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Volkswagen Passat Axle Assembly

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.

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  • Tips to Keep Your Volkswagen Passat Axle Assembly in Excellent Shape 27 February 2013

    A neglected axle assembly in your Volkswagen Passat won't just make all sorts of noise and greatly reduce ride comfort; it will also put you and your car at great risk. Learn how to keep your Volkswagen Passat axle assembly in perfect working condition using these maintenance tips:


    Check for ripped boots and axle grease leaks on a regular basis.


    A ripped axle boot will result to a leaking axle assembly and dried-out axle joints, so make sure to regularly examine your axle boots for any cracks or tears. To make the job of examining your boots much easier, turn your steering wheel completely to one side before performing the visual inspection. Axle joints that are dried out can also eventually lead to the complete failure of your axle assembly. However, if you can repair the damaged axle boot early, then you can save your axle assembly from major damage.


    Clean your axle assembly boots habitually.


    Clean your axle boots regularly with soap and water. Also, make sure that these components don't get in contact with oil or gasoline since these types of fluids can damage them.


    Visually examine your axle assembly boots with every oil change.


    Make it a habit to visually examine the axle assembly boots every 3,000 miles or whenever you get an oil change to help you detect axle grease leaks as soon as possible. If left unattended for a long time, an axle grease leak can eventually damage the axle assembly joints and the entire axle assembly itself. If your axle boots have cracks, tears, and rips, replace them at once.


    Check your axle assembly every 62,000 miles to see if it needs any type of servicing.


    Look for corroded or broken components and replace them as needed. Don't forget to check if the wheel bearings need to be adjusted or replaced as well. Also, inspect the lubricant for signs of contamination and old age and replace it if necessary.


    Attend to any unusual noise from your vehicle at once.


    Since odd clicks, pops, and growls are some of the most common symptoms of axle assembly failure, it would be helpful if you resolve the cause of these noises immediately.