For car owners with minimal mechanical knowledge, understanding the function and construction of the driveshaft can be confusing. That makes it difficult to identify when it's malfunctioning. Driveshafts must be balanced perfectly with precise weight distribution because they rotate at high speeds. In addition, they require a lot of torque to move the wheels. That torque and speed puts a lot of strain on it, making it important that you can recognize signs of wear. Here's a look at what you need to know to identify when your driveshaft could be in need of service.
Because the driveshaft is such a key part of the drivetrain, you'll feel a change in the car as you drive down the road. If the bushings or the u-joint on the driveshaft start to wear, it can cause the shaft to vibrate. That vibration can then transfer into the car body,
You'll often feel the vibration in the floorboards first, and it will be noticeable on both the driver and passenger sides. As the wear worsens, the vibration will become stronger. This will gradually lead to increased wear on the rest of the drivetrain, which can cause further mechanical and handling issues with the car.
If your car starts to give you problems turning, it could be an indication of driveshaft problems. As the driveshaft wears, the wheels will resist when you try to turn a corner. This means that the driveshaft is binding up, causing hesitation and resistance. You may also find that trying to park in tight parking spaces becomes increasingly difficult as the wheels don't want to turn well.
As your car's driveshaft starts to wear, it will begin making unusual sounds. For example, if the problem is with the bearings, bushings, or u-joint, it can cause the shaft to clunk, rattle, or scrape as it turns. That's the result of the friction in the shaft from the worn components. In addition, if the driveshaft becomes loose, it will rattle in the drivetrain. You may hear more sounds when you're turning than when you're driving straight, so be attentive to those noises.
Your car's driveshaft is a vital component for keeping the axle turning. It needs to stay in top condition for the best handling. If you need to have it replaced, consider talking with a local auto repair shop about having a custom driveshaft crafted that will fit your car precisely. This is particularly important if you make any suspension changes. For more information, contact a business such as Jons Shafts and Stuff.