Symptoms Showing a Worn Suzuki Sidekick Axle Assembly
Your Suzuki Sidekick axle assembly plays different important roles on your off-road vehicle. Its straight shaft holds the wheels together in a fixed position. More so, it absorbs forces from braking and acceleration as well as the actual weight of your vehicle. Because of its activities, your axle assembly is prone to wearing. When this happens, it is advisable to have it fixed or replaced as soon as possible. Diagnosing a worn axle assembly is easy as it shows obvious signs such as the following.
Noise when turning
The CV joint of your axle assembly is composed of bearings that turn smoothly in a constant velocity. These bearings wear out over time. Once they do, clunking or knocking sounds would be heard from every turn of your off-road ride. If the noise gets louder, it means the problem has escalated as the bearings are already moving too loosely inside the CV joint. At this stage, the joint is close to malfunctioning.
Like most steering components, your Suzuki Sidekick axle assembly works with smooth connections with the other parts. If there is any tension or resistance when you turn the steering wheel, there may be a lubrication problem with your axle assembly. When this happens, your axle assembly is not locking well with your steering knuckle. This makes it hard to control the vehicle's direction.
Noise when accelerating or slowing down
Noise when you accelerate or slow down is a sign that your CV joint is already damaged. This happens when the part could no longer stand the pressure it is receiving. As a result, it clashes with nearby components, making a clunking noise. Humming or growling sounds, on the other hand, is a result of a CV joint that is not greased well. It may be caused by lack in lubrication or a leak in the CV boot.
Damaged CV boot
Your axle's CV joint is protected by the CV boot which contains the grease that ensures smooth turning of the joint. This rubber boot is prone to damage that leads to more serious issues with your axle assembly. When you notice your CV boot having wears, tears, or holes, you should replace it immediately before contaminants damage your CV joint.
Extending the Service Life of Your Suzuki Sidekick Axle Assembly
Your Suzuki Sidekick axle assembly is a main component that allows turn and motion of your off-road vehicle. Because of the role it plays, damage in this part can result in total control loss of your automobile. Good thing is that you can do preventive maintenance to keep your axle assembly from damage. Following are some ways you can extend the life of this part.
Use grease that is especially intended for your CV joint.
The CV joint in your axle assembly is an important component as it holds your wheel and allows its turning. With this, lubrication is crucial in your CV joint. However, this part is very sensitive, so it is advisable to only use grease products that are made for this part. These grease products have graphite components that handle heat better than commodity grease. This prevents joint wear due to high temperature.
Loosen your CV joint when going for an off-road ride.
Your Suzuki Sidekick is especially built for off-road terrains, and you may be driving it in one from time to time. When you do so, make sure the CV joint of your axle assembly is loosened. It would produce an obvious noise, but doing so would make your axle assembly survive the hard knocks from the rough landscapes. More so, it would make your vehicle handle large and rapid turning better.
Have your axle shaft powder-coated.
One of the most important functions of your axle assembly is holding your wheels aligned. This is done through your axle shaft which is built to be tough and sturdy. However, since it is made of metal, it is prone to rusting. In severe cases, rust weakens the shaft and may even contaminate nearby components such as your CV joint. With this, you need to keep your axle shaft safe from rust. You can do it by having it powder-coated.
Inspect your CV boot regularly.
Your whole Suzuki Sidekick axle assembly is made of tough material that does not bend easily. However, the slightest problem with your CV joint would require you to replace the whole assembly altogether. This can be pricey because a new axle assembly costs up to $60. However, you can avoid this kind of spending by regularly checking the CV boot and replacing it once damage is noticed.