How many axles does a car have? It’s likely a simple question, yet the answer can vary depending on your vehicle type. Having insights into this can significantly help the car’s effective maintenance and overall upkeep. 

This article will unveil the answer, how the axles function, their types on the market, and why they’re pivotal. Whether you’re an auto buff or just a novice curious about your vehicle, this informative read is worth reading. 

So buckle up and join DriveRevolve for a fascinating journey into the world of automotive engineering!

What Is An Axle, And How Does It Function?

An axle, or so-called steel center shaft, aids a vehicle’s wheels in rotating. This simple but core mechanism facilitates the wheels’ easy rolling and smoothness. 

To the nitty-gritty, any axles serve as a wheel’s assistance and cornerstone. It distributes the wheel hub’s torque to the ground, and no vehicle can move without axles. 

In other words, its role goes beyond merely joining the car’s wheels. As one of an engine’s core parts, it determines the force propelling the car. Still, the axle’s quantity may vary from vehicle to vehicle.

Bearings are located in the wheels’ hearts to support the axle, creating a correctly aligned auto and allowing it to handle the heavyweight safely when braking or accelerating.

How Many Axles Does A Car Have?

Typically, each set of two tires requires one axle.

Thus, if you inquire how many axles a 4-wheel vehicle has, there are two different pairs of wheels, and you need two axles. 

As a result of their size and tire number, some automobiles, notwithstanding, have three axles or more. One axle, for instance, can reside at the front of a vehicle, and others, if necessary, can be located at the rear.

Beyond that, these axles come in two viable distribution patterns: unevenly and evenly.

How Many Axles Does A Car Have?
The axle quantity relies on the wheels’ number. Source: autotrainingcentre

Three Typical Axle Types On The Market

Three basic types of axles include:

  • Stub axle
  • Rear axle
  • Front axle

Stub Axle

A stub axle (or stub) is utilized in front-wheel drive autos, with the steering section absent in front of the axle.

The two main types of stub axles include: 

  • Those incorporated into the front wheel’s axle drive.
  • Those attached to your front axle drive using a driveshaft behind your front axle. 

Types Of Stub Axles

  • Elliot axles: This one connects to your front axle via a yoke, kingpin, and cotter.
  • Reverse Elliot axles: Its arrangement is the opposite of that of a regular Elliot stub axle.
  • Lamoine axles: This form of stub axle comes with an L-shaped spindle.
  • Reverse Lamoine axles: It has the Lamoine stub axle’s arrangement backward.

Rear Axle

The rear axle transfers energy to the back wheels. This component carries the vehicle and passengers’ weight.

What’s more, they are in charge of transferring power to your rear wheels using a differential/limited-slip differential. Most of the time, they are live, meaning they spin along the vehicle’s wheels.

Types Of Rear Axles

Semi-floating axles: This rear axle firmly maintains the wheel in place by fastening it to the flange on the axle shaft’s outside. It has two bearings, one residing inside the axle casing and one supporting the shaft. Sport utility vehicles (SUVs), cars, and mid-size trucks, including half-ton and light-duty pickups, favor semi-floating axles.

Full-floating axles: This one works wonders in larger autos, like heavy trucks. It floats in place with the help of two bearings. It’s in charge of transmitting driving torque only. 

Three-quarter floating axles: It is also more dependable than the semi-floating one. It controls driving torque and side thrust and supports wheel alignment.

Front Axle

Front Axle
Front axle. Source: bigcommerce

This type of axle is so-called the front axle assembly, monitoring the car’s driving and steering by turning the tires and front wheels. Front axles also process shocks from the rough terrains that the vehicle passes.

It is part and parcel of the car’s suspension system and supports the front suspension, transmission, and engine. 

The front axle includes various parts, including suspension arms, tie rods, spindles, and hubs. 

As for tie rods, the warning signs of defective tie rods may also pique your interest. Click on it to read more!

Types Of Front Axles

  • Dead Front Axle: This one never rotates with the car’s wheels; instead, it stays in place to cushion the auto parts from water and debris.
  • Live Front Axle: This helps transfer energy from your transmission to your front wheels.

Decisive Factors For Categorizing The Axle Inside A Car

To pinpoint the suitable axle type, you must consider factors such as technical requirements and the amount of force generated. 

While some autos offer pre-designed axles, others require customized versions to fit the car’s particular needs and specs. Customized options deliver many benefits as they offer greater control over wheel speed and torque adjustments, rendering them ideal for personalization.

What Triggers An Axle To Break

What Triggers An Axle To Break
Over time, the component may get ruined. Source: vehicleanswers

The endurance of an axle has a limit, even if it is made to support enormous loads.

In some cases, you may find it degraded. To clarify all the root causes of axle failure, see the following:

  • Your auto often bears more weight than the standard level.
  • Your vehicle’s axle may be brittle and rusted, notably if it’s an old car.
  • The axle is subjected to unnecessary stress while crossing over rocky terrain.

When You Should Repair Or Change The Axles

Axles are similar to the bones in the human spine. When hurt, they may not provide the body with the required support and make it feeble.

Hence, once your axles begin to wear out ahead of schedule, you must respond promptly. A fractured axle can result in graver hurdles. Thus, the axle issue should be rectified soon to impede further worsening.

Cracked or faulty axles often come with a wobble, a grinding sound during driving, and a lack of steering control. Other sure signs of degraded axles: 

  • A clunking noise or any weird sounds popping up during shifting gears. It may also be a culprit of rattling noise when accelerating, requiring maintenance.  
  • During braking or turning, you may experience vibrations.

Can I Drive With A Cracked Axle?

Without a doubt, no! With a broken axle, you can’t even drive. A vehicle won’t drive straight if the bearings are ruined, or the axle is deformed. 

A broken component usually pulls one of the auto’s sides, causing you to be involved in a grave or little collision (depending upon your speed).

Can I Drive With A Cracked Axle?
Never drive with a malfunctioning axle. Source: mechanicbase


How Many Axles Does A Suv Have?

An SUV has only 2 axles. 

How Many Axles Does A Truck Have?

Due to their various sizes and tire criteria, trucks are more intricate than other types of vehicles. They have ancient solid axle front axles because of the weight they carry. Meanwhile, conventional rear axles hold up their backs. And in fact, the truck’s axle count is not limited to two.

Is A Door Hinge A Wheel And Axle?

Yes. The door hinge is one example of an axle and wheel. In fact, the hinge’s round part is the elongated wheel. Beyond that, the interior door’s side attaching to the wall and the other linking to the door include various wheels rotating around a common axle. 

How Many Axles Is An 18 Wheel?

Typically, an 18-wheel needs five axles in total.

Do Electric Cars Have Axles?

Yes. The axle role is always momentous. In the absence of a diesel engine, an electric drivetrain heavily relies on its axle to ensure the whole system’s proper functioning.

Do Electric Cars Have Axles?
Strive your best to keep the car in good condition. Source: unsplash


There you have it – the all-rounded answer to the question: how many axles does a car have?

Without a doubt, knowing the answer to this seemingly trivial question can actually provide some interesting insights into how cars are designed and built. From there, you can take a closer look at the anatomy of a car and what purpose those axles serve. 

You, thus, can maintain the vehicle better by pinpointing the failure triggers and tackling any issues related to the axles to a tee. 

Jot something down in the discussion space provided here for more discussions! And navigate to other good reads in our Autopart corner.

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