4 Common Signs That Indicate the Need for Repair to Your Car’s Axles

4 Common Signs That Indicate the Need for Repair to Your Car’s Axles

A vehicle cannot go anywhere if its drive axle has been damaged. Axles are either rods or shafts that link to the drive wheels. The axles’ purpose is to transfer power from the transmission to the wheels. The wheels go around, as the axle turns, therefore without a functioning axle, wheels don’t move.

Also, the axles bear the weight of the vehicle and its passengers and cargo. Although axles are designed to be tough, an overloaded vehicle can potentially crack or even brake an axle. Other common causes of axle problems include bad potholes and bad carrier bearings.

There are 4 common signs that indicate the need for repair for your car’s axles.

Bad Vibrations

Bad vibrations after a collision with a bad pothole, unexpected curb, or other objects may signal damage to the axle. Sometimes these vibrations may come with an unusual rumbling noise beneath the vehicle, weird tire wobbling, or sluggish driving and steering, which in turn may be a sign of a bent axle. Vibrations can become more noticeable during accelerations, turns, or decelerations. If the vibrations are also present when you are driving slowly, this is usually a good indication that there’s something off with an axle.

A Loud Clicking, Clunking, or Clanking

If you hear a strange loud clunking or clanking as you put your car into gear, or if your car is struggling to get power as you drive off, there might be some sort of damage to the axle-joint. This type of noise often indicates that the transmission is not able to transfer power adequately to the wheels, because of the slack in the joints. A loud clunking or clanking noise can also be a sign of a transmission failure, thus an assessment from an auto repair expert may be required.

Leaking Grease

Leaking grease under the vehicle or on the tire edge’s inside can be an indication of a leaking CV boot or axle boot, which is the rubber cover over the CV joint or drive axle joint. Although a leaking axle boot doesn’t necessarily mean that the axle has been damaged, insufficient grease because of the leak can lead to future problems. A leaking axle boot should be repaired immediately to avoid a more serious failure to the axle system.

Going Nowhere

If your vehicle is not moving at all, although it starts fine, goes into gear, and has a normal engine sound, it most likely has a broken axle at the universal joint. In this type of situation, no matter how hard you press the accelerator pedal, the engine will only rev, and the vehicle won’t start moving. You’ll have to repair the axle if you want your vehicle to start moving again.


It’s important to know the essential function of drive axles and have them inspected during every vehicle maintenance. Most drivers do not understand it, but axles are as important as the engine, tire, brakes, and steering system are to a properly functioning vehicle. If an axle does get damaged, have a skilled professional repair it quickly.

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