Most motorists are familiar with auto parts such as their steering wheel, engine, exhaust, and so on, as these components and systems are easily visible to them. However, if you are not an avid car enthusiast and simply chose your current vehicle solely for esthetics, you may be unfamiliar with the driveshaft. Located between the wheel drive and the differential, this metal bar is designed to transmit power from the differential to the wheels of the vehicle.
It is also important to note that while standard front and rear wheel cars are outfitted with a singular driveshaft, their four-wheel-drive counterparts will have a driveshaft for each axle. Despite the durable build of the driveshaft, these tubular bars are not invulnerable to damage. Therefore, to make sure that your car does not break down unexpectedly, you must know how to spot the signs of driveshaft damage so that you can seek repairs in time. So what should you look for that would signal imminent driveshaft repair?
Your car is jerky when you drive
When the driveshaft is in operation, it is designed to revolve at high speeds. This motion absorbs movements during the transfer of power from the transmission to the differential and finally to the wheels. To make sure that the driveshaft does not emit vibrations when in operation that would interfere with the function of the auto parts that make up the drive train, original equipment manufacturers will meticulously balance the driveshaft when mounting it onto the car.
With that in mind, any sudden vibrations and jerky movements that crop up when you are accelerating your vehicle should warn you that the driveshaft requires the attention of a mechanic. Also referred to as a propeller shaft, this tube-like component can become imbalanced due to an array of reasons ranging from a defective universal joint to degraded bushings.
Your car is becoming increasingly challenging to drive
When the driveshaft is in optimum condition, driving your car should feel effortless. Considering that this auto part is constantly supplying the wheels the torque that they require, you should not be expecting any resistance when you are behind the wheel. Therefore, the moment you start to have trouble propelling your vehicle forward, you should be concerned about a faulty driveshaft. This issue typically crops up in heavier vehicles such as trucks, as they need more torque than standard saloon cars would require. You may also notice that the resistance you experience when accelerating your vehicle is accompanied by resistance when navigating corners, which is a sure-fire sign of the need for driveshaft system repair.