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Front Axle Assembly: Finding Telltale Signs for Replacement and Service

When you look for a definition for the word "axle", you will find that this means the central shaft that holds the gear or rotating wheel of a vehicle. The axle is a very important part of any vehicle with wheels and is essentially one of the things that helps keep the vehicle's structural integrity intact. Axles are tasked to carry the weight of the vehicle on their entire length and therefore need to be strong enough to do so. Aside from this, axles serve a lot of purposes, usually dependent on how the vehicle or truck is designed.

Front Axle Assembly
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Different Purposes of Axles

Whether it is a rear axle or front axle assembly, it has a purpose and here are some of them:

  • For Driving. Important to the drivetrain of a vehicle is the rear axle assembly and front axle assembly that is usually found in four-wheel drives. Basically, the engine of the four-wheel drive vehicle exerts a force on the vehicle's rear and front axle assembly and this in turn is projected to the wheels and this then makes the vehicle move forward.
  • For Braking. This is sometimes called "engine braking" when a vehicle is slowed down with the exertion of some force on the axle.
  • For Steering. Sometimes, the front axle assembly is essentially called the steering axle since it is used to control the direction of the two front wheels.

Different Kinds of Axle Assemblies

A front axle assembly comes in many forms and compositions and it often depends on the kind of vehicle that the front axle assembly is found. Here are some of the more common front axle assemblies that you can find in trucks:

  • Drive Axle Assembly. This kind of front axle assembly serves a couple of purposes. This assembly basically serves as the wheels' adjoining point and is also used to support the vehicle's weight. Aside from these, this front axle assembly also serves to give torque transfer abilities to the vehicle's differential.
  • Transaxle Assembly. This kind of front axle assembly does a little bit more than what the drive axle does with the addition of giving the transmission gear shifting powers.

Determining the Need for Servicing or Replacing the Axle

A lot of the trucks that you may drive may experience problems with the front axle assembly and this is due to the fact that these vehicles are used for heavy duty purposes and sometimes travel over uneven terrain a lot during these runs. There are some telltale signs to look out for when your truck is suffering from front axle assembly problems. Some of the signs to look out for include grinding noises and excessive vibration of your truck's cab. This can signify that there is something wrong with your front axle assembly and repairing or replacing this part of your vehicle is imperative.

Make sure that you do take heed of the signs of such a problem since ignoring such signs can mean the failure of your front axle assembly and accidents can happen once this occurs. Try to make sure that when you do replace your front axle assembly that you get a part that is compatible with your truck or is specifically made for your truck's make and model.

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