Axles are extremely important to your car. They are on par with brakes and tires
when it comes to the safety of your vehicle. Axles connect to the wheels and
they bear the weight of your entire vehicle. They also may help drive your
vehicle, and in most cars are an integral part of the steering system. Today,
most axles are split axles, which means the wheel on each side is attached to a
separate shaft. This allows independent suspension of the left and right wheels,
and therefore a smoother ride. It also permits the left and right wheels to
rotate at different speeds as the automobile turns, improving traction and
extending tire life.
Many cars combine the transmission and the axle to create the transaxle. In
rear-wheel vehicles, the engine is connected to a driveshaft which turns the
drive axle in the back of the car. The axle is connected by the wheel to the CV
joint. This is covered by a CV joint boot, a protective flexible covering. Itís
important to make sure the boot is not cracked or leaking. This can cause brake
fluid to leak out, possibly resulting in serious damage to the CV joints.
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