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Axle suspension/final drive - Tips on check-up, common defects and replacement

The axle suspension/final drive serve to transfer the force from the motor, through the gear, on the street. When these parts are in a good condition, the vehicle driving is very pleasant. Defects of the axle suspension can however be life-threatening.

Clutch: Hidden intermediaries

The clutch is a deep hidden vehicle component. It consists of many components, but they are always replaced as a whole. The replacement of a clutch is very costly and time-consuming. It requires great expertise and thus, it is not recommended to repair it yourself. A damaged or worn clutch is noticeable in a bad driving behavior. The engine does not accelerate properly and the vehicle goes ever more grudgingly. If the clutch is completely worn out, the car is barely drivable.

Axle suspension: From gearbox to wheel

The axle suspension is the connection between the gearbox and wheel. It consists of two drive shafts and the steering mechanism of the wheels. The axle suspension includes numerous components and all manifest their defects through a degraded driving behavior of the car. Wobbling wheels, vehicle pulling to one side, strong rattle on the wheel or a loud crack at driving are typical signs of the damaged axle suspension.

Detecting any axle suspension/final drive damage

If one is not sure whether the clutch is defective or not, you can test it: rirst, you look in the operating instructions to see whether the vehicle is equipped with a test function for the clutch. In most cases, you have to pull on the clutch pedal, but there are other diagnostic options as well. If that is not possible, you shift the car in a high gear and release the clutch quickly. If the motor is "stalled", the clutch is still functioning. But if a motor still works even though the car is not moving, you will not avoid the clutch replacement.
The axle suspension is tested ideally on a hoist. The drive wheels must hang freely. Then, you simply put both hands on the wheel and shake vigorously. If you detect a backlash, there is a defect. On this occasion, you can also check the axle boots. If these are full of fat or have a visible hole, they must be replaced immediately. Otherwise, the wheel bearing will be damaged.
The components of the axle suspension/final drive wear inevitably during normal driving. Drifting or driving over potholes or against high kerbstones can damage the components of the axle suspension very quickly. Incorrect handling of the clutch or its overload with an excessively heavy trailer is also very harmful for this component.

What should be replaced?

If repairs are conducted on the drivetrain, it depends on the level of damage. Should the axle boot be replaced, the entire wishbone and ball joints must be unmounted. If these have reached a certain age, it is worth considering a precautionary exchange. All moving parts have rubber sleeves or damping elements made of rubber that wear out over time. Since all these easily accessible components are available cheaply at Autopartspro.co.uk, you can save a lot of subsequent work in a single repair action. It is important to screw the track rod end on the threaded hole exactly as the old part was screwed. Otherwise you risk a poor straight-line driving stability and premature wear of the tires. To do this, you either have to count the number of turns when unscrewing the old track rods end or mark them. The straight-line driving should be tested after assembly. If the car pulls to one side after the repair, the track must be adjusted. This service has become much more affordable today in specialized companies.
Clutches are always replaced in sets. The replacement of a clutch is very costly, but possible. What is needed is a lot of time, space and good tools. The clutch is located between the engine and gear box. When changing the clutch it is also useful to change the transmission oil.

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