The axle of your vehicle is a large bar that connects to the engine, steering system, transmission and wheels. Power is transferred to the axle and drive wheel from the engine and transmission. These components work together to make your wheels turn. Many heavy-duty trucks have multiple axles, making their service and components more complex than standard passenger vehicles. It is important to get your axle inspected and well maintained because a broken axle can cause a lot of unwanted and expensive downtime.
Most common signs of axle damage
- Tires do not rotate - This can happen suddenly if your axle breaks while driving. It can also happen when you are trying to accelerate from a stop. If your axle is fully broken, it will not matter how much power you send to it, the wheels will not rotate.
- Poor acceleration - While it’s not recommended, there are times when you can drive your truck with a slightly damaged axle. You may be able to rotate your wheels, but it causes a lot of strain on your truck to do so. When the axle is damaged, you will notice that there is more strain on your vehicle when accelerating.
- Unusual sounds - Another indication of a damaged axle is clunking sounds. These are especially audible when you are trying to turn your truck or trailer. Another time when you may hear a loud clunking sound is if your axle fully breaks while you are driving. This will be a sudden noise that will be nearly impossible to miss.
- Wobbly ride - Since your vehicle’s axles are responsible for making your wheels turn. If there is damage to the axle system you will feel swaying or rocking when you drive.
- Slipping when stopping - If your axle is damaged, the alignment between your brake pads, rotors and wheels is going to be thrown off. You can tell this has occurred if you slip or skid when trying to stop.
Truck axles are constantly in motion, which is why it is so important to ensure proper lubrication of these parts. Heavy-duty diesel trucks are especially susceptible to excessive wear, and extreme weather conditions which can cause rust and are more likely to be in minor or major accidents due to long hours on the road. These can all influence axle wear and damage. It is important to be mindful of your axle’s condition.
Your axle takes on a huge role in your truck and can become damaged, or break for a number of reasons. Sometimes an overloaded vehicle can break, crack or damage an axle. Bad road conditions and potholes can also cause the axle to fall apart. Visit our team at Foothills Group in Calgary and Lethbridge, AB., today to ensure your truck’s axle is in good shape.