Your axles are what transfers power from the transmission (in a front-wheel-drive setup) or the differential (in a rear-wheel-drive system) to the wheels so your car can move. If these parts fail, you could be looking at a huge repair bill.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Usually, when your axle starts to go, 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. 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 unaddressed, the wheel bearings will seize, the wheel itself will come off. You’ll lose control of the car trying to operate what’s left of your suspension, while the wheel you lost puts other drivers in danger.
So… can I drive?
If your axles are failing, it’s very ill-advised to continue driving and not recommended by most mechanics. 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
Of course it follows that, if one of your axles is truly broken or has already failed, you shouldn’t try to drive the car. It’s not safe and, chances are, you’re not going to get far if you don’t have two working axles.
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.