As a driver, there are few things more frustrating than being stuck on the side of the road with a broken axle. Not only does it mean a delay in your plans, but it can also be dangerous if you are on a busy road. However, with some knowledge and preparation, you can handle roadside axle troubles like a pro. In this article, we will cover some expert tips to help you get rolling again.
Understanding Axle Troubles
Before we dive into the tips, it’s essential to understand what can go wrong with your axle. The axle is a crucial component of your vehicle’s drivetrain, responsible for transferring power from the engine to the wheels. There are two types of axles; front and rear, and both can experience issues that can cause your vehicle to stop working.
Some of the most common axle troubles include broken or worn-out CV joints, damaged differential gears, and worn-out wheel bearings. Additionally, if your vehicle has been involved in an accident, the axle may be bent or broken, requiring immediate attention.
Tips for Handling Axle Troubles
Now that you know what can go wrong let’s look at some tips to help you handle axle troubles.
Tip 1: Stay Safe
The first thing to do when you experience any issue with your vehicle is to pull over safely. Move your car as far from traffic as possible and turn on hazard lights to alert other drivers. If you can, place reflective triangles or flares behind your vehicle to make it more visible. Always prioritize your safety and the safety of other drivers.
Tip 2: Assess the Damage
Once you are safely on the side of the road, take a moment to assess the damage to your axle. If you see any visible damage, such as a broken wheel or a leaking fluid, it is best to call for a tow truck. If you are unsure of the damage, try to move your car slowly and listen for any unusual sounds or vibrations.
Tip 3: Temporary Fixes
If your axle damage is minor, there are some temporary fixes you can try to get you to a mechanic safely. For example, if you have a broken CV joint, you can often remove the axle shaft and drive in front-wheel drive only. If you have a damaged differential gear, you can sometimes add some gear oil to the differential to quiet the noise and reduce further damage.
Tip 4: Call for Help
If you are unable to assess the damage or make temporary repairs, it’s time to call for help. Many roadside assistance services offer help for axle troubles, including tire changes, jump starts, and towing services. Keep their number in your phone or in your vehicle for quick access.
Tip 5: Preventative Maintenance
The best way to avoid roadside axle troubles is to practice preventative maintenance. Regularly check your vehicle’s axle boots, listen for unusual sounds, and have your vehicle’s axle inspected during routine maintenance. Additionally, avoid off-road driving or harsh terrain, which can cause damage to your axle.
Roadside axle troubles can be frustrating, but with these expert tips, you can handle them like a pro. Remember to stay safe, assess the damage, try temporary fixes, call for help if necessary, and practice preventative maintenance to avoid future issues.
- How long can I drive with a broken axle?
It is not recommended to drive with a broken axle as it can cause further damage to your vehicle and be dangerous on the road.
- How much does it cost to fix a broken axle?
The cost of fixing a broken axle can vary depending on the type of vehicle and the extent of the damage. It is best to get a quote from a trusted mechanic.
- Can a broken axle affect other parts of my vehicle?
Yes, a broken axle can cause damage to other parts of your vehicle, such as the transmission, differential, or wheel bearings.
- How often should I have my vehicle’s axle inspected?
It is recommended to have your vehicle’s axle inspected during routine maintenance, which is typically every 6 months or 6,000 miles.
- Will my car insurance cover the cost of a broken axle?
It depends on your insurance policy and the cause of the damage. It is best to check with your insurance provider to see if axle damage is covered.