7 common problems with the car’s driveshaft

Jul 10, 2019 | Same topic: Handy Maintenance Tips
When there’s a problem with the car’s driveshaft or propeller shaft, here are the signs to look out for.

At first mention, you need a second take and ask what is the car’s driveshaft? Where’s the driveshaft? The good news is that it can last long when a car is driven properly.

The bad news is when all the common problems with the car’s drive shaft or propeller shaft are not fixed, you’ll be shelling out more from wallet or credit card. All because some of the problems with them were taken for granted.

Why is the car’s driveshaft very important for you to bother about? This what transfers the power from the differential to rotate the tires of any car. Whether a car is a front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive with a drive shaft that drives the front or rear wheels.

The same goes for four-wheel drive (4WD), all-wheel drive (AWD), or two-wheel-drive (2WD) with a driveshaft that’s connected to the gearbox. All these drivetrains rely on it to transfer power and traction to all a specific front or back wheelsets!

More than one component makes up the car’s driveshaft to produce forward or reverse motion. It when there is something wrong that indicates a problem with the car’s driveshaft.

A worst case scenario is when the car won’t move because the driveshaft has stopped moving! If you detect any problems with the car moving, then look out for these problems.

One thing to note is that when more than the car’s driveshaft or propeller shaft makes noise and it doesn’t move. Stop and have it towed or the parts will sustain worse damage!

1. The U-Joints have sustained damage

Noises from under the car may not be the car’s driveshaft or propeller shaft, with closer examination. If indeed the U-joint or universal joint is the problem then it will be serious. This joint allows the driveshaft to move the car forward or backward. Engage the parking brake and shift to neutral when parked!

car u-joints

If indeed the U-joint or universal joint is the problem then it will be serious

The car might need raising to allow access to the universal joint. Rock the joint to see if it is flexible without any excess movement. This is a bad sign that may be a driveshaft that’s unbalanced.

Look for rust that might be on the bearing cap seals that covers the U-joint. This might be either a minor or major driveshaft problem to fix as soon as possible.

2. The driveshaft is worn down

As long the driveshaft or propeller shaft is in good condition to transfer power from the differential. Most problems that are associated with the driveshaft start small and should be attended to. Normally there wouldn’t be any sluggishness with problems moving forward or backward.

driveshaft is worn down

There are toothed sections that need replacement with normal wear and tear

There are toothed sections that need replacement with normal wear and tear. Grooved sections should have unworn teeth to move smoothly without a problem. This part will cost labor, and the part can be expensive too!

3. A high pitch squeaking noise is heard

When driving whether stationary or moving there shouldn't be any squeak from it or problems moving forward or back. A remedy could be lubing up parts of the propeller shaft and its components.

Remove the boots and see if the parts inside are in need of lubrication to keep it running longer. Keeping all the moving parts well-lubed is crucial to reduce wear and tear.

squeaking noise

When driving whether stationary or moving there shouldn't be any squeak from it or problems moving forward or back

>>> Also check: Dealing with Faulty Fan Belts and Their Squeaking Sound.

4.  A clicking and knocking racket is heard

If you hear a variety of noises, from the driveshaft some problems will be the culprit, not just the Universal Joint! More probable parts are making all that noise which can be very disconcerting. The usual suspects will range from a bad CV joint and all the moving surfaces.

man is listening to car noise

If you hear a variety of noises, from the driveshaft some problems will be the culprit

Other important components that need the rubber covering or replacement because it is worn out. Raise the car up and check all the rubber boots with the coverings to see what should be done. Whenever a noise is heard stop and check to see if the sound is continuous.

5. When acceleration occurs the car shakes without warning

If a car accelerates and with vibration and shaking this is really bad for the owner of the car. Driving it any further will damage either the gearbox or the driveshaft.

It points to the loose Universal Joint or the center bearings plastic boot is torn, with the center bearing that might need replacement. Lubing it may work, but replacing the center bearing is better.

car shaking

If a car accelerates and with vibration and shaking this is really bad for the owner of the car

>>> Worth reading: 6 common reasons for your shaking car.

6. Loud clunks are emanating from the car

Did you hear a loud clunk from the driveshaft or felt something else. Better go and have it checked because the universal joint is damaged which can compromise the gearbox.

Better pullover all call a truck-bed type tow rig to prevent more damage to the car. Loud clunks are serious and are worse than softer noises. Dealing with it will be better than with compounded damage later.

woman is looking into the car engine

Did you hear a loud clunk from the driveshaft or felt something else

7. Hard time turning the driveshaft

When turning is a problem with forwarding or reverse movement equally hard that is a threat to safe driving. You’ve got to find a repair shop or stop at a safe place to pull over. Get a mechanic to fix it if possible or tow it to the garage.

If you drive a car and it doesn’t start despite everything done to it. There’s a good possibility that it might be the car’s drive shaft or propeller shaft. Quite a number of common problems with the car’s drive shaft or propeller shaft will be noticed.

failing driveshaft

When turning is a problem with forwarding or reverse movement equally hard that is a threat to safe driving

>>> Read more: Increase fuel-efficiency by not turning left.

Having everything done because you’ve detected these problems is the best counter-measure to avoid getting conked out in the middle of nowhere! the car’s drive shaft or propeller shaft is meant to last long unless you abuse it until it breaks.

Having it repaired would cost an arm and leg, including costs at the machine shop.

One of the hardest parts to repair and quite expensive because it’s a complex repair job to do! Recognizing the issues with the car’s drive shaft or propeller shaft is the first step to repair.

Author

Norjan Ismail Abbas

Norjan enjoys writing about various topics, and car is among them. Don't ever ask him which his most favorite car is since he has none. He believes each car is beautiful in its own way.