Tips on Buying an Axle Isolator
To know what an axle isolator is, you need to first know what an axle is. On wheeled vehicles, this central shaft for a rotating wheel is either fixed unto the wheels, rotating with them (which includes bushings or bearings at the mounting points for support) or fixed to the vehicle so that the wheels rotate around the axle instead. Meanwhile, the axle isolator is a type of rubber bushing that isolates and keeps axle-damaging vibrations from happening.
The Dos and Don'ts When Buying an Axle Isolator
An axle isolator is usually used for axles that are fixed unto the wheels and rotate with them. It doesn't only offer support to the axle in keeping it attached to the vehicle, providing an interface between axle and car; it also dampens the energy transmitted to the bushing. With that said, here are the dos and don'ts of buying an axle isolator.
- Search for axle isolators with torsional elastic rubber and are highly functional in making sure your ride is a comfortable one because they reduce noise, cancel out vibration, and dampen the shock and pressure put into your axle from everyday driving or even rugged off-road driving.
- Purchase an axle isolator in accordance to the materials used on it. In particular, you should get silicone isolators as much as possible since they're durable and long-lasting, although they're more expensive than other rubber types. If you want your car to run like a dream, pick a good rubber isolator as an axle bushing.
- You should also buy high-quality torsional elastic rubber axle isolators because they've been used on these bushings for decades and offer a number of advantages over polyurethane, like being made of a material that absorbs more shock, vibration, and noise from bumps and potholes thanks to its texture and elasticity.
- Polyurethane is a good rubber alternative because it's less susceptible to damage due to inclement weather conditions, road salts, extreme temperatures, and regular wear and tear. It also lasts longer than rubber. They're harder and improve control and handling over your axles. However, these isolators also give your suspension a stiffer feel and a rougher, noisier ride. Then again, it does improve braking slightly.
- Instead of ordering replacement parts from your dealership for a lot of money, you could save money by going the aftermarket route and buying from an online dealer. It's much cheaper without compromising on quality plus it's easy to find fitment from these sites. You'll be surprised at how much more affordable and cost-effective a comparable OE-standard part is on a website compared to dealership rates.
- DON'T buy axle isolators with cheap rubber on them. That's because low-cost latex shrinks in general, polysulfide has a foul odor, and urethane rubber has a limited shelf life and deteriorates at the presence of ambient moisture.
- DON'T acquire used OE-standard or OEM axle isolators without first checking out the origins of their refurbishing or remanufacturing. There are loads of low-grade cheap isolators that aren't even worth the low cost. You get what you pay for, but in their case, it's like throwing money over a bridge. Some are even stolen parts sold with damage!
- DON'T forget to check out third-party reviews, ratings, user comments, and so forth when shopping for axle isolators while taking the ecommerce route. They're there for a reason.Don't let suspicious reviews that read like advertising copy to sway your decision. Get both the pros and cons of the product.