When an engine produces a twisting force is called torque. The driveshaft’s job is to transmit the torque to the car’s wheels. Most cars are front-wheel drive, so when the torque is transmitted to the front two wheels, it’s called a half-shaft. But, other cars have a driveshaft. Would you know how to tell if there was something wrong with the driveshaft? Let’s go over the 5 signs you need to look out for a bad driveshaft.
What is a Drive Shaft?
A driveshaft is a long rod that is meant for transmitting torque from the transmission to the rear differential in any kind of wheel drive vehicle. A driveshaft is composed of internal splines on the end that connect to a universal joint and the transmission that connects to the differential.
Common Bad Driveshaft Signs
Since driveshafts rotate rapidly, they’re able to move both rear wheels of your car. The only way they can maintain this quick rotation is if they stay weighted down and balanced.
When the driveshaft starts malfunctioning, then your ability to drive will be impaired. The following are 5 signs you may be able to recognize and know if there is an issue with the driveshaft.
If you are driving your car and feel strong vibrations coming from underneath it, then your driveshaft might be in trouble. This is commonly the first sign that people recognize when there is an issue with the driveshaft. The vibrations are probably due to worn-out bushings of the driveshaft. They are what keep the driveshaft from vibrating.
If you don’t get this issue fixed soon, the vibration will only get worse. It will be so bad that everybody in the car will feel it too. The worst is that other components might be affected by it and even damaged.
These vibrations may increase with speed and that can only mean that your tires need to be balanced. This has to be done regularly. Check your car’s owner’s manual for recommendations.
#2 Clunking Noise
When you push down on the accelerator pedal, do you hear a clunking noise? How about when you drive in reverse, or just into drive? If there is a clunking noise in any of these scenarios, it can mean your driveshaft has a problem and has to be inspected promptly. This is a common sign of a slip yoke.
#3 Squeaking Noises
If you are driving and hear squeaking noises that come consistently from underneath your car, it is a sign that the driveshaft can be faulty. It could mean that the car is out of balance or other parts can be worn out.
#4 Universal Joint Movement
If the universal joint of the driveshaft rotates too quickly or not at all, then there is an issue with the driveshaft. The cap seals of the bearings could be rusting or the universal joint is not stable. You will have to have the driveshaft replaced in that case because the car cannot be driven in this condition.
#5 Turning Problems
If you try making a turn with your car and the wheels are not turning right away, or they are hesitating, there might be an issue with the driveshaft. The tires will resist and you’ll be able to feel it. This is obviously a serious problem and needs to be looked at immediately. If it gets too difficult for your steering wheel to turn, a mechanic might need to look at your power steering pump.
Can You Drive a Vehicle With a Bad Driveshaft?
It can be possible to drive a vehicle with a bad driveshaft, but not wise to do it for long. If it were to snap you will lose power to that axle. It can also fall and get stuck between the ground and the car, restricting movement. On some all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive cars, disconnecting one axle can stress the transfer case or center differential. This can cause premature wear or the center differential to fail.
If it were to get disconnected on one side while still spinning quickly, there is a high chance that it will damage the underside of your car. If one end is still connected to the car, it will still spin for a moment and then take out everything in its path. This could potentially break cables, fuel lines, brake lines, and also parts of the wiring harness.
Fix Your Bad Driveshaft With Us!
If you recognize any of these signs and you think your driveshaft has issues and needs replacing bring it to us at Sudden Impact Auto. Our team of professionals will be able to diagnose what’s wrong and create a plan to fix it. Contact us now at 702-457-3002.