspension vibrations and sometimes shaking of the vehicle. The bad vibrations are very noticeable during decelerations, accelerations, and turns. The vibrations get worse as you get to higher speeds and may be caused by worn CV joints.
When CV boots get torn or broken, what follows is damage resulting from the loss of lubricating grease. Damaged CV joints will also cause vibrations and should be replaced. It is recommended that car owners replace faulty CV joints immediately.
4. A vibrating steering wheel and loud clanking and clicking
If your car’s axle is damaged, you will notice a bad vibration on your steering wheel. Interestingly, you will not only feel the vibration when holding it, but you can also see it. In some cases, someone on the passenger seat can see the vibration too.
Vibrations caused by broken CV joints often worsen when approaching turns as the axle assembly is thrown off balance. At this point, driving may end up being difficult or unsafe.
When putting or switching gear, a damaged axle will also cause loud clicking and clanking. In addition, slack in the joints causes difficulty in transmitting power to the wheels.
5. Misaligned brake pads
If your axle is not in good shape, you will experience braking issues. As the axle gets damaged, the brake pads start to misalign. Next, the brakes pads begin to shift and eventually misalign with the rotors and wheels.
Over time, the vehicle will slip or skid to stop. With time, the brakes will cease to function all the same. When the brake pads are misaligned, they wear out unevenly gradually every time you break.
Once you start experiencing braking issues, consider checking the axles for damages.
What happens when the axles break, and what you should do
When the car’s axles are faulty, the vehicle will begin pulling to one side. This is a result of the wheel losing power due to inadequate transmission. When the axles break eventually, the corresponding wheels will stop moving even if the engine runs.
In some instances, the smoke starts coming from the axle, and the wheels may point in different directions.
If you hear clicking, bumping, and grinding noise during turns, your axle may not be completely broken, but it will only be a matter of time. If your axles break, do not rive the car as it is unsafe. If they break while you are on the road, move out of the road. Failure to do that will lead to bearings seizing and the wheels falling off. This will leave you with a car that cannot be controlled, and you could end up causing an accident.
It is recommended that car owners remain aware of the functioning of their car axles. Do regular inspection and maintenance to ensure they are operable.