Enjoying a New Auto

4 Signs Your Car's Driveshaft Is Going Bad

If your vehicle has either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, it also has a driveshaft. This is part of the vehicle that transmits torque from the engine to the differential — from there, it is sent to your car's wheels.

As such, the driveshaft is a vital part that will be in use whenever you're driving. Yours will have been built to last and may never present problems, but issues can develop over time. Given the importance of this part, it's vital to have such issues addressed as soon as possible.

With that in mind, here are just four common signs your driveshaft requires attention.

1. Difficulty Turning

Difficulty turning is one of the clearest signs that something is wrong with your driveshaft. It's often caused by a failing U-joint, which is an essential part of the driveshaft system. When it starts to fail, your car's wheels won't receive the proper amount of torque, which in turn means making turns will become harder. This doesn't just make for an unpleasant drive — it can also impact your safety since your control over the vehicle will be compromised.

2. Jerky Acceleration

If your driveshaft's U-joint becomes loose or the centre bearing starts to wear out, you're likely to find that acceleration is no longer as smooth. This is especially common when you're accelerating from a standstill or from low speeds. As you accelerate, the vehicle may start to shudder. This issue tends to get worse swiftly as that shuddering places added pressure on parts that are already starting to fail.

3. Excessive Vibration

Shuddering during acceleration isn't the only thing you're likely to feel once your driveshaft starts to go bad. It's also common to feel excessive vibrations coming from beneath the vehicle. This commonly occurs when U-joints, carrier bearings, or couplers begin to wear out, but it can also be a result of a driveshaft that hasn't been properly bolted down. Since vibrations can place added pressure on other key components, it's well worth addressing this problem as soon as possible.

4. Strange Noises

There are many reasons why your vehicle might start making odd noises, including a bad driveshaft. If yours starts to go bad, you may hear rattling, squeaking, clunking, or scraping noises coming from beneath the vehicle. This could be due to anything from U-joints that require lubrication to damaged bushings or joints, and the driveshaft is particularly likely to be to blame if such noises are accompanied by any other of the warning signs listed above.

For more information, contact a company like Edan Cassell Edge Automotive Pty Ltd.