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Spindle

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Ever wonder what car spindles are what their purpose is? Or maybe your mechanic told you that you need to replace these parts but don't have any idea what these components actually do. If spindles seem like a foreign word to you, read on to know more about these suspension components.

What is a car spindle?

A part of your vehicle's suspension system, the spindle is what attaches the wheel and tire onto the steering system. It's usually located at the front of a vehicle, although some types of front-wheel drive cars are also equipped with rear spindles. To be able to securely link the wheel and tire onto the steering assembly, this part pivots on a strut or between the lower and upper A-frames and holds the outer and inner wheel bearings in position.

What is a spindle usually made of?

To be able to handle your car's weight and the constant amount of friction this component is regularly exposed to, it's usually made from forged steel.

What's the difference between spindles and axles?

Although both these parts have a similar purpose, spindles are sometimes used on farm equipment and trailers instead of heavy-duty axles. This is because spindles can better handle extremely heavy loads. The use of spindles on machinery also leads to improved side-by-side movement of the suspension system and tires.

Can I repair the spindle once it breaks?

Whenever this part breaks, the option is to replace it as a whole unit. Because of its structure, welding it in place once it breaks is impractical and mostly impossible. So if this suspension component starts to show signs of wear and tear, your only option is to get a replacement unit.

Does this part have special maintenance requirements?

Spindles don't require any special maintenance routine. As a matter of fact, you only need to grease the outer and inner wheel bearings and make sure that the castle nut has a fully functional cotter key to keep spindles in top shape.

What's the difference between regular and drop spindles?

Drop spindles are basically similar to their regular counterparts, but these are used on a lowered vehicle. Because a drop type has a higher center line than a regular one, it effectively lowers your vehicle's ride height. Using drop types is a very expensive way of lowering your car, but these parts can better retain the driving quality of the factory suspension in a modified car.

What are the usual culprits behind spindle damage?

Although this part is designed to handle lots of heavy load and stress, it will eventually break down. Over-tightened or poorly greased wheel bearings and making sudden turns on very sharp corners can contribute to this part's premature wear and tear. Keep in mind that whenever you suddenly turn your car around a sharp corner, the tires skid and are dragged way beyond their limits. This extreme dragging action creates a lot of stress on the spindles, often damaging them in the process. And once these parts are damaged, they can't be repaired anymore, which means you'll have to replace them.