Car Drive Shafts

Aside from the engine and the transmission, probably the most important piece of equipment in a car is the drive shaft. Power goes to the engine to the transmission which controls gear ratios before transferring the power to the drive shaft. This metal rod might have one or more joints and is ultimately responsible to deliver power to the front and rear wheels. To "balance drive shaft" means to keep the parts perfectly aligned.

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The length of a drive shaft affects its complexity. For most small cars, the power goes straight to the front tires. In larger or sportier cars, power can also be transferred to the rear wheels. This setup is less efficient but can make for a more secure footing on a bad road. To deliver power to the rear tires, the drive shaft has to be longer and have a joint.


The universal joint on a drive shaft is able to bend in two directions at once and so rotate freely within a cone of possibility. This free movement helps the drive shaft deal with shocks as well as any curvature between the transmission and the rear tires. Generally, the greater the angle from parallel, the less efficient the power transfer tends to be. Proper greasing and mounting is also critical.


The engine has the potential to shift position, and the transmission might shift slightly as the gears change. All this puts different pressures on the drive shaft. Since the driveshaft has so many joints and possibilities for bending beyond parallel, reorienting the mountings and tinkering with the drive shaft can help to restore the relative parallel between the shaft sections.


A properly balanced driveshaft operates more efficiently and with less friction. There is less strain on opposing parts, and the lifespan of the related joints and gears is lengthened. This maintenance is excellent for a van or commercial truck, and balancing should be done as frequently as is recommended to eliminate complications. It is a good idea to inspect this part regularly even just as a precaution.


A vehicle that runs regularly and carries a load has the real potential to get its driveshaft out of line. An inefficient drive train both creates mechanical wear and is a safety hazard. If a problem is spotted, find people who can make the correction as soon as it is practically possible. A modest misalignment will not immediately doom a car, but maintenance is well worth the money.


To find someone who is a balance drive shaft expert, consult a website that lists mechanics in your area. Look for someone who can repair a particular type of fo vehicle. Trailer tractors have the most complicated drive shafts and need special technicians to take care of the problem. A garage that is familiar with a particular vehicle is best for repair.


Also, look for certified technicians. This is particularly true of newer vehicles that are frequently maintained initially by a car dealer. This creates a lack of independent expertise when working with new car engines, and often the only way to get precise repair is to find a mechanic with manufacturer-specific training.