This unit should be checked every 50 000 – 75 000 operational kilometers. To diagnose axle and final drive, you need just a little free time, a pit, a hoist and a jack. Your first task is to inspect the points where the parts link up to one another. Make sure the elements tightly fit one another, check their movability. It is important to make sure that the rear axle housing (for rear-wheel drive cars) has sufficient lubrication. If you have a car with the front wheel drive, check the lubricant of the front axle and differential. Having found any signs of leakage on the axle or differential, eliminate gaps, and do not forget to add oil.
You can notice that the axle and the final drive require diagnostics by the following signs:
The most common cause of axle and final drive malfunctions is aggressive driving style. Sharp press to the clutch pedal, emergency braking, running over potholes and bumps at high speed – all this leads not only to increase of mechanical loads to the components, but also causes worsening of operational characteristics of the lubricant. Because of oil lack or its efficiency worsening, working surfaces of adjoining elements wear down faster. Wear of gaskets and oil seals, or failure to service the system in due time may lead to the same consequences. Oil in the housing should be replaced every 6000 – 12000 kilometers depending on operation conditions. Also fastenings tightening check and roller bearings axial clearance adjustment should be performed from time to time.
Frequent driving on rough roads may provoke mechanical damages – chips, cracks and deformations caused by hitting by stones or obstacle run-over; and storing of a vehicle outdoors may result in appearance and expansion of corrosion.
Sometimes a cause for this unit unserviceability may consist in the poor-quality parts installation. For example, usage of unreliable bearings may lead to jamming of drive axle or change of differential position and its following breakdown.
Both repair works and replacement of the system components should be entrusted to professionals. We remind that the gears should be replaced in pairs to avoid uneven wear and the subsequent failure of the entire assembly. To replace the differential, you must use the special equipment, which is available at every service station. Replacement of the axle should be performed only in case of cracks and corrosion detection.