Common Causes of Volkswagen Passat Axle Assembly Trouble
Your Volkswagen Passat axle assembly plays an important role when it comes to transmitting torque and keeping your wheels in place. However, old age and eventual wear and tear can still make your axle assembly fail. Take note of the following signs and symptoms to avoid risky situations caused by a damaged axle assembly:
Metallic grinding, whistling, or squealing noises
The sound of grinding metal coming from your axle assembly is usually a result of worn-out bearings on the axle joints. You can check both inner and outer bearings to find out which one needs to be replaced, but it is more advisable to just replace both bearings at the same time. Leaking axle boots can also lead to dried joints that cause these types of noises, so make sure to examine these components as well. It can be a bit difficult to know which particular sound from your axle assembly points to which damaged component, so make sure to test your car at different driving speeds for a better diagnosis.
Vibration from the front suspension or steering wheel
If you feel any tension or vibration from your steering wheel especially when making turns, you might have an axle assembly that has eroded joints or one that lacks lubrication. While the vibration is usually more strongly felt on the steering wheel, it can also make the entire car shudder when you are trying to speed up or slow down.
Loud popping and clunking noises
A loud popping or clicking noise from your axle assembly usually means that you have damaged gears or worn-out joints. In some cases, joints that are not properly lubricated can also result to the clunking noises produced by worn-out gears. Damaged joints and gears can usually be repaired without having to replace the entire axle assembly. However, it would be best to have a professional specifically point out which particular joint or gear actually needs replacement.
Axle grease leaks
If you notice a thick, dark-colored grease around your Passat's axle assembly, then your car has developed an axle grease leak. Turn your steering wheel completely to one side and then examine your axle assembly. An axle grease leak is usually a result of a ripped axle boot, so be on the lookout for those.