Axles don’t break very often. Of course if yours breaks, you never forget it, and you think that they all must break, but the reality is that we have had very few broken axles during the past 15 years. Of course if you drive like an animal you could break your axle on your first drive but we always encourage people to be gentle with these old cars and that seems to work. I broke my last axle in about 1982, so now that most of us a little older and the animal has matured a bit, by design, our demographic is less apt to brake axles.
That said, Ken called this week to say his gearbox broke and his car wouldn’t move and that he needed a new transmission. After discussion, it was clear that he had broken an axle. Sadly, you need to be towed home anytime this happens. Ken was so happy with our diagnosis over the phone that he sent us this picture of his parts, which demonstrates exactly how they usually break. The outer tip that protrudes into the differential will often torque off of the axle shaft. Once an axle is severed, you can no longer send power to the wheel, and you are all done. And it can often be quite difficult to get the broken piece out of the rear end.
So don’t be an animal.