Bent Axle: What You Need to Know

What causes a bent axle?

Have you ever driven over a pothole or a big bump and all of a sudden it feels harder to turn your vehicle? You may have bent or caused a broken axle. A damaged axle can come from a variety of sources. For example, you drove over a gravel road with deep washboarding or with too heavy of a load in your car.

Also, a common source of a bent axle is an accident. This could be hitting a curb or getting into a car accident that damages your axle and axle shaft. No matter how severe the collision, there could be damage to the axle and may also lead to a faulty axle shaft. Commonly, if an accident happens at or near the wheel well there is a higher chance of bending the car axle. If you have gotten into an axle, have your vehicle inspected by a mechanic as soon as possible.

Is it safe to drive with a bent axle?

No, it is not safe to drive with a damaged axle, this is especially true for severely bent axles. Axles are an essential part of your vehicle’s transmission. They are also strong and are built to last. This also means that they are robust enough to take some damage and keep working. But, when there is an axle bend, it can cause damage to the CV joints.

If your car’s axles are not severely bent, they may be able to be driven for a short amount of time. Another symptom is the wheel may have a wobble. This is not a good sign and should be taken to get checked by a mechanic. The axle bending may also affect the brake alignment, causing them to be less effective.

What does a bent axle feel like?

When there is axle damage or differential damage, depending on the severity you can feel and even hear a variety of things.


Depending on the severity, you may notice fluids leaking under your vehicle. This could be grease leaks from the axle or differential. The fluid is a reddish-brown color and if you notice it, the axle may be starved of fluids and could cause more severe damage to the gears.


When there is axle damage and it bends, vibrations are a common occurrence. They can happen on one corner of the vehicle. The vibrations are not just a sound also, you will feel it while driving. If you are feeling vibrations while driving in the steering wheel, it is commonly an axle issue but it could also be an issue with the wheel, tires or suspension.

Difficulty Steering

A bent axle will affect the alignment of the vehicle. The axle may cause the vehicle to start veering to one side. It can also cause the wheel itself to require more force to turn than normal. The effect can be difficult to notice if the axle is not severely damaged.

Wheel wobble

Another telltale sign of damage to the wheels or axle is the wheel wobbling. This is also more noticeable at higher speeds. Wheel wobble may also be caused by damage to the tires but no matter the cause it is important to get your vehicle checked.

How we can help

At Houston Rebuilt Axles, our team is experts in repairing and rebuilding axles and differentials. Rebuilding or repairing an axle is a great cost-effective alternative to having your axle replaced. For any axle repairing or rebuilding needs, contact us today and let us know how we can help you.

Repairing axles

The first step to either repairing or rebuilding an axle is to see how damaged it is. This assessment allows us to then choose to rebuild or repair the axle. If the axle is severely damaged then it will need to be rebuilt. The rebuilding process is much more involved and more parts are replaced. Because of this, repairing an axle is cheaper than rebuilding it. There are some processes shared by both methods.

To properly assess the damage, we remove all of the components on the axle and thoroughly clean it. This also allows us to look at the components we took off and assess their damage. We will either replace or repair those components as needed. Then we will use our lathe to shape the axle back to factory specifications. We will then look at the spindle ends on the axle. For the damaged ones, we will cut them off and replace them with spindle ends we have manufactured in-house. The axle is then painted and assembled. After that, we fill the axle with fluids and now the axle is ready to be installed.

Rebuilding axles

For the axle rebuild process, we examine and then replace the ring and pinion with a high-quality OEM replacement. The axle carrier then has the seals replaced with replacements from Timken. Following that, the axle shaft is replaced with a refurbished in-house axle shaft. We may use a new axle shaft if needed. Then, if the rotors are bolted behind the hub, the rotors will be replaced or rotated to make sure proper brake and pad installation.