I was hundreds of kilometres away from home on one of my road trips. It had been a smooth ride all the way and the beautiful, powerful car I was driving had performed well without any incident. As I turned a corner, I heard a rumbling sound coming from the right rear axle. Why was my rear axle making noise all of a sudden?
You can be a good driver, but I’d you do not pay attention to the sounds an and of your vehicle, you will find yourself with lots of unnecessary expenses. Sounds and noises give away a lot of information about what is going on in your vehicle. The sound of the engine, the sound from the wheels, a sound from inside your cockpit, any and all sounds – are often indicative of the condition of your car.
In this particular case, the rear axle making noise like that indicated something I was familiar with. I listened some more as I drove several kilometres. It wasn’t a problem with the shocks, as the car continued to handle both smooth and rough spots well without any tell-tale movements that suggested that the shock absorbers had gone bad.
Also, this rumbling noise happened only when I was negotiating a bend or corner at speeds higher than 10 kilometres per hour. Turning a corner at crawl or low speeds gave off no odd sound. In a little while, I was fairly certain that it was a problem of bad wheel bearings. I would have a technician take a look at the bearings on the rear axle.
As a guide to help you identify rear axle noises, here are a few other types of noises from the rear axle, and what they are indicative of.
Diagnosing cases of the rear axle making noise
Here are a few more reasons why your rear axle is making a noise.
A rumbling sound at corners and turns indicate that the rear wheel bearings are wearing out and need replacement.
if you hear a clanging, clicking or clunking sound while taking bends or corners, you should have a technician check the car’s cornering gears. They are likely broken or wearing out.
Similarly, if the noise from the rear axle is a rhythmic clanging or clunking, something is broken there – likely a ring or pinion gear tooth.
As a rule, if the noise is a clanging or clunking, something is likely broken or worn out, and needs urgent attention.
If you are getting a rumbling or whirring sound at speeds above 33 km per hour or 20 mph, do have your carrier bearings checked.
If when accelerating, your car gives off a whining or howling sound, have the pinion gears and rings checked for problems. They likely need to be replaced.
Similarly, if while decelerating, you hear a whine or growl from your rear axle, the pinion bearings, pinion rings, and pinion gear are the likely fault points and should be examined.
It is important that you are able to fairly identify why your car axle is making a noise. That saves you worrying yourself sick and panicking. The above quick tips give you a fair idea of why your rear axle is making a particular type of sound under specific conditions.
As I have mentioned before, listening to your car is a part and parcel of auto care. You will be able to pick up early signs of wear and tear, or damage, and can nip it in the bud before it becomes something messier. It is certainly important and could save your life too.
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