Your car's drive shaft is tucked away within the chassis, and most drivers aren't even aware of this critical part. The role of a drive shaft is to help your car move by transmitting rotation and torque to wheels that are too far away to get power from the engine. For example, the drive shaft helps power a rear-wheel or four-wheel drive vehicle when the engine is located in the front of the car. Unfortunately, replacing a broken driveshaft can be costly. That is why you need to look for these trouble signs to catch problems early.
Insufficient Turning Radius
You will be familiar with how your car handles on the road after driving it for a while. This includes knowing the vehicle's turn radius, as well as how it handles curves. If you ever start noticing a difference with how your car drives, such as not having as tight of a turning radius, you should be concerned about a potential problem with the car's drive shaft.
This type of problem can easily happen from normal wear and tear over the years, but having it looked at early on can save you from needing a costly drive shaft replacement.
Pops, Rattles, and Sounds
You should never notice the sound that your drive shaft makes, and if it is not silent, it means you have a potential problem with it. Some sounds to listen for include pops when making turns, rattling when driving on the highway, and squealing that is originating from the car's undercarriage.
Keep in mind that a bad drive shaft will only make sounds while accelerating. If it happens while coasting down the road, it can be from the surface you are driving on, your tires, or your wheel bearings.
Lack of Smooth Driving
When your drive shaft has deterioration occurring inside the part, it will make smooth rotations practically impossible while running. It is a problem that can affect how your vehicle runs, which usually causes a vibration when driving.
Vibration is not always due to a bad drive shaft though. The problem could also be from the U-joints, which may involve something as simple as tightening the clamp bolts.
If you pay attention to these potential trouble signs, it should prevent the need to have your drive shaft completely replaced later on. Get your car looked at immediately to avoid being stranded on the side of the road. Contact a company like H & S Tire & Auto Center for more information.