Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Front Output Shaft Bearing

front output shaft bearing

Bad or Failing Front Output Shaft Bearing Inspection

by a top-rated mechanic at your home or office

A front output shaft bearing is a component that is commonly found on vehicles equipped with transfer cases, such as all wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles. The front output shaft bearing is the heavy duty bearing installed in the vehicle’s transfer case that supports and secures the front output shaft into place. The bearing keeps the shaft from wobbling as it rotates, and thus allows it to spin smoothly so that power can be transferred efficiently. While most output shaft bearings will usually last the life of the vehicle, they can sometimes be prone to issues that can cause issues with the operation of the vehicle. Usually a bad or failing front output shaft bearing will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver of a potential issue.

HAVE SYMPTOMS OF CAR TROUBLE?
Get an $80 diagnostic
by a top-rated mechanic at your home or office.

Get a quote · Book an Appointment · Our expert mechanics come to you.

1. Noisy drivetrain

One of the first symptoms of an issue with the vehicle’s front output shaft bearing is a noisy drivetrain. If the bearing becomes excessively worn or dries up, it can cause the drivetrain to make abnormal sounds when the four-wheel drive system is engaged. A worn or dried out bearing may produce howling or whining noises, and in more serious cases, even grinding noises. The sounds may change in volume or pitch according to the speed of the vehicle.

2. Excessive vibration from the drivetrain

Another common symptom of a possible problem with the vehicle’s output shaft bearing is excessive vibration from the drivetrain. A worn output shaft bearing can cause the output shaft to rotate unevenly and cause the drivetrain to produce excessive vibrations. The vehicle may experience excessive vibration when accelerating or cruising at a constant speed. The vibrations are also usually accompanied or preceded by noises as well.

HAVE SYMPTOMS OF CAR TROUBLE?
Get your car fixed at your home or office.

Get a quote · Book an Appointment · Our expert mechanics come to you.

3. Oil leaking from transfer case

Another symptom of a potential issue with the front output shaft bearing is oil leaking from the transfer case. Aside from supporting and securing the transfer cases front output shaft, the output shaft bearing also seals gear oil within the transfer case. If the output shaft bearing becomes damaged, it can cause gear oil to leak from the transmission. An oil leak from the transfer case will put the unit at risk of running low and suffering damage due to lack of lubrication.

While servicing the front output shaft bearing is not considered routine maintenance, it is a very important component to the proper operation of the transfer case. When it fails, this can cause issues with the vehicle’s drivetrain. If you suspect that your vehicle may be having an issue with the front transfer case bearing, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to determine if the the car will need a front output shaft bearing replacement.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Still not sure about your car's issue?
Diagnose your car
What kind of issue are you experiencing?
Brakes are squeaking
Car is not starting
Car is overheating
Car is shaking (vibrating)
Fluids are leaking
Heating and A/C
Smoke or steam is coming out of the car
Warning light is on
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P0121 OBD-II Trouble Code: TPS "A" Circuit Range Performance Problem
P0121 code definition Throttle Pedal Position Sensor/Switch (TPS) A Circuit Range Performance Problem What the P0121 code means P0121 is a generic OBD-II code which indicates that the Engine Control...
P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222 code means The manufacturer specifies a range of acceptable voltage to be produced from the throttle position...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...


Related questions

Q: Grating/Scraping noise when turning wheel sharp while in reverse

Hey there, thank you for asking about your 2012 Toyota Corolla. This is often times a common issue on cars with what are called "constant velocity" joints (CV joints) when they are not lubricated enough or have dirt and debris...

Q: Grinding and vibration from front tire.

Yes, without hearing the noises or being able to inspect the vehicle it is hard to determine with any accuracy what the items could be. You can have a certified mechanic, like one from YourMechanic, and schedule for someone to...

Q: Hatchback has vibrations with no ECU errors

Hello. Most of the time it is caused by an out of balance tire. I would start by having the tires balanced. If that does not solve it then it may be a bad engine mount or a failing axle...