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Can drive shaft make noise?

Action Machine can solve your worst driveshaft problems.

Action Machine does more than simply sell new driveshafts. We offer a wide variety of driveshaft repair options for cars, trucks, agriculture and industrial applications. A vibration, broken u-joint or worn slip yoke doesn’t always mean you need a new driveshaft. We can often times repair your old driveshaft for less than the cost of a new one. Customers from all over the United States send their driveshafts here for service. Our combination of quality parts, expert service and quick turnaround keep customers coming back.

How do I know if I have a driveshaft problem?

Symptoms of a worn or damaged driveshaft most commonly show up in the form of vibrations – shaking felt in the driver’s seat, steering wheel or floorboards. You may also hear clunking noises at start up or shifts which often is caused by worn universal joints. Worn double cardan CVs can make a chirping noise when the driveshaft rotates. Sometimes driveshaft angle problems on lifted or modified vehicles can cause vibration or noise. Many vibrations, shakes and noises can be the sign of a driveshaft issue.

Driveshaft Balancing

Out of balance driveshafts and their annoying vibrations not only make your vehicle uncomfortable to drive, they can cause premature wear to your transmission and rear end. Car, pick up, heavy truck and industrial shafts can all be high speed balanced to eliminate vibration. We start with a careful inspection of all mating parts to ensure the problem is not caused by worn or improperly installed components. Driveshafts are carefully straightened before balancing. A driveshaft running on its true centerline balances with less weight and runs smoother across all RPMs.

Driveshaft Balancing

Action Machine is known nationally as multi-piece driveshaft balancing experts. We can eliminate driveshaft induced vibrations in large driveshaft assemblies in semi trucks, RVs, and box trucks by assembly balancing the complete driveline system all at once. Most shops only balance these large shafts one at a time. Assembly balancing a 2, 3 or 4 piece driveshaft set makes a big difference in eliminating driveshaft noise and vibration.

Shorten or Lengthen Driveshaft

Swapping the rear end or the transmission can cause your driveshaft to no longer fit. No problem with Action Machine! We can shorten or lengthen your steel or aluminum driveshaft. For measurement instructions, check the instructions here:

One piece driveshaft graphic

Two piece driveshaft graphic

CV Head Repair

Photo of H Yoke CV and High Speed CV

We can repair both H-Yoke style constant velocity (CV) driveshafts as well as high speed CV type. H-Yoke style shafts can be a challenge to repair without the proper tools. Save yourself some bruised knuckles and have the pros at Action Machine rebuild and balance your CV driveshaft.

Part Replacement

Yokes U-Joint Carrier Bearing

Fits 1350 Series applications. Non-greasable, outside snap ring u-joint. Same U-joint as the old Spicer part number 5-799X.

We can replace your worn or broken yokes! Do you have a clunking sound when acceleration or decelerating? You may have a worn out slip or weld yoke. Worn ujoints can eat into yoke ears causing a major driveshaft failure.

To check for worn yokes, grab the driveshaft close to each yoke and move the driveshaft in all directions. If you feel excessive play, you may need a new yoke.

Bring in your driveshaft for a free quote or give us a call.

Slip Yoke Replacement

We replace u-joints! If you notice a vibration or clunking from under your vehicle it could be time to change your u-joints. Waiting too long to change a worn u-joint can lead to a major driveshaft failure which can be very dangerous and costly.

To check for worn u-joints, grab the driveshaft near the u-joint you want to inspect and use some force to move the driveshaft up/down and side to side. If you see or feel any movement in the u-joint then you should have the u-joint changed. Sometimes u-joint wear is more subtle and can’t be seen until the caps are removed. In the photo below you can see an extreme example of brinelling which is when the bearing needles wear grooves into the u-joint trunnion. These grooves cause vibrations.

Most u-joints can changed in our shop while you wait or UPS your shaft to us for service.

U-Joint Replacement

We replace carrier bearings! Does your driveline shudder, howl or squeal when accelerating from a stop? Bearings wear and the rubber dries and cracks — all leading to carrier bearing failure. Replace worn carrier bearings before they fail to avoid costly repairs.

To check for a worn carrier bearing, grab the driveshaft near the bearing and push it in various directions — you should feel limited movement in all directions. If you can remove the driveshaft to inspect the bearing, it should spin smoothly and freely. If the bearing feels dry or the center bearing balls can wiggle when moved, it is time for service.

Most carrier bearings can be replaced in our shop while you wait or send your shaft to us via UPS for quick turnaround.

Carrier bearing replacement

Ready to Get Started?

We want to help! Send us your driveshaft. The Action Machine driveshaft pros will work one on one with you to provide a quote for the required repairs before work begins. Sure, you will have some costs to ship the driveshaft to us. But you can be assured that repairs and modifications done at Action Machine will be completed correctly the first time using only the highest quality parts – ensuring a smooth ride for miles to come.

