Axle Repair: When to Repair or Replace

Broken Axle CV Joint

What is an axle?

An axle is a rod or a spindle that goes through one or more wheels. There are multiple ways an axle connects to the wheels. There are two main types of axles in cars and trucks. These are live axles and dead axles. Live axles are used to provide power and also spin the wheels. Dead axles provide no power to the wheels and are generally used to just connect the wheels and also support the weight of the vehicle.

For cars, axles are a crucial component. They support the weight of the vehicle. Not only that, but they connect the wheels to the vehicle and also rotate the wheels to move the car. Also, axles come in three main categories, front axles, rear axles and stub axles.

Types of axles

There are three main categories of axles for a vehicle. They include the front axle, rear axle, and stub axle. The type of axle in each category that your vehicle may have depends on if you have a car or a truck and also the type of drivetrain your vehicle has.

Front axle: There are two main types of axles, live and dead axles. AWD and FWD vehicles will have a live front axle while an RWD vehicle will have a dead one generally.

Rear axle: These axles can also be live or dead depending on the drivetrain your vehicle has. In addition to those, these axles may connect to the wheels in three different methods. They are full-floating axles, semi-floating axles and three-quarter floating axles.

Stub axle: Also known as a stud axle, these connect to one wheel. These can be used to connect the rear wheels in an FWD vehicle for example. There are four main types, Elliot, Reverse Elliot, Lamoine, and Reverse Lamoine.

For more information check out our article on types of axles which will go into more detail.

CV Joints

Axles may have what is known as a CV joint, also known as a Constant Velocity joint. These joints transfer power from the transmission to the wheels. They are also used more commonly on FWD or Front Wheel Drive vehicles. Each wheel will have two CV joints, one from the transmission to the axle and the other from the axle to the wheels.

What is involved in repairing an axle?

You may be wondering, can a broken axle be fixed? Yes! This is how we repair your broken or cracked axle. We will first take the axle and assess how much damage has been done. Depending on the extent of the damage, the axle may need to be rebuilt or repaired. If the axle repair process is chosen then fewer parts will be replaced. It is also cheaper and faster than an axle rebuild.

The first step in the axle repair process is to remove all the components of the axle and clean them. We then inspect the components for damage and if they need replacement. Afterwards, we will put the axle on our lathe and repair it back to factory specifications. We also check the bearings and seals to determine if they need replacing. Any spindle ends on the axle that has been damaged will be replaced by our spindle ends that we manufacture in-house.

What is an axle rebuild?

For our axle rebuilds, the process shares some steps with the axle repair process. Where it differs from axle repairs is as follows. We will replace the ring and pinion with a high-quality OEM replacement. Then, for any axle carriers, we thoroughly inspect and replace the seals with Timken replacements. Following that, we take any damaged axle shafts and replace them with a refurbished axle shaft. These axle shafts have been refurbished by our professionals and are thoroughly inspected so that they are restored to factory specifications. If needed a new axle shaft may be used. Also, if the rotor on the axle is bolted behind the hub, we will turn or replace the rotor to ensure the brake pad is applied properly.

When should I replace a broken axle?

Rear or front axle repair or rebuild is a great option in many cases. It is important to go to a mechanic if you suspect damage to your axle and get an axle inspection and axle rebuilders such as us at Houston Rebuilt Axles are here to help. Our experts are able to repair a bent or broken axle even if the damage is quite severe. We can repair most axle problems with low labor costs and without costly repairs. Axle repair costs on average has a lower total cost than buying a new one replacing a bad axle.

But what if you are unable to send in your axle for repair? Then replacing the broken axle is the solution. Purchasing an axle is faster since you do not need to send your bad axle in. A great option for many people is buying a used axle that has been inspected by our professionals.

Rebuilt axles

If you are looking to get a full replacement for an axle, our rebuilt axles are a great option. Our rebuilt axles are axles that have been rebuilt by our team of experts back to manufacturer specifications.

Use the form on the side of this page to see if we have an axle that will fit your vehicle in stock. Or contact us and let us know how we can help you.

What you might feel if you have a broken axle

Here are a few sensations you may feel when you have a broken or cracked axle. If you feel any of these symptoms, get your car towed to a mechanic to see if you need an axle repair.

Vibrations: As you drive your vehicle may start to vibrate quite noticeably. This vibration effect may strengthen as you turn the steering wheel.

Leaks: While parked, you may see fluid dripping from the axle. This reddish-brown liquid lubricates the axle and your vehicle should be taken to a mechanic as your axle may not have enough lubrication anymore.

Noise: You may hear a grinding noise when the axle becomes dented or damaged. This is usually caused by the gears in the axle coming out of alignment and grinding against each other.

How we can help

Our team specializes in axle repairs and rebuilds. We can repair or rebuild your axle or rear end. We also have in stock rebuilt axles for various vehicle types. Our axle rebuilds are also covered by warranty. Also, we have the a guide to help you troubleshoot axle problems.

We also understand that axle repair costs can be daunting so, we also offer financing. Contact us and we will help you!