The car axle is not as popular as shock absorbers or brake discs, probably because it is designed to last for many years before needing replacement. The lack of knowledge about this important component makes it easy for unscrupulous people to deceive the public looking for used car axles for sale, offering them parts with excessive wear or problems not apparent to the untrained eye.
This situation has motivated the My Auto Store team to prepare this article, where we will first study the basics such as what is a car axle, what are the types of car axles, and how to know when your car axle assembly is damaged, and then explore how to choose and buy a used axle assembly without getting scammed.
WHAT IS AN AXLE?
An axle is a shaft that rotates and transmits the torque produced by the engine to the wheels. Given its critical function, any malfunction with the axle or any of the supporting components that assist it in its operation can cause serious inconvenience to the vehicle. The group comprising the axle and related components is commonly referred to as the axle assembly. Although the car axle operation principle is quite simple, there are several types of axle assemblies that we will discuss in the following section.
TYPES OF CAR AXLES
In order to deliver the engine torque to the wheels as efficiently as possible, car manufacturers use different types of car axles or rather car axle assemblies.
- Rear Axle assembly. This type of axle assembly is used in rear-wheel drive vehicles and consists of two axles, each connected to a rear wheel. In this type of car axle, the engine’s power and torque go first to a component known as a differential, which in turn splits that torque to each axle.
- Front Axle assembly. As you can probably guess, this is the type of axle assembly used in front-wheel drive vehicles. It is more complex in both number of components and construction than the rear axle assembly because it not only delivers torque to the wheels but also assists steering and is an integral part of the vehicle’s suspension system. In general, front axle assemblies consist of beams, swivel pins, track rods, and stub axles, being the latter the component that is directly connected to the wheels.