In a layman’s term, an axle can be defined as a metal rod to which the rotating wheels are connected. In other words, it’s a part of a vehicle that the wheels revolve or rotate around. The number of axles present in a car would differ from one vehicle to another.
For instance, a typical passenger car may feature more than two axles. Trucks may have anywhere between two to six axles. On the other hand, lighter vehicles may come with only two axles.
Generally speaking, it really depends on how many wheels a vehicle has, but not always. Most modern cars require one axle to support each wheel. However, a vintage car may have only one axle to support both the wheels.
Why does Car Axle Fail?
It’s hard to pinpoint one reason for an axle failure because it may go bad for a lot of reasons. For instance, the grease which is supposed to lubricate the axle may leak, causing the axle to fail in the process.
Although car axles are built to last, an overloaded vehicle may put extra strain on them, forcing them to crack or even break.
Overload aside, driving on potholes or rocks may also cause cracks in the axle over a period of time. If the axle gets severely damaged due to any of the reasons cited above, your car may refuse to move from its place, which also means that you may get stuck in the middle of a road.
Symptoms of a Bad Axle
If you feel that your car is acting weird, it may be a sign that there’s a problem with the car’s axle. For instance, if your usual comfortable ride feels bumpy and uncomfortable, it could be a result of the axle not facilitating the wheels to turn properly.
To confirm this, you can check if there is any grease leaking out of the car, usually around the sides of the tires. You may also hear some grinding noise while driving. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may encounter one or all of the symptoms discussed above.
How Much Does It Cost To Repair A Car Axle?
The repair cost may not necessarily create a dent in your wallet, but don’t expect a repair of this nature to be accomplished at a paltry sum of money.
To give you a general idea over here, axle repairs can start at $200 and stretch up to $1000, depending on your vehicle’s make and model. Out of the computed cost, the labor cost will be around $100 to $200 based on how long it takes to replace the component because some car models may require more work than usual to replace the axle.
Should you Repair or Replace the Axle?
Fixing an axle is often considered to be a risky affair. After all, it’s a very important car component. This also means that there’s no room for error.
To avoid risks posed by a faulty axle, mechanics suggest car owners to replace the axle as opposed to getting it patched. If axle repair is on the menu, then the severity of the damage will determine how much money you will have to drop for axle repair.
If it’s a simple fix, it won’t cost you more simply because it wouldn’t be a labor-intensive assignment.
If the problem is a major one, then it will demand an in-depth job, which will cost a lot more than usual. This is because some of the connecting components may get damaged due to the axle’s failure. Of course, once the axle is repair or replaced, your car will run smooth like butter. It’s a good idea to take your vehicle to a mechanic whom you can fully trust.
When Should you Get the Axle Repaired/Replaced?
It’s like fixing a bad tooth. The sooner you do it, the less damaging it will be for your oral health. Along the same lines, the sooner you fix a faulty axle, the better it is for your car’s overall operation. So, the hard and fast rule is to fix or replace the axle as soon as the problem is diagnosed.
The longer you let the faulty axle prevail in your car, the more problems it will cause. Not only will it have a negative impact on your car’s handling ability, but it will also affect other components, leading to more expenses in the process.
Keep in mind that if you keep driving with a bad axle, the car’s wheel may separate from the vehicle. Therefore, you should definitely attend to the problem at the earliest. Upon noticing the issue, you should park your vehicle and get it towed to a mechanic’s shop.
How is a Car Axle Replacement Done?
- The mechanic will start by jacking the vehicle, which will make it easy to remove the wheels connected to the faulty axle.
- If the nuts refuse to budge from their place, spraying some lubrication will free them up for easy removal.
- Once the wheels are removed, the mechanic will remove all the faulty parts and replace them with the new parts.
- Of course, the tires and the fasteners will be torqued as per the car manufacturer’s specifications.
- Finally, the mechanic will check the tire pressure and take the car for a road test to ensure that everything is working fine.
Believe it or not, it’s not a very complicated procedure for an experienced mechanic. Of course, the axle needs to be fitted properly, or else it will pop out, causing the vehicle to stop abruptly. So, try to supervise the work.
Car Axle Cost: How to Save Money?
Weekend mechanics can save money on car axle cost by conducting a repair or axle replacement themselves. Of course, you should feel confident in being able to perform the work, or else you might call for more expense by doing things improperly.
If you think that you are not ready for a job of this nature, you can obtain quotes from numerous mechanics so that you can compare their prices.
This will give you a fair idea of the market rate for axle repair or replacement job. Of course, don’t choose the cheapest mechanic in the town. Ideally, you should choose someone whom you can trust to do the job well, even if it means stretching the axle repair budget by a bit.