One question we occasionally receive from customers with a broken or damaged axle is: Can I drive my car with a broken axle? It's a valid query but the short answer is: no. In this article, we'll explain why and outline the steps you should take if you find yourself with a broken or leaking axle.
What is an axle?
A car axle is a central component of a vehicle's drivetrain. It's typically a metal rod that connects and transmits power from the engine to the wheels. This piece of your drivetrain plays a crucial role in enabling the wheels to rotate, transferring torque from the engine to provide forward or backward motion, thus facilitating the vehicle's movement. If these parts fail, you could be looking at a huge repair bill— especially if you continue to drive your vehcile.
Symptoms Of a Broken Acle
- Unusual Noises: Usually, when your axle begins to fail, you’ll notice a bumping, clicking, or grinding noise when going into turns, or excessive shaking and vibrating when you accelerate. Your axle technically isn’t broken at this point, but it’s only a matter of time.
- Leaks: When a peripheral part is breaking, your axle won’t be far behind. If the boot that protects the CV joint on your axle is damaged, the grease can leak out and debris can get in. Eventually, this will cause the whole joint will eventually tear itself apart.
If these repairs are left unaddressed, the wheel bearings will seize and the wheel itself will eventually come off. If you're driving when the wheel releases, you'll lose control of the vehicle likely causing an accident— the lost wheel can also put other drivers in danger when it flies of your axle.
So… Can I Drive My Car With a Broken Axle?
If your axles are failing, it is unsafe to continue driving. Failing axles are at risk of breaking or completely failing at any point; when your axle fails, you’ll lose control of the car, possibly causing an accident or crashing. It’s a far better choice to have the problem diagnosed and repaired now, rather than taking that chance.
Don't Drive Your Car With a Broken Axle | Schedule Service At V&F
If you suspect that your axles are about to break, bring your car in for service right away. Once broken completely, your car won’t move and, if they break while you’re driving, you could end up with a totaled car. At V&F, our expert mechanics use the latest diagnostic equipment, and high-quality CARQUEST auto parts, to make sure we get the job done right. Call us today at (413) 314-2280 or schedule an appointment online.
This article was originally published in 2018 and has been updated to reflect the latest best practices.