Need a Driveshaft Replacement?
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How Much does a Driveshaft Replacement Cost?
The torque coming from your transmission needs to get to the wheels, and the driveshaft performs that function.
In everyday situations, a driveshaft itself only requires repair or replacement when something unusual occurs such as an unexpected universal joint failure, or an impact causes the driveshaft to bend or break.
You may never need your driveshaft replaced, but if you do, it’s probably due to extreme driving situations like offroading or high-performance driving.
There is a huge difference in driveshaft replacement costs – from $200 up to $2,000 or higher, depending on the manufacturing material and the type of car you drive.
The driveshaft is a component that’s critical for driving, so you’ll need to replace it if it’s damaged.
What is a Driveshaft?
There are a few different styles of driveshaft, but they all perform the same function: carry rotational energy along the drivetrain either directly or indirectly to the wheels, and it originates at the transmission.
A slip yoke is on the transmission end and the other end usually bolts firmly in place, either at the wheel hub or the differential, depending on the design.
Universal joints at one or both ends make sure the driveshaft can move on any axis without binding or breaking.
To reduce its mass, many driveshafts are manufactured hollow. Some are made of steel while others are made of aluminium.
Some high-performance cars use alternate materials such as carbon fibre to even further reduce weight and power-robbing rotating mass.
If a driveshaft bends, even slightly, a jarring vibration will reverberate throughout your car.
A worn u-joint can also cause a vibration, and a u-joint that comes apart can cause irreparable damage to the driveshaft’s yoke, and it will need to be replaced.
Symptoms that your Driveshaft requires replacement
- Binding feeling when driving at a constant speed
- Clicking or knocking noise on acceleration or deceleration
- The driveshaft is hanging loose under your car
How is a Driveshaft replaced?
- The technician raises the car on a hoist
- Obstructions including skid plates and heat shields are removed
- The driveshaft is unbolted from the secured end at the wheel or differential
- The slip yoke is removed from the transmission
- A new driveshaft is installed in the reverse order, then skid plates and heat shields are refitted
- The car is lowered and the technician performs a road test to confirm the repair
Tips to Remember
- Some driveshafts are bolted at a flange on the transmission side as well, especially those known as CV axle shafts
- The transmission output shaft seal should be replaced during driveshaft repairs if there are signs of leaking or cracks in the seal lip
How important is replacing your Driveshaft?
Sometimes, a slight imbalance can be repaired by a machine shop. In most cases, a damaged driveshaft must be replaced to ensure your car will continue to drive smoothly and without failure.
A worn driveshaft u-joint should be replaced immediately, or risk of catastrophic u-joint failure could cause loss of control.
As well, a driveshaft that comes apart can swing around wildly under your car, causing extensive undercarriage damage. Replace damaged driveshafts immediately.
If you’ve read this far, you obviously care about your car. A lot. So next time you need a service, repair or inspection, visit AutoGuru.com.au.
We let you search and book from over 1,600 qualified mechanics, who eat car troubles for breakfast.
Image credit - Brad Topbar