Axles !

Let’s cover the basic definition of an Axle : it's a central shaft for either a rotating wheel or a gear. On vehicles that have wheels, the axle can be fitted to the wheels - this means that it rotates them around the axle.

An Axle is known to be an integral component of a wheeled vehicle. If there’s a live-axle suspension system, the axles are there to transmit driving torque to the wheel. It also maintains the position of the wheels that they're relative to each other and also to the body of the vehicle. The axles that are in this system have to bear the weight of the entire car and the weight of the cargo. If there is a non-driving axle, then there is no shaft. It usually only serves as a suspension and steering component.

In different suspension systems, the Axle is installed only to transmit driving torque to the wheels.

If someone is talking about a Straight Axle, this means that this special type of axle is a single rigid shaft that connects the wheel on the left side to the wheel on the right side of the car. The axis of rotation fixed by the axle is common to both of the wheels; this specific design can keep the wheel positions steady under heavy stress (if there is any); then, it can have enough support for heavier loads. The straight axles are used on things like trains and heavy-duty vehicles that can be used when someone wants to go off-roading.

If there’s a split-axle design, the wheel on each side of the axle is attached to a separate shaft. Most of the modern passenger cars have split drive axles. In some of these designs, this can usually allow for independent suspension of the left and the right wheels - this gives you a smoother ride. Say the suspension isn’t independent, the split axles permit the use of something called a differential; this lets the left and right drive wheels be driven at different speeds as the car turns - this will improve traction & can even extend your tire life! This means you don’t have to spend as much money for new tires.

A tandem axle is classified as a group of two or more axles that are situated close together. Most truck designs have this type of axle - it gives the car a greater & more efficient weight capacity when you compare it to a single axle. If you have a semi trailer, then you most likely have a tandem axle at the rear.

There’s something called a dead axle (it’s also called a lazy axle), and it’s not really part of the drive train; it’s free-rotating instead. The rear axle of your typical front-wheel drive car can be considered a dead axle. There’s a lot of trucks & trailers that use dead axles for specific load bearing purposes - nothing else. These dead axles are placed immediately in front of the drive axle. There’s another thing called the tag axle & it’s just the same thing but it’s placed behind the drive axle.

So as you can tell - if you read this entire article - there are more types of axles than the one that comes on your car. They’re not really good or bad, just different types. Which one do you have on your car? Do you know how to identify the one that you have? If not, read it again.