Different Kinds Of Car Axles

The prime aim of this article is to shed light on different kinds of car axle. Car axles, as you know are an important component of the vehicle. Read on to know all on different car axles.

Drive axle

A car axle, which is driven by the engine, is called a drive axle. The drive car axle is a split axle with a differential and universal joints between the two half axles. Each half axle is connected to the wheel by using a constant velocity joint. This allows the wheel assembly to move freely in the vertical direction as well as to rotate when making turns.

Modern cars with front wheel drive typically have the combination of the transmission and front axle into a single unit known as a transaxle.

In rear wheel drive cars and vehicles, a rotational force is transmitted to a drive axle at the rear of the vehicle by the engine by turning a driveshaft. The drive car axle may be a live axle. Most modern cars generally use a split axle with a differential.

Dead axle
Another kind of car axle, dead axle is also called lazy axle. It is not a part of the drivetrain but is instead free-rotating. The rear axle of a front-wheel drive car may be thought of as a dead car axle. A dead axle situated immediately in front of a drive axle is called a pusher axle and when it is situated behind a drive axle, it is called a tag axle.

Many trucks and trailers are seen using these kinds of car axles for strictly load-bearing purposes.

Full-floating axles
Another type of car axle, used in heavy duty applications is the full-floating. A full-floating axle, can be identified by the large hubs sticking out the end of the axle. These have the axle shafts bolted to them. These car axles are able to carry more weight then a comparable semi-floating differential. This is due to the hubs on the ends of the axle, having their own bearings, which carry the load of the vehicle. In these kinds of car axle, the hubs bear the weight of the vehicle. The car axles are used for transmitting torque and rotation from the carrier in the differential to the hubs on the ends of the axle. Full-floating axles are held in place by bolting a projection on the end of the axle to the hub. If the axle shaft breaks, the wheel will not go anywhere since it is still bolted to the hub.

Semi-floating axles
This type of car axle, for the lighter-duty differentials, carry the weight of the vehicle on the axle shaft. There is simply one bearing on the end of the axle tube that carries the load from the axle and that the axle rotates through. The semi-floating axles are held in place by c-clips that are in the differential carrier. But if an axle or c-clip ever breaks it is possible that the wheel of the vehicle could leave the vehicle.


You will find the information on different car axles discussed in this article very useful.