If you have any questions we are here to help:
CONTACT US | CHAT | (574) 287-9650

Driveshafts should be sent along with job instructions and your contact information to:

Action Machine Inc
1847 Prairie Ave
South Bend, IN 46613

The Common Signs of Driveshaft Problems

Driveshaft UK

A driveshaft, also known as a propeller shaft, is a mechanical component used to transmit power and torque from the engine or transmission to the wheels of a vehicle. It is typically a long, cylindrical shaft made of metal that connects the transmission output shaft to the differential input shaft.

In rear-wheel drive vehicles, the driveshaft connects the transmission to the rear axle, which turns the rear wheels. In four-wheel drive vehicles, there are two driveshafts – one that connects the transmission to the transfer case, and another that connects the transfer case to the front axle.

The driveshaft rotates at high speeds and is designed to withstand the forces and stresses generated by the engine and the motion of the vehicle. It typically has a universal joint at each end, which allows it to bend and flex as the vehicle moves over uneven terrain.

The Common Signs of Driveshaft Problems

There are several signs of drive shaft problems, on front-wheel drive vehicles, one is vibration whilst driving in a straight line, normally it starts with a slight vibration at 20, 30, 40, 50 or even 60mph. You can usually drive through it, but it will reappear when you get back to that speed, if still under load. You may notice that it happens when the vehicle is under load, maybe you’re going uphill, applying power or towing a trailer or caravan, if you depress the clutch and the vibration disappears, that’s a good sign of a worn drive shaft. Over time the vibration will get worse and worse and you could lose drive so we recommend that you get them inspected or replaced as soon as possible. If you are unsure which side is causing the vibration, you could try holding the drive shaft bar next to the inner cv boot, lift it, twist it and pull it, then immediately do the same on the other side. You will normally feel more play in one or the other and it’s a good bet that the one with the most play will be the worn one. Unless it’s both, the other option is to take it to a drive shaft specialist and ask them to inspect it for you.

The CV Joint

Another indication that they are worn, is if you have a clicking or knocking when turning corners, then it’s normally the outer cv joint, you will find mostly that it’s the opposite side that is worn, for instance, turn right and it clicks, then the left-hand outer cv is worn, turn left and it clicks suspect, then the right-hand outer cv joint is worn. Always inspect the gaiters (boots) on the inner and outer cv joints, a high proportion of drive shaft failures are because of ripped or leaking boots, always secure the boots with good quality metal ties (don’t use plastic ties). Also there are a lot of thermoplastic (hard plastic) boots on the market even a lot of main dealers supply them, we suggest you don’t use them unless you have no option, they are strong but they are impossible to get a good seal with them, so you should use neoprene (rubber) boots. Make sure that you always clean out the old grease and refill with a good quality cv grease such as molybdenum or lithium.

A Snapped Drive Shaft Bar

On some drive shafts (Honda, Nissan and some others) the drive shaft bar can snap in two, this is due to the rubber damper in the middle of the shaft holding water. For the course of 10 years or so rust will eat into the bar and weaken it. These anti-vibration dampers are a nuisance and are unnecessary, in fact we always remove them and have never had any ill effects, the lifespan of a drive shaft varies greatly depending on the make, the power and the way it’s driven but normally they last for at least 30,000 miles up to 95,000 miles (however we have seen drive shafts that have done more than 200,000 miles). If you get a squeaking drive shaft it’s normally a universal joint on the prop shaft that is tight in one place, you can also get vibration that comes from your prop shaft in rear-wheel drive and 4×4 vehicles, this is normally a universal joint or centre bearing that’s worn.

Types of Driveshaft Problems

Driveshaft problems can cause various symptoms, such as vibration, noise, and loss of power. Here are some common driveshaft problems:

Bent or damaged driveshaft: A bent or damaged driveshaft can cause vibration and noise, especially at high speeds.

Worn universal joints: The universal joints at each end of the driveshaft can wear out over time, causing a clunking noise when accelerating or shifting gears.

Imbalanced driveshaft: An imbalanced driveshaft can cause vibration and noise, especially at high speeds. This can be caused by missing balancing weights or damage to the driveshaft.

Loose or worn centre bearing: The centre bearing supports the driveshaft in the middle of the vehicle. If it becomes loose or worn, it can cause vibration and noise.

Damaged CV joint: In a front-wheel drive vehicle, the driveshaft is also known as a half-shaft and includes a constant velocity (CV) joint. If the CV joint becomes damaged, it can cause clicking or popping noises when turning.

Transmission or differential problems: Driveshaft problems can also be caused by issues with the transmission or differential, such as worn bearings or gears.

If you suspect that your vehicle has a driveshaft problem, it is important to have it inspected by a qualified mechanic to avoid potential safety hazards or further damage to your vehicle.

