Tips & Advice
Can a bad drive shaft cause vibration?
A bad drive shaft can cause vibration, and this will often worsen as the vehicle gains speed. A damaged drive shaft can also cause a car to squeak, caused by a worn-out U-joint. If there's a problem with your drive shaft, you might also experience resistance from the tires when making sharp turns.
A U-joint, also known as a universal joint, is a component of the drive shaft that allows the car's rear axle to move and be flexible without bending or breaking the shaft. In most cases, U-joints are permanently sealed in modern cars, which means they can't be lubricated. In older cars, it's possible to dismantle and lubricate U-joints.
Can a drive shaft be repaired?
It is possible to repair a faulty drive shaft by replacing damaged or worn-out components, like the U-joints. A damaged drive shaft can create wear and damage in other areas of your car if it is left unresolved, and the damage typically worsens with time. Repairing the drive shaft can help your car drive more smoothly, and it will often eliminate any odd or unusual noises that the car has been making.
How much does it cost to replace a drive shaft?
In total, it can cost anywhere from $200- $1,200 or more to replace a drive shaft. Unless you plan to replace the drive shaft yourself, count on paying for parts plus labor costs. The drive shaft itself ranges from $100-$1,200 or more. Labor charges can cost $100-$130 per hour, and the task typically takes between one and two hours to complete.
How do you measure the length of a drive shaft?
To measure the length of a drive shaft, start by placing the vehicle securely on a lift. Then you can take a measurement, but keep in mind that the process varies based on the type of drive shaft your vehicle uses. If it has flanges mounted on the transmission and differential, use a tape measure to calculate the distance between the two flanges. If the vehicle has a drive shaft that slides onto the front of the transmission and bolts at the rear, use a tape measure to gauge the distance between the centerline of the rear U-joint and the end of the transmission shaft.
A drive shaft is part of a car's drivetrain used to deliver torque and rotation. Drive shafts send power from a car's transmission to its wheels. Automakers use different types of drive shafts in the vehicle manufacturing process, and the range includes one-piece drive shafts, two-piece drive shafts, and slip-in-tube drive shafts.