If you've had your vehicle for quite some time and it has recently started to vibrate, produce weird noises, and give you problems when turning a corner, you'd better check the driveshaft right away. Chances are, it's broken and needs repairs or replacement ASAP. This elongated, round shaft is basically the component that propels your vehicle to move. The process goes like this: the pistons of the engine transfer power to a set of gears that turn the drive shaft to create torque. When torque is produced in the drives haft, it is then transferred to the gears of the wheels, which propels them to turn. With this turning motion, you're able to move your car in any direction that you want. Seeing its importance, you need to address its problems with urgency. Here's a quick guide that will help you get started.
Symptoms of a Broken Driveshaft
Driveshafts will never break down all of a sudden. Instead, they will gradually show signs and symptoms that indicate their impending demise. Detecting the damage early will not only minimize your repairs, but will also save you some cash. Here are some indicators that will help determine if you have a busted drive shaft in your system.
- Vibration - If you experience any shudder when you accelerate, the damage may be as simple as a broken or loose U-joint or it may be as serious as an out-of-balance drive shaft. On the other hand, this symptom may also be caused by a defective center bearing. If repairing or replacing the U-joint doesn't do the trick, then it's definitely the drive shaft that needs your attention.
- Noises - If you detect loud, clunking noises coming from the driveshaft every time you shift gears, this may be caused by worn U-joints that are begging for a replacement. On the other hand, hearing squeaking noise when you drive slowly may indicate lack of lubrication. And lastly, if you hear a clicking sound coming from the shaft, this may indicate that the U-joint or the drive shaft itself is hitting the frame tunnel of the vehicle. This usually happens when the vehicle is overloaded and is carrying a lot of stuff.
- Difficult turns - Having difficulty when turning on a corner can also indicate a faulty shaft. You will most likely experience resistance or hesitation from the wheels, making it hard to control your ride.
- U-joint problems - Having a U-joint that movies too much or too little can also indicate a busted drives haft. Check the joint for damage and repair it accordingly.
Replacing a Broken Driveshaft
- Driveshafts can be purchased either new or remanufactured. The choice between the two is completely up to you.
- Before buying a replacement, ensure if your vehicle is a front, rear, or all wheel driven to get the perfect fit.
- When buying a new one for your vehicle, be prepared to spend around$250 to $500. With this budget, you can rest assured that you'll get a good replacement driveshaft for your old and faulty one.