Do You Need a New or Reconditioned Driveshaft?

You can consider Driveshaft UK a one-stop-shop for all your drive shaft parts. We offer universal joints, centre bearings, yokes and much more. Established in 1993, we have years of experience behind us so we can provide you with professional advice if needed. Our range is available for same-day dispatch.

We offer a wide range of services to meet every type of need. If your drive shaft or CV joint needs to be replaced, we can help. We can detect the problem and develop specific drive line solutions quickly.

If you are facing issues with your prop shafts, we have the expertise and the precision equipment to balance prop shafts to maximise their efficiency, get in touch today.

Everything You Need to Know About Driveshaft Noise When Accelerating

Driveshaft Noise When Accelerating

The drive shaft in your car is what transmits torque from the engine to the wheels. If you have a rear wheel drive vehicle it’s going to connect the rear transmission to the drive shaft. The output shaft from the transmission rotates and causes the drive shaft to spin and that in turn makes the wheels rotate thanks to something called the differential ring gear turning. It gets a little complicated, but the basic point here is that the drive shaft is what allows the motion created by the engine to turn into the motion in your wheels which propels your vehicle forward. If something goes wrong with your drive shaft, then your car is not going to be getting very far at all. And if you’re noticing noise from your drive shaft when you’re accelerating, that could indicate a problem that you’re going to need to have addressed sooner rather than later.

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE

It’s worth remembering that if you have a front-wheel drive vehicle, you don’t have to worry about the drive shaft . A front-wheel drive vehicle gets its torque transmitted to the front wheels from the half shaft. The drive shaft is just what is used to transmit the torque in a rear wheel drive vehicle.

The drive shaft has to rotate at an incredibly high speed and the torque has to be extremely precise. Everything that gets thrown off in the way your drive shaft works is going to have a profound impact on your vehicle’s performance overall. Also, it can cause some extensive damage to your drive shaft if it’s not working the way it’s supposed to. Let’s take a look at some of the most common problems that can occur with your drive shaft and what could make it start producing noises when you’re accelerating.

What Exactly is a Drive Shaft?

Also known as the propeller shaft, the drive shaft is basically just a long rod that connects the output shaft of your transmission to the rear differential in your rear wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle. Without the drive shaft your engine will not be able to transmit the motion that it creates as the pistons rise and fall of the cylinders to the wheels which would allow them to turn. It is the drive shaft that connects these two parts together allowing your entire vehicle to move.

What Does a Bad Drive Shaft Sound Like?

There are a number of components that need to work precisely in time with each other in order for your drive shaft to work properly. When they begin to fail, especially the bushings or bearings that support the driveshaft, as well as the U-joint in the drive shaft, you may end up hearing a handful of different sounds.

Generally speaking, a bad drive shaft is going to create a kind of rattling or clunking sound. You may also hear sounds that are like a high-pitched squeaking or a scraping noise of metal on metal. All of this will originate from underneath your car, rather than in the engine compartment. If you’re hearing a squeaking even at low speed that picks up pace as you accelerate then that’s probably your U-joints which requires some lubrication. If it’s more of a knocking sound that is probably a problem with your CV joint.

U-joint Noises : If the problem is with the U-joints in your vehicle, also known as universal joints, it can be a result of them being worn down. This leads to rattling and scraping sounds when you are driving.

Bad Bearings : Inside your drive shaft are some rubber bearings that can wear out over time. When these go bad not only will you experience vibrations, but you’re going to be hearing some noticeable grinding sounds when these fail on you.

Loose Drive Shaft: if your U-joints have failed then that is going to cause your drive shaft to come loose as well. The noise created by this may become more excessive when you’re actually braking or turning rather than just accelerating. It’s possible that if this is allowed to go on long enough the drive shaft completely falls out from your vehicle and the sound you hear will be the drive shaft literally scraping on the road under your car.

Typically, a drive shaft that is no longer balanced, or if part of it is wearing out, is going to make a noticeable and persistent squeaking sound.

Tube Failure : There’s a tube in the centre of your drive shaft that spins along with it. However, if you overtax your drive shaft you can cause that tube to break which will create clunking noises while you’re driving. This is usually the result of trying to tow more than your vehicle is able to pull.

Bad Slip Yoke: If you’ve never heard of a slip yoke before, it is a part of your drive shaft. It is what is known as a splined shaft that is connected to your drive shaft by the universal joint. It transfers power from the transfer case to the driveshaft and slides in and out of the transfer case. This in and out motion allows it to change length in response to your vehicle’s movements along the road. If you have a bad slip yoke in your drive shaft, it can produce clunking noises in your vehicle.

Other Signs of a Bad Drive Shaft

Aside from the potential noise you may be hearing when you’re accelerating there are a handful of other potential side effects of a bad drive shaft as well.

