At 12th Street Auto Care Center, you will be serviced by certified mechanics who helped make our shop ASE and AAA certified. That means our technicians have the education and experience you want for top-of-the-line inspections, repairs and replacements. Trust our team to take care of every system of your vehicle, including your driveline. When your car is making strange sounds, driving in unexpected ways or just doesn’t seem right, call 12th Street Auto Care Center. Our trained professionals will provide friendly service, clearly explain the issues they identified and walk you through repair or replacement options at affordable prices.
The driveline of your vehicle is actually composed of several parts that connect and form an entire system. Here’s a quick run-through of those parts and what each does for your vehicle.
The driveshaft is a long steel tube that connects to the transmission on one end and is connected to your car, truck, van or SUV’s wheels at the other end. When the transmission is in gear, the driveshaft transfers torque from the engine to your wheels so you can move.
The differential is what lets your wheels spin at different speeds. This is important because if all your wheels move at the same speed at the same time, you have less control when braking and accelerating. The speed differentials are necessary to keep your car from pushing your wheels too hard into the road, which would put a strain on your vehicle and can lead to premature wear and tear.
There are different types of axel rods, also known as shafts, that rotate your car’s wheels. But they don’t just move the wheels, they also support the weight of your vehicle and everything you pack inside it. The axle shafts are usually located at the front, rear and “stub” of your car. Here’s a bit more on axle shafts.
The rear axle rotates with your car’s wheels and comes in two pieces known as half shafts. These pieces are connected by the differential and provide power from the engine to the driving wheels.
The front axle needs to be particularly sturdy, so it is often made from carbon or nickel steel. There are four main parts that comprise this axle: beams, swivel pin, track rod and stub axle. Together, these pieces help you steer and absorb shock when you drive on uneven roads.
The stub axle is attached to the front axle with kingpins on one end, and on the other end, they’re attached to the front wheels. These axles, also called stud axles, help your car make angular movements when you’re steering around corners and making sharp turns.
The U-joints, also known as universal joints, are small parts that connect the driveshaft to differentials. They’re shaped like a cross with bearings at each end that can move laterally or side-to-side of the driveshaft. These joints connect the driveshaft to the transmission and also connect two driveshafts to each other in certain kinds of vehicles.
CV joints, or constant velocity joints, attach to both ends of your drive shafts. There are a set of inner CV joints and outer CV joints. The inner joints connect to the drive shafts and transmission, while the outer joints connect drive shafts to the wheels. These joints transfer torque from the transmission to the drive wheels and your car’s suspension. To keep the CV joints healthy, they’re packed with grease and tightly sealed with either a plastic or rubber boot. If the boot isn’t damaged, these can last more than 300,000 miles.
There are a number of symptoms to reveal what’s wrong with the different parts of your driveline. If there’s something wrong with your driveshaft, you may experience:
- Excess vibrations
- Difficulty turning
- Shuddering when accelerating
- Rattling, scraping, squeaking or loud clunking under hood
If there’s something wrong with your differential, you’ll get different signs:
- Unusual vibrations
- Oil leak beneath axles
- Check Engine light comes on
- Strong oil or burning smell
When your axle shafts start to give out, you’ll notice these symptoms:
- Grease leak
- Car won’t move
- Strong vibrations at all speeds
- Loud clanking, clunking or clicking
For your U-joints, you may experience:
- Difficulties controlling car
- Vibrating steering wheel
- Shuddering while accelerating
- Difficulty turning
- Loud squeaking, clicking or knocking
And finally, for your CV joints, your vehicle may display:
- Side-to-side shaking/vibrating when accelerating
- Grease leaks from protective boot
- Damaged boot
- Clicking or popping sounds that get louder when turning
If your vehicle is displaying any of these worrisome symptoms, call 12th Street Auto Care Center right away. One of our certified mechanics will take a look at your driveline and offer an affordable repair or replacement for all broken, worn or irregular parts.
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You don’t have to be an expert to know that preventive maintenance is the best way to make sure your vehicle is running properly. Use our interactive vehicle tool to learn about the maintenance and services your NAPA AutoCare Center can provide.