Common Broken Axle Causes

axle fluid in water

Have you had your axle broken? Or maybe your axle broke while driving and you are wondering why it happened. Or curious about what to avoid so your car axle doesn’t break. Here are some causes that can commonly damage or even break an axle.

Age of the axle

The occurrence of axle breaks increases as the vehicle and the axle age. As time goes on, the axle weakens from the stress of driving with heavy loads over time and rust build-up on a car axle. Also, age isn’t the only factor. Vehicles that have high mileage have axles with increased wear and tear. Carrying heavy loads over a long period of time can also cause the axle to become brittle.

Overloading the axle

Most cars can only support so much weight before causing damage. Loading up a vehicle with too much weight puts the vehicle’s axle under a lot of stress which can result in a broken axle. While the axle is under this stress, going over a normal bump could be devastating to the axle.

How can you tell if you have a damaged axle?

If your axle is damaged, there are various ways you can tell. Here are five different ways a broken axle can be diagnosed. These include vibrations, wheels not rotating properly, fluids leaking, misaligned brake pads and sound.


The types of sounds the differential and axle make when damaged can help diagnose the type of damage that has been done to the rear end.


Vibrations are a common sign of axle damage and will occur through your car or truck. You can feel your vehicle vibrate more after turning the steering wheel

Wheels not turning

This scenario can be incredibly frustrating. You turn on your vehicle, everything is working properly, you get ready to go and your wheels don’t turn. You have a broken axle causing your wheels to not turn.


If you have a broken axle, you may notice fluids leaking from under your vehicle.

Misaligned brake pads

If you have a bent axle, the brakes may no longer be aligned properly with the brake pads as the wheel and rotor shift. This is dangerous as braking effectiveness will be reduced and if the broken axle causes the brakes to shift further, braking may no longer work at all.

It is important that if you notice any of these axle problems you should contact your auto repair mechanic as soon as possible.

Road conditions

Rough road surface causing a broken axle

Poor road conditions are the cause of many axle breaks. Potholes, bumpy roads, washboarding on gravel roads and more can cause damage to the axle. The damage to the axle could become more severe depending on how much weight a car is hauling.

How Houston Rebuilt Axles can help

At HRA we provide high-quality axle repairs and rebuilds. We can also remanufacture and rebuild differentials. We can repair your truck’s rear end or perform an axle repair on your car, for example. If you are looking for a more economical alternative to replacing your axle with a new one, repairing is a great choice. Our team has over 75 years of combined experience repairing and rebuilding axles.

If you need an axle sooner, we sell refurbished axles that have been restored back to the manufacturer’s specifications by our team. Contact us and let us know how we can help.