Vibrations: If you’re noticing some intense and unusual vibrations coming from underneath your vehicle it’s possible that the drive shaft is the source of the problem. If the U-joint that is part of the drive shaft begins to wear out, or the bushings that are in it fail, the driveshaft will begin to vibrate noticeably in a way that you can feel through the bottom of your vehicle. Your drive shaft is meant to be very well-balanced which completely eliminates any potential vibrations when it’s operating properly. When you start noticing this vibration it means that your drive shaft has now gone out of balance and the situation will likely get worse until such time as you are able to get it repaired. If it’s not repaired soon enough it could potentially damage the drivetrain of your vehicle so badly that it would render it undrivable.

Problems Turning : Because the drive shaft is responsible for converting the movement created by your engine to movement in the wheels of your vehicle, when your drive shaft isn’t working the way it’s supposed to it can prevent your wheels from doing what you want them to do when you turn the steering wheel. This is most prevalent when you try to turn left or right in your car. You will have limited control over how your wheels move and it can be very difficult to get your wheels to actually fully turn in one direction or the other. As you can imagine this is a very serious problem that you’re going to need to have addressed as soon as you possibly can. If you are unable to turn your vehicle because the drive shaft is not responsive, you are at a high risk of having an accident.

Can I Drive with a Bad Drive Shaft?

It’s definitely possible that you can keep driving with a bad drive shaft. If it has slipped out of balance, then it is these annoying sounds and vibrations that will first alert you to the problem, but your vehicle will not stop running as a result. However, just because it will continue to drive doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good idea to ignore this problem.

If your drive shaft has come loose or slipped out of balance, then you’re going to want to get it looked at as soon as you possibly can. The longer you allow this problem to continue the more likely you are to suffer greater problems with your drivetrain. You could potentially damage the U-joints, t he axles and wheels themselves, not to mention your transmission as well. And, as we said earlier, a loose drive shaft could even possibly slip right out and hit the road under your vehicle. That could be not just an expensive repair bill, but a serious accident waiting to happen.

If your drive shaft were to break while you’re driving, then the axle would stop turning and you would no longer have control over those Wheels. When it slips out, if it were to hit the road it could create a wedge that locks up your back tires and leaves you unable to control your vehicle. If that were to happen while you’re driving down the highway with other cars it could be catastrophic.

You’re also potentially causing damage to the transfer case or your differential as well if you continue to drive with a bad drive shaft. In the most serious circumstances if your drive shaft were to come loose while you are driving your vehicle it will continue to spin and potentially tear apart anything under your vehicle that comes in contact with it. You could end up causing damage to your brake lines and fuel line as well.

What Does it Cost to Replace a Drive Shaft?

Depending on the nature of the problem and whether or not you have a front-wheel drive or rear wheel drive vehicle will definitely have an effect on the price of this repair. If it is the half shaft you need to replace in a front-wheel drive vehicle it could potentially cost anywhere from $450 to $1,000 to get this replaced. However, if it is your drive shaft at the rear of your vehicle you may end up spending anywhere from $500 to $2,000 to get the driveshaft repaired. Obviously, this is quite a big range and the make, model, and year of your vehicle plays a heavy part in determining just how much it’s going to cost to get the drive shaft of your vehicle repaired.

If you have a rear drive vehicle you can probably expect to pay around that $2,000 mark. However, for the average car on the road, you’re looking at somewhere between $400 and $600 to get this problem fixed for you. Something like a Ford Focus or a Nissan Altima is going to cost you around $500 for this job to get done. On the other hand, if you’re driving a Honda CR-V or a Honda Civic it might end up costing you well over $1,000. Obviously, this also depends on where you live and the mechanic you take it to since you can get a pretty large variance in prices even within the same city from one mechanic to another.

The Bottom Line

The driveshaft in your car is one of the least understood and least recognized parts of the entire vehicle. Most of us as drivers on the road have never thought about the drive shaft or what it does, and we certainly don’t worry about any kind of maintenance or repair work to it because it’s not typically something that falls apart. Responsible drivers know that they need to change their oil, get a fuel filter replacement, rotate their tires and that sort of thing. However, you expect that a drive shaft is going to last the lifetime of your vehicle and if something does go wrong with it we typically aren’t even aware that it’s the source of the problem because it’s such an unusual thing.

Knowing the symptoms of a bad drive shaft are important to helping you diagnose exactly what’s happening in your vehicle which in turn lets you know what you need to do about fixing it. The sounds your driveshaft makes when it’s failing can help you better understand what’s going on which means you can save time and some worries when it comes to wondering what went wrong in your car and what you’re going to need to do to fix it. When you start noticing the sounds of a bad drive shaft, make sure you get into a mechanic as soon as you can to get the problem fixed before a bad situation becomes much, much worse.

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