What Causes a Drive Shaft to Break?

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What Causes a Drive Shaft to Break

If you notice a driveshaft on your car is not spinning, then it’s time to get it replaced. Wondering what causes a drive shaft to break? You’d better watch out for the failing drive shaft symptoms as it’s really dangerous if it breaks while driving.

What Is A Drive Shaft?

A drive shaft is a metal, circular piece of material that connects the transmission to the engine. It’s connected to the transmission through a universal joint, which allows drivers to shift gears while they are driving. The drive shafts connect the wheels to the axles, allowing them to rotate so you can move forward.

What Causes a Drive Shaft to Break?

There are several factors that can lead to a broken drive shaft:

  • Neglect of regular servicing: Over time, the drive shaft bearings will wear out, causing the driveshaft to give in after heavy use. That’s why you need to have it checked every now and then, especially if you have a heavy vehicle, so it can be replaced immediately if there’s a problem.
  • Excessive weight: Apart from the problems naturally caused by time, a broken driveshaft is often caused by excessive weight from different components of the vehicle. Pay close attention to the engine, transmission, and rear differential as they are usually extra heavy.
  • Road hazards: The driveshaft is also susceptible to road hazards such as potholes or loose gravel. That’s why you shouldn’t drive your vehicle in really bad conditions. If you notice that there are some problems with your vehicle, then it’s time to replace the broken driveshaft.
  • Overloading: The driveshaft is designed to handle a certain amount of weight. If you overload the vehicle or work with excess weight on it, then it can cause the driveshaft to break. Heavy equipment should be secured properly before use to avoid breaking the drive shaft.
  • Damaged universal joints: The universal joints connect the driveshaft to the transmission and will wear out after constant use. Corrosion and faulty seals can also cause problems with the universal joints leading to a broken driveshaft.
  • Incorrect repair work. The drive shaft should be handled by a professional when replacing worn-out parts such as the bearings, universal joints, and seals. When installed incorrectly, the new parts also could break the shaft.

Failing Drive Shaft Symptoms

  • You’ll know that the driveshaft has broken if you notice that it’s no longer spinning or that it’s slipping when you try to shift gears.
  • You’ll also see that the transmission is not shifting well and there will be excessive noise from it.
  • When you turn left, the car should move to the right and vice versa. But when you replace a broken drive shaft, your car should not fall in this way, so replace it immediately.

Final Words

Now that you know what causes a drive shaft to break, you can take precautions to make sure this doesn’t happen to your vehicle. Visit an auto repair shop for regular inspections of your vehicle. This way, they can detect problems in time and replace parts that are damaged or worn out.