Think Your Rig’s Driveshaft Is Going Out? Here Are the Symptoms

November 14, 2020 Published by Leave your thoughts

Your driveshaft is part of what helps power your vehicle down the road and across the country, so staying on top of maintenance and repair is crucial. When your driveshaft fails, it can be incredibly difficult (and dangerous) to handle your rig while driving. Do you know the symptoms of your driveshaft going out in Flagstaff, AZ?

American semi trucks typically use a 6×4 drivetrain, where three axles deliver the power to two wheel ends. This means there are two driveshafts, both rear and front. The front driveshaft is connected to the front differential and transfer case, using u-joints.

Symptoms of a failing driveshaft

Here’s how to tell if either of your driveshafts is going out:

  • Vibrations underneath the truck: Is your truck vibrating while you drive? This is the most common sign that your driveshaft is failing. It’s caused by worn-out u-joints, couplers and carrier bearings. If you notice this unmistakable sign, make sure you take your truck in for repairs right away. Failing to repair it could lead to extensive damage to the drivetrain.
  • Clunking noises: Clunking noises when shifting gears is usually due to worn-out u-joints. When the u-joints fail, your driveshaft is unable to rotate properly. This leads to scraping or clunking noises that seem to come from beneath your truck.
  • Trouble with turning: Damaged driveshafts make it difficult to turn properly, which is again due to broken u-joints. This makes it nearly impossible to control your truck while turning—a major safety issue. You’ll need to repair your driveshaft as soon as possible before you can safely drive again.
  • Shuddering during acceleration: Noticeable shuddering when you accelerate (whether from a stop or while driving) is a sign that you have loose or worn components. This could be the u-joints again, or a faulty center bearing. If you hear noises while the shuddering occurs, it’s probably the u-joints. Take it to a mechanic right away.
  • Clicking: Clicking noises occur when your CV joint is failing or has broken. You might notice these noises in conjunction with other symptoms or on their own.
  • Squeaking: Finally, squeaking noises at low speeds likely indicate that you’ll need to lubricate the u-joint. If you’re mechanically inclined, you can do this yourself. Take the opportunity to look at the u-joints and see if they’re showing signs of wear and tear. If so, it’s time to get those replaced.

What to do if your driveshaft fails

If your driveshaft is going out in Flagstaff, AZ, it’s important that you take your rig to a mechanic as soon as possible. If the driveshaft snaps, you’ll lose power to that axle—and when you’re hauling heavy loads, that is a downright dangerous situation. Don’t risk an accident, even if you think you can get a few more miles out of it.

For roadside truck and trailer repairs within 100 miles of the Flagstaff area, be sure to call the team at Emergency Response Truck, Trailer & RV Repair. We look forward to assisting you soon!

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