Axles are crucial to the operation of a car. Without them, your car would be useless. The reason is, the axle controls the ability of the wheels to get in motion. Although your car engine and other things are perfect, your car is still equivalent to being useless without an Axel.
Now that you know that Axels are crucial to your car’s ability to move, you’d probably start to wonder and ask the obvious question, “How Many Axles Does a Car Have?”. Well, we’ll reserve the answer for later. So, follow us on this journey as we enlighten and answer all your budding questions about Axles.
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WHAT IS AN AXLE AND ITS FUNCTIONS?
When we talk about the word axle, we refer to an essential part of the build-up of a car. It is a rod or shaft that manufacturers put in place to aid the mounting of the car wheels or gears and support the car’s weight in question. The truth is, without the axles, a vehicle wouldn’t dream about getting in motion.
Remember how we said that the axle is for mounting wheels and gears? Well, the mounting of the wheels or gears on the axle won’t be possible without the presence of a built-in bushing or bearing. It would most likely be useless.
Now, without the bushing or bearing, you’d have a wheel that wouldn’t rotate on your axle. That, too, is equally useless. As your wheels rotate, you see it could affect the axle, especially when there’s nothing like a bushing or bearing to ensure that the rotation of the wheels on the axle is seamless.
Nevertheless, the axle ensures a balance between the wheels and gears of a car. Thanks to the axle, the wheels, and gears on a vehicle are placed in specific places parallel to the rest of the wheels and gears. The axle can be attached to your Vehicle in two ways.
One, it can be connected to your car. In this case, it won’t rotate along with your wheels. The axel would be static. Two, it could be attached to the wheels of your car so that it rotates alongside your wheels. Regardless of how the axle was attached to the Vehicle, it would still do its work of absorbing the pressure your car is confronted with.
You should know that the strength of the wheels of a car is limited. It can’t carry the entire weight of a car all by itself. Your wheels and gears can stay in place because of the axle. Without the axle, you risk ruining your wheels as it would shrink flat before your eyes.
Furthermore, when you engage your brake and acceleration, the force doesn’t fall on your wheels. If it did, many would probably be dead by now. However, what happens when you engage your brakes and acceleration is that your axle takes that force. It lifts the weight off your wheels that are too fragile to get hit with such heavy force.
Part of the job of the axle is to ensure the joint of your Vehicle doesn’t absorb too much pressure that the car would be subjected to every time you take it for a drive. Think of the axle as the muscle of your car. It carries and absorbs all the weight and pressure. It is the primary factor that comes into play when you use your steering function, drive or engage your brakes.
Aside from taking the car’s weight and ensuring the wheels are in the correct position, axels are also the part of the car that controls the speed and the torque.
Now that you know what axles are and their function, when next somebody poses the question “what are axles in a car” to you, you’d be able to give a definite and solid response.
HOW MANY AXLES DOES A CAR HAVE?
After learning the importance of an axle to a car, a part of you should already start to wonder, how many axles does your car, or any car, has? Well, we created this session to satisfy that curiosity. The first thing you should know about the presence of axles in any car is, the number of axles in a car varies from car to car. It is all dependent on the capacity of the car in question.
In essence, the number of axles that would go into the car’s build depends on many factors and what the car was designed to do. Is it going to be used to ship people or cargoes? If it is a car to ship people, how many people is it designed to carry? If it is a cargo car, how many loads can it hold?
Also, no thanks to the complexities of a car build, it has become quite challenging to determine the number of axles in cars quickly. With the advent of different axles to serve other purposes, it is becoming challenging to decide on the number of axles resident in a vehicle.
Nevertheless, regardless of the types of axles that exist, you can still determine the number of axles any vehicle has. The easy way to do this is first to determine the axle type any vehicle needs. You can determine the axle type by its purpose.
You can quickly determine the number of axles a car has by counting the wheels on the car. Generally, the majority of cars come with either two sets of axels or four axles. Hence, since larger vehicles for cargoes and passengers have many wheels, it’s safe to say they are designed with more axles.
Some examples of 2 axle vehicles include motorcycles, regular cars, bicycles, light trucks, medium-duty trucks like Ford F-350, etc. Some vehicles have three axles. Examples of 3 axle vehicles are the Greyhound bus, stretch limousine with three sets of wheels. A tri-drive highway tractor is an excellent example of a 4-axle vehicle.
TYPES OF AXLES
When it comes to axles, they come in three types. However, these three types of axles also have their types. These different types of axels have other functions. Also, you won’t find all these types of axles in a vehicle.
The Front axle sits at the front of the Vehicle. Its task is to ensure that you find steering your Vehicle seamless. If you have to drive on uneven surfaces or surfaces that are not smooth, the front axle has to absorb the shocks your car might jump into. The front axle has four parts. They include the track rod, the swivel pin, the stud axle, and the beam. Considering all the tasks that the front axle Is vested with, manufacturers ensure that it is carved from the best material, nickel steel or carbon steel. The two types of front axles that exist include the dead front axle and the live front axle.
With the word “rear,” you already know this axle sits at the Vehicle’s back. It works to carry power from the differential to the driving wheel. The rear axle is also referred to as the driving shaft. Guess what? The rear axle is in two halves, and the differentials connect the rear axle’s halves. Just like the front axles, the rear axles can also be live or dead. However, the majority of rear axles that are used with cars are live. Based on the mounting process and the kind of support it gives, rear axles are classified into three. They are the semi-floating axle, the full floating axle, and the three-quarter floating axle.
Front axles require stub axle. They are mounted on a stub axle to ensure the steering works efficiently. With the aid of kingpins, the stub axles stay connected to the front axles. There are four types of stub axles. They include Elliot, Reversed Elliot, Lamoine, and the Reversed Lamoine.
WHAT IS A TWO AXLES VEHICLE, THREE AXLES VEHICLE, AND FOUR AXLES VEHICLE
When it comes to vehicles, they are sometimes referred to by the number of axles they have on certain highways. If you’ve heard cars being referred to as 2-axle vehicles, etc., don’t get confused. Here’s what it means.
A 2-axle vehicle is what it is. In essence, it has two axles (one in the front and another at the back). That is why it is called a 2-axle vehicle.
A 3-axle vehicle is called so because it has three axles. That is, one axle is located in the front, and the other two axles sit behind.
A 4-axle vehicle is what you now think it is. It has four-axle that are either distributed evenly other unevenly. For instance, a 4-axle vehicle could either have two axles in front and two at the rear or one axle in the front and the remaining three at the rear.
Now that you know what axles are, you can now understand the discussion topic when used in a conversation. Nevertheless, beyond knowing what axles are and the number of axels your car has, you need to understand their impact on your car too.
Although axles are made from durable materials, they can start to fail from either overuse or stress. But once you can tell which axle requires fixing or replacement, you’ll have simplified the entire process for yourself.
James is a certified auto technician specializing in commercial vehicles. With 30 years of experience under his belt, James has encountered almost every type of automotive issue there is! Besides his day job at the repair shop, he is also an amateur race car driver.