Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Driveshaft

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A driveshaft is a cylindrical shaft that transmits torque from the engine to the wheels. They are most commonly found on rear-wheel drive vehicles and connect the rear of the transmission to the driveshaft. As the output shaft of the transmission rotates it spins the driveshaft, which then turns the differential ring gear to rotate the wheels.

Driveshafts are a very precisely balanced and weighted component because they rotate at very high speeds and torque values in order to turn the wheels. When the driveshaft has any sort of issue, it can affect the drivability of the vehicle. Usually, a problem with the driveshaft will produce 4 symptoms that alert the driver of an issue that should be addressed.

1. Intense Vibrations from Underneath the Vehicle

One of the first symptoms of a problem with the driveshaft is vibrations coming from underneath the vehicle. If the driveshaft universal joint (U-joint) or bushings wear out, it can cause excessive driveshaft vibration.

Driveshafts are finely balanced before installation to ensure they do not vibrate. Any sort of vibration indicates an issue. An excessively vibrating driveshaft will not only cause vibrations that can be felt by the passengers, but it can also cause accelerated wear on other drivetrain components.

2. Abnormal Noises

Abnormal noises are another symptom of a problem with the driveshaft. If the bushing or bearing that supports the driveshaft or the driveshaft U-joints wear out or fail, they can interfere with the driveshaft’s ability to rotate correctly. This may result in unusual rattling, clunking, scraping, or even squeaking sounds from underneath the vehicle. U-joint in need of lubrication may also cause a squeaking noise at low speeds. Clicking or knocking sounds specifically can signify a faulty CV joint. Any noises such as these are an indicator that the vehicle should be serviced as soon as possible.

2. Turning Problems

Problems with turning the vehicle is another likely sign of a bad driveshaft. A broken driveshaft can prevent wheels from turning properly, giving you trouble when trying to make turns. This issue limits your overall control of the car. You need any issues that prevent you from driving the car correctly addressed right away for safe driving and continued use of the vehicle.

4. Shuddering During Acceleration

Experiencing a significant shudder when accelerating from low speed or a stopped position, it can be another sign of failing driveshaft components. A loose U-joint or bad center bearing within the driveshaft may cause the faltering acceleration. You may also hear sounds while the car is shuddering from the worn-out U-joint. You’ll want to have such issues checked out as soon as possible by a certified mechanic.

Driveshafts are an important part of the drivetrain, and any issues with them can greatly affect the drivability of the vehicle. As they are underneath the vehicle and connected to the transmission, they may be difficult to access and service on your own. If you suspect your driveshaft is having an issue, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician to determine whether the driveshaft should be replaced.


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Rigoberto

9 years of experience
706 reviews
Rigoberto
9 years of experience
Chevrolet Equinox - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Niles, Illinois
Rigo was great! He got there early, finished the job early, left everything clean. He changed my rear pads and rotors. The original quoted time was 90 minutes, he was done in about 60. He knows what he is doing and I am recommending him to all my friends and coworkers.
Mercedes-Benz C250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Chicago, Illinois
Rigo is a maverick hands down. Don’t take your car for work elsewhere. Especially great at Mercedes—this guy knows his profession! I will be using him for everything related to my car going forward.

Arturo

25 years of experience
35 reviews
Arturo
25 years of experience
Kia Forte - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Diego, California
ARTURO is great! very professional , fast, replaced my front brake pads and oil an filter change. everything now works and works well. Brakes have much improved stopping power and engine is smooth and quiet.Arturo is also kind and thoughtful. "Your mechanic" is very fortunate to have Arturo Lopez represent your company. I enthusiastically recommend him and "Your mechanic> as a fine operation Best regards to the Team Peter Marto
Nissan Maxima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Diego, California
Arturo was prompt and completed my brake repair, including new rotors in a very efficient manner. I am very pleased with the quality of the work and the parts and will definitely look to have him service our other car in the near future.

Scott

32 years of experience
345 reviews
Scott
32 years of experience
Lexus IS250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Always on time, speedy, professional, and pleasant to interact with. The work is always consistent and we'll done. I can't reccomend Scott highly enough!

Michael

10 years of experience
15 reviews
Michael
10 years of experience
Nissan Sentra - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Conyers, Georgia
He was promptly on time and got the job done efficiently in a timely manner. I really appreciate the rapid respone on getting the job done! I would most definitely use this service again.

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