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February 20, 2024

Common Issues With 18-Wheeler Axles And How To Diagnose And Repair Them

Truck axel repair in repair shop

Although they’re generally overlooked, it’s very important to understand the critical role that axles play in the daily functioning of your heavy-duty trucks. Like clockwork, a well-maintained axle ensures the smooth operation of your vehicle, but a single fault could disrupt the entire system. In this guide, we'll be exploring the ins and outs of 18-wheeler axles, detailing common problems, and providing solutions to ensure optimal performance.

The Anatomy of an 18-Wheeler Axle

A look at the axle's structure is a necessary step toward understanding how to diagnose and repair it. Let's break down the critical parts.

  • Axle Shafts: These shafts transfer the power from your differential to your wheels, making them pivotal to the movement of your truck. 
  • Bearings & Races: As the mediators between moving parts, they facilitate the smooth transition of power by preventing friction and heat from occurring. 
  • Wheel Hubs: Connecting the wheels to the axle shafts, the hubs help synchronize the circular motion of your wheels and are key housing elements for your bearings and races. 
  • Differentials: Your differentials are responsible for transferring power in multiple directions. Operating based on the path of least resistance, differentials allow for one wheel to rotate at a different rate than the other. 

Medium & Heavy-Duty Truck Repair - How it Differs

Medium-duty truck repair isn't akin to repairing your average passenger vehicle. It requires specialized knowledge and equipment. At The Service Company, we're equipped to handle both medium and heavy-duty trucks, tailoring our service to your vehicle's specific needs.

Symptoms of Axle Failure and How to Diagnose Axle Damage

Understanding the symptoms of axle failure isn't just for technicians; it can be the difference between a safe journey and a potential disaster for truck drivers and fleet managers alike.

Common Signs of Trouble

  • Noise: Clunking or clicking sounds could be indicative of axle damage. If you hear a noise that seems out of place, don't ignore it!
  • Vibration: An excessive vibration in the steering wheel may signal an issue with the axle or related components.
  • Leaking: Fluids leaking near the wheels could be due to axle seal failure, and it demands immediate attention.

How to Diagnose the Problem

A careful inspection by professionals like us at The Service Company can unearth the root of the problem. From visual inspection to road testing, our methods are designed to find the underlying issue quickly and efficiently.

Common Repairs for Axle Damage

The treatment should match the ailment, right? Here's how we tackle the problems associated with 18 Wheeler Axles:

Replacement of Bearings & Races

Worn-out bearings can cause complete axle failure if left unchecked. At The Service Company, we’ll replace your bearings and races to ensure your axles rotate without creating friction and heat. 

Repairing or Replacing Axle Shafts

Axle shafts, if damaged, need meticulous repair or replacement. Trusting experienced hands is crucial in this sensitive operation. Common damage that requires full replacement includes worn splines, a snapped shaft, a seized shaft, and a warped shaft. 

Addressing Differential Issues

Differentials are the brains of the axle system. Repairing or replacing them is a complex task that requires specialized tools and knowledge. In some cases, we may need to replace just one component, whether that be your differential plate or an individual gear. In other cases, your differential may need a full tear down. 

Areas We Serve

Our reach isn't confined to just Dayton, Ohio. We're proud to extend our services to:

  • Greenville, Ohio: Our neighbours in Greenville can expect the same quality service that our Dayton customers have come to rely on.
  • Covington, Ohio: No matter the distance, our commitment to excellence in axle repair remains the same for our Covington clients.

Book an Appointment Today 

Axles, though they may seem mundane, are the backbone of your 18 Wheeler's functionality. Being aware of the symptoms of axle failure and knowing how to diagnose axle damage is vital for truck drivers and fleet managers. But, when it comes to repairs, it's best left to professionals who know the ropes.

The Service Company stands as a beacon of quality and reliability for all your axle repair needs in Dayton, Greenville, and Covington, Ohio. With a team that doesn't just scratch the surface but delves deep into the issues, we offer a comprehensive solution for your 18 Wheeler Axles. Give us a call today and let our experience guide your vehicle back to the road in optimal condition.

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