What is a Rear Axle Assembly?
These days, most cars are front-wheel drive, so they don’t have a rear axle that you need to worry about needing to replace. But, if you’re one of those lucky individuals who has a rear-wheel drive car, well, then you also have a rear axle assembly.
You see, the axle assembly contains the bits and pieces needed to transfer rotational force to the drive wheels. Inside the rear unit, you’ll find the differential, the rear axle shafts, and a collection of axle bearings. A driveshaft, which runs the length of the vehicle, delivers torque from the engine to the axle system.
Without a doubt, the differential transmission is the focal point of the axle. The differential contains a collection of gears and bearings that direct force to the axle, which, in turn, rotate your car’s wheels and tires. Unlike rear driving cars, the differential usually is a component of the transmission in front wheel drives.
Also, when your car goes around a corner, the differential allows one rear wheel to turn faster than the other rear wheel. That stops the car from skidding and sliding – plus, it prevents you from looking like you got your driver’s license from a Crackerjack box.
The axle is filled with gear oil to keep all of the internal components happy. Axle auto seals at both ends of the unit keep the fluid in and debris out. A differential cover gasket may also be used to protect the axel and its system.