What is the driveshaft?

driveshaft repair

A driveshaft is a long, cylinder-shaped shaft that is used for transmitting torque and rotational energy in modern vehicles. It is located underneath the vehicle.

The driveshaft creates a connection between the transmission and wheels, allowing the transmission’s energy to rotate the wheels. This causes the vehicle to move forward.

Learn more about driveshafts >


Driveshaft configurations:

The way your driveshaft works depends on the type of vehicle you drive. There are different configurations for rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, and four-wheel drive vehicles. 

Rear-wheel drive – In a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the transmission connects to the driveshaft, which stretches to the back of the vehicle and connects to the vehicle differential which transmit rotating energy to the wheels. The driveshaft is connected with universal-joints (U joints) at the front and rear if the drive shaft.

Four-wheel drive – Four-wheel drive vehicles use two driveshafts; one similar to the driveshaft on rear-wheel drive vehicles and the other located towards the front. This connection also uses universal joints (U-joints).

Front-wheel drive – In front wheel drive vehicles, the driveshaft is located at the front of the vehicle and connected to Constant Velocity (CV) joints rather than universal joints (U-joints).


Causes of driveshaft problems:

The driveshaft is carefully balanced to rotate correctly. This means that damage to a bushing or universal / CV joint can greatly affect the rotation of the driveshaft. 

There are several things that can go wrong with your driveshaft system. Common problems include:

  • Damaged/worn universal joint (U-joint) (in RWD and 4WD vehicles)
  • Damaged CV joint (in FWD vehicles)
  • Worn driveshaft bushing

In an irregularly rotating driveshaft, the driveability of the vehicle will be affected. The driveshaft may also cause damage to other drivetrain components.

Sometimes, the CV joint can produce similar symptoms to a damaged driveshaft.


What are the symptoms of a bad/failing driveshaft?

If a problem occurs in the driveshaft, there will usually be some fairly obvious symptoms. These include:

Difficulty turning – On a front wheel drive vehicle a damaged driveshaft can prevent the wheels from properly turning, reducing the control you have over your vehicle. 

Vibrations while driving – You may notice vibrations coming from under your vehicle. This is often associated with worn driveshaft bushings or joints. A vibrating driveshaft can cause further damage to other components over time and should be serviced by a mechanic as soon as possible.

Noises from under your vehicle – The vibrations mentioned above will often be accompanied by grinding, clicking or rattling noises. These noises are produced when the driveshaft is unable to rotate correctly.


How important is a driveshaft inspection?

A damaged driveshaft will result in your vehicle becoming difficult to drive. This can affect your safety, especially if you are unable to turn correctly. The driveshaft can also cause damage to surrounding components, resulting in a more expensive repair. 

For these, reasons, we suggest that you have the driveshaft inspected as soon as you can.


Driveshaft Diagnostics and Replacement in Hamilton

Are you in need of a drive shaft replacement? If so, we are happy to help!

At Grimmer Motors, we can quickly diagnose and fix driveshaft-related problems. This includes replacing CV joints and universal joints. For more advanced driveshaft replacements, we can quickly organise a replacement service for you. This will allow your vehicle to run smoothly and safely without vibrations and difficulty turning. 

For a driveshaft service that you can count on, contact Grimmer Motors today!

Please Note – we don’t generally stock or supply just “parts only” for this service. We are a general automotive repair workshop. If you are able to bring your vehicle to us, we can diagnose the problem, find and fit the necessary parts, or organise the appropriate service for you.


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