Signs Your Car is About to Die

Hello, my name is Roy. For many years, I drove a 1976 Ford estate car around Sydney. The car had belonged to my grandpa. It was passed down to me when I had just passed my driving test at the age of 18. That was in 1986 and the car was already in a pretty bad condition then. Fast forward to 2006 and I was now aged 38 and still driving the same car around. Sometimes the car wouldn't start, white smoke came out of the exhaust and the gearbox made a terrible sound. I did my best to patch it up, but eventually, I had to scrap the car and buy a new one. I decided to start a blog to encourage others to service their cars.

Could an Unbalanced Driveshaft Cause Excessive Vibration?


Many different components help to transfer an engine's power to the road wheels. A pair of driveshafts will link the transmission to each hub and must deal with a tremendous amount of stress, especially in the case of a front-wheel-drive car. If you are encountering some problems and suspect that one of these shafts may be to blame, what could be going wrong?

Parts under Pressure

By the time that the engine's power reaches the transmission, the gearbox will have stepped it down so that it is appropriate for the speed and direction of travel. It will typically be ready to be applied to the road wheel. Each driveshaft will need to deal with the torque or turning motion with a high level of consistency, and engineers will have balanced it carefully before fitting it to the vehicle. When these technicians balance the driveshaft, they will attach it to a machine and identify any inconsistencies. If it does not spin properly, then they will need to connect an individual weight to a specific point as defined by the software. This balancing weight will need to stay in place for the lifetime of the shaft, and if it were to fall off, you could expect big problems.

Vibration and Failure

Without the weight in place, you would experience a tremendous amount of vibration as the driveshaft would need to deal with a great deal of centrifugal force. It wouldn't take too long before this would cause damage to the parts that connect the shaft at both ends, including the yoke or U-joint. In this case, the spline that enters the transmission shaft could snap, while the universal joint attached to the hub could break in half. A failure like this would be just as likely to happen during acceleration, when all parts have to deal with what is known as shock load, as it would be when the vehicle was travelling at high speeds down the motorway.

Taking Action

If you can hear some strange noises coming from the front of the vehicle or can feel a lot of vibration through the steering wheel, you should get a trained mechanic to have a look at each driveshaft assembly. One of the weights may have fallen off the shaft, the yoke or universal joint could be about to fail or you may need to replace one or more of the bearings. Call a car repair service to get help today.


30 December 2019