2 Signs The U-Joints On Your Car's Driveshaft Are Going Bad

Posted on: 9 December 2022

A major part of your car's drivetrain, the driveshaft, is responsible for allowing you to easily steer the vehicle. As part of the system, the universal joints (U-joints) hold the driveshaft in place and help it to generate the torque needed to rotate the rods so that the wheels will turn.

If these U-joints fail, the driveshaft will not be able to do its job, and you will find that the car is undrivable because you cannot steer it. Below are a couple of signs to look for when trying to determine whether the U-joints have gone bad, making it necessary to have the driveshaft repaired.

1. Clunking Noise Is Heard and Vibrations Are Felt When You Turn the Steering Wheel

One sign to look for that will alert you to a problem with the driveshaft's U-joints is a clunking noise that you will hear whenever you turn the steering wheel. Along with this sound, you will also feel vibrations while holding the steering wheel as the worn-out joints rub against one another.

At first, you may only hear the noise and feel the vibrations when you make a sharp turn with the steering wheel. However, as the U-joints deteriorate more, you will notice the signs anytime you use the steering wheel. Before it gets to that point, you need to have them looked at by a professional.

2. the Entire Car Shudders and Makes a Scraping Sound When the Car Accelerates

Another sign that the U-joints on your car's driveshaft are failing can be found when the car accelerates. As you step on the gas, the entire car will shudder, and you will hear a scraping sound that becomes louder the faster the car goes.

Along with turning the car, the driveshaft also sends the signal for the wheels to turn while you are driving. If the U-joints are bad, acceleration of the wheels will put a strain on them and the driveshaft, causing the shuddering and scraping sound. If this is happening, you need to have the U-joints inspected immediately to keep the U-joints from failing completely.

When the U-joints on your car's drivetrain are going bad, the driveshaft will not be able to fully generate the amount of torque needed to steer the wheels. To determine if the U-joints are failing, be on the lookout for clunking noises and vibrations while turning as well as shuddering during acceleration accompanied by a scraping sound. If you notice any of these signs, take your car to an auto shop that offers driveshaft repair services to have a technician take a look. 

For more info about driveshaft repairs, contact a local auto shop.