Drive Shaft and CV Shaft Repair and Replacement in Phoenix, AZ

Rear Wheel Drive Type:

The driveshaft (also referred to as a driveline or propeller shaft) is responsible for delivering the rotational power from the transmission to the differential.  The driveshaft rotates at a constant ratio to the speed of the tires.  Pointing out that it has a high rotational speed maybe as much as 3,000 revolutions per minute (RPM) at 75 miles per hour (MPH). We mention this because a drive shaft has to be extremely precise in its ability to run true.

When they don’t run true, ride quality, passenger safety and vehicle reliability is greatly compromised.  A good number of vibration issues, also known as ride disturbance, stem from worn out drive shaft components such as a worn universal joint (U-Joint), worn cardon joint, worn center support, worn carrier bearing, or worn slip yoke, to name a few.  Another factor that commonly plays in to vibrations is a poorly manufactured driveshaft or driveshaft component.  This is a significant problem in our industry as more and more manufacturers of these components come and go.

We repair or replace a number of transmissions in Phoenix, AZ every year, simply because of a bad universal joint or out of balance driveshaft was ignored significantly damaging the transmission.

Front Wheel Drive Type:

In a front wheel drive vehicles there are typically no drive shafts. At least they are not called that. They are referred to as CV shafts or Constant Velocity shafts.  They are also referred to as drive axles and half shafts. There is one CV shaft that runs from the right side of the transmission to the right wheel and one CV shaft that runs from the left side of the transmission to the left wheel. Each shaft has 2 CV Joints, for a total of 4 joints CV joints. CV joints often need maintenance and repair.

You may have also heard of the term CV boot. This is what protects the joint itself by keeping dirt and road grime out of the joint at same time, it also keeps lubricating grease inside the joint.  These boots are what commonly fail and what we are trying to prevent end up happening.  Dirt and grime get in the joint, while all the lubricant gets out.  When not addressed within a reasonable amount of time you have a complete failure of the joint itself.

Signs of a Bad Driveshaft or Bad Drive Axle

The first sign of a bad driveshaft or drive axle are the feelings of unusual vibrations.  The vibrations will generally come from the rear end of the car for rear wheel drives and the front end of the car for front wheel drives.  Sometimes these vibrations get gradually worse and you might not perceive the gradual change.  Once in a while it is always good to have someone else drive your car for this reason.  They might feel something you have gradually adapted to. It should be noted that unusual vibrations can come from lots of sources -- and you can’t just assume it’s the drive shaft or drive axles.

The other way people know they have a CV joint going bad, is when you hear a clicking from the front of the car when turning a corner.  If you hear the clicking, they have been ignored for some time and gotten really bad and you should immediatley get you car in for service. Eventually this symptom will put you on the side of the road.