Symptoms Of Bad Driveshaft & Replacement Cost


The driveshaft helps transmit power from the vehicle’s engine to the drive wheels through the transmission. But sometimes some kind of fault occurs in the driveshaft. Due to this, the driving condition of the vehicle may be affected, and your vehicle may vibrate while moving or may stop on the road due to excessive damage. You can initially feel a variety of signs and symptoms of a worn or damaged driveshaft.

By spotting these symptoms in time, you can repair or replace your vehicle’s driveshaft. Driving your vehicle can be safe.

Why Does The Driveshaft Get Damaged?

Driveshafts can become damaged for many reasons, including lack of lubrication, poor maintenance, excessive wear, friction, or misalignment. Additionally, external factors such as the impact of road debris or accidents can also cause bending or breaking.

Symptoms Of Bad Driveshaft

Symptoms of a bad driveshaft include vehicle vibration or shaking, trouble turning, clicking sounds, jerks during gear shifting, or shuddering during acceleration.

Let’s take a closer look at the symptoms of a bad driveshaft so you don’t get confused about other causes of vehicle vibration problems.

1. Jerk While Driving

Often, with a bad driveshaft, you will experience jerks while driving. When you start a vehicle from a standstill, you release the clutch of a manual transmission vehicle, and then your vehicle moves with jerks. This jerking sound can be heard or felt from the drive shaft.

This type of shaking from a bad driveshaft can also be heard or seen when accelerating or reducing acceleration. Also, a bad driveshaft jerk can be felt when changing gears in a manual transmission. However, this type of jerk can also happen due to a bad or damaged mounting foundation of the engine.

2. Vibration While Driving

Whenever you drive a vehicle with a worn or damaged driveshaft, you can feel vibration or a slight shaking during the motion of the vehicle. Because the balance is not maintained due to a bad driveshaft bush or U joint, due to which the driveshaft starts trembling.

And you feel this vibration when the vehicle is in motion. However, there can be many other reasons for the vibration to occur while the vehicle is in motion for which you have to inspect your vehicle for reasons related to vibration and can diagnose and fix problems like vibration in the vehicle.

3. Unusual Noise Issue

A bad driveshaft producing unnecessary noise can also be a major symptom when the U joint of the cross of the driveshaft becomes loose or worn. Then often the driveshaft starts making strange noises while the vehicle is in motion.

And this unnecessary noise gets louder as the speed of the vehicle increases. Worn or loose driveshaft bearings or bushings can cause this kind of clicking noise. The driveshaft should be inspected to determine the cause of this type of noise. so that you can diagnose and fix the unnecessary noise of the driveshaft.

4. Shuddering During Acceleration

Many a times you experience the tremors in the vehicle during high or low speed of the vehicle. This can be a major sign or symptom of a failing driveshaft in your vehicle. Because this can often be caused by wear and tear on the driveshaft bush or U joint.

When this happens, the driveshaft may cause the vehicle to make strange noises and vibrations during acceleration. However, there can be many other reasons for vibrations and strange noises in a vehicle. For which it is mandatory to get the vehicle inspected if you experience these symptoms, so that you can diagnose and fix this type of problem.

5. Turning Problem

If you are facing any problems while turning your vehicle, the wear of the driveshaft can also be one of the main reasons. Because when the driveshaft is damaged, there is a problem turning the wheels of the vehicle. This type of problem can also affect the balance of your vehicle.

Because the U joint of the driveshaft is worn or loose, the wheels start colliding with each other while turning, due to which the drive wheel of the vehicle may cause more noise while turning or affect the speed of the drive wheel.

However, this type of problem can also occur in rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicles when the differential is damaged. It is mandatory to inspect the vehicle if such symptoms are seen, so that you can diagnose and fix the problem related to the driveshaft.

Where Is The Driveshaft Located?

The driveshaft is between the vehicle’s transmission and the drive wheel. Which can be seen below in rear drive wheel and all wheel drive vehicles. In such vehicles, the driveshaft is connected from the transmission to the differential, through which the power of the engine is transferred from the transmission to the drive wheel.

The driveshaft smoothly transfers engine power to the drive wheel at any angle, and there is no friction of any kind at any angle of the driveshaft.

Front-wheel-drive vehicles Vehicles do not have a long driveshaft because power is being transmitted to the front wheels in such vehicles and because of the close proximity of the front wheel-engine and transmission in such vehicles, such vehicles have smaller axles instead of driveshafts.

Such vehicles have smaller axles instead of driveshafts. And there are separate axles for both the front wheels. Unlike rear-wheel-drive setups, front-wheel-drive vehicles have all the components for the power supply. The design of axles on front-wheel-drive vehicles does not have universal joints.

The constant velocity joint (CV joint) for movement in such axles is separate, which provides frictionless and continuous power to the wheels of the vehicle even when turning at any angle.

Driveshaft Replacement Cost

The average driveshaft replacement cost for a typical vehicle can range from $600 to $1300, and one can expect to pay between $150 and $350 in labor costs to have the driveshaft replaced by a certified vehicle mechanic. However, driveshaft replacement costs can range from $900 to $2000 in some vehicles.

If you have a four-wheel drive vehicle. Then such vehicles usually have two driveshafts. But most vehicles only need to replace one driveshaft at a time.

The replacement cost of a vehicle’s driveshaft depends on the model of the vehicle and the design of front-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive vehicles, which directly affect the driveshaft replacement cost. Typically, the cost of a drive shaft repair depends on what caused the problem and how quickly it can be fixed.


Q. How much does it cost to replace a driveshaft?

The cost of replacing a drive shaft can range from $600 to $1300 on average. If you replace just one bad part of the driveshaft, you can expect this cost to be halved. And replacement mechanic labor for the driveshaft can range from about $150 to $350.

Q. How do I know my drive shaft needs replacing?

Some of the signs and symptoms you may experience are signs of a bad driveshaft/drivetrain. such as

  • Vibration under the vehicle
  • Strong shaking
  • Difficulty turning
  • Loud rattling noise
  • Shuddering during acceleration
  • Screeching noise
  • Knocking sound

Q. Can you drive with a broken drive shaft?

No, it is not recommended that you drive long distances or for extended periods of time with a broken driveshaft. because your vehicle can stop anytime, anywhere. After which, you have the option of towing the vehicle, which can cause more damage to your vehicle. Due to which your driveshaft replacement cost can be expensive.

Q. Is it difficult to replace the driveshaft?

No, replacing the driveshaft is not a difficult task. You can easily have it changed by an independent mechanic.

Q. What causes drive shaft failure?

Improper stiffness matching of the smooth shaft between the left and right U-joints of the driveshaft is the root cause of drive shaft failure.

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