Automobile problems sometimes seem to strike without warning.
The truth is that many issues with vehicles have telltale warnings that can tip off smart car owners early. Though the drive shaft does not often need repairs, if this part fails, it can have major consequences. Luckily, how to know your drive shaft is bad does not boil down to subtle clues—these parts often send very clear signs when there is a problem.
What Is a Drive Shaft
Anyone interested in car maintenance should understand how drive shafts work. They are long connection components that attach to the drivetrain, and these essential pieces transmit the power of the drivetrain to the wheels. They are necessary parts, as they span the distance between the power generating parts of an engine to the moving components.
As the go-between for these key functions, drive shafts are subject to significant and near-constant pressure. Unsurprisingly, shear use is the main factor that causes drive shafts to fail over time.
Signs of a Bad Drive Shaft
How to know your automobile drive shaft is bad comes down to looking out for unusual sounds and behavior. These key pieces in the puzzle give very clear signs when there is a problem with your car. One clue is if your vehicle’s responsiveness begins to decline.
As drive shafts play an integral role in connecting the steering and propelling components, it’s no surprise that drivers experience difficulty controlling or turning their car when the drive shaft begins to fail. Bad drive shafts can also cause clunking, squeaking, clicking, and knocking sounds. Finally, if your car shudders when accelerating, it is very likely that a bad drive shaft is the culprit.
What To Do When Your Drive Shaft Is Bad
Overall, a bad drive shaft is a serious problem that can only get worse. The best course of action is to get your car to a mechanic. With any luck, a connecting component of the drive shaft, such as a U-joint, will just need to be replaced.
Parts closely related to the health of a drive shaft will give the same signals. A drive shaft itself can cost upwards of $300, depending on the mechanic and the vehicle. Avoiding this repair will eventually lead to complete failure of the part, which will render a vehicle undrivable.