A drive shaft is a mechanical rotating tube that transfers torque from a vehicle’s transmission to the differential of a vehicle. Drive shafts transfer a tremendous amount of torque and load with twisting force and high speed vibrations. Drive shafts must remain light weight, strong and vibration free to power your vehicle smoothly.
HOW A DRIVE SHAFT WORKS IN A REAR-WHEEL DRIVE VEHICLE
In rear-wheel drive vehicles you will find one or two long drive shafts that runs the length of the vehicle from the transmission to the rear differential. In this scenario it is the drive shaft that is going to transfer power from the engine, though the transmission, and down the length of the car to the rear differential, to make the back drive wheels turn.
To increase drive shaft flexibility, in most rear-wheel drive vehicles you will find U-joints (also known as universal joints) at both ends of the drive shaft. These U-joints will fail on high mileage vehicles and should be replaced when vibrations are detected at high speeds.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY DRIVE SHAFT NEEDS REPAIR?
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I HAVE MY DRIVE SHAFT AND U JOINTS INSPECTED?
A vehicle’s drive shaft and U joints don’t have a natural shelf life, so the amount of time between drivetrain services and drive shaft services will largely vary depending on the climate and conditions of your driving.
That said, since your vehicle cannot operate without a drive shaft, we highly recommend bringing your vehicle in to a FX Mobile Mechanic Services Complete Auto Care store for a driveshaft shop service at the first signs of unnatural vibration, clunking, or squeaking.
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