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1685 Richardson Hwy, North Pole, AK 99705


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4415 Airport Road, Fairbanks, Alaska 99709

What Happens if the Drive Shaft Goes Out?

up close look at a drive shaft

Your drive shaft transfers power from the engine to your car’s rear differential, the system that allows your wheels to turn at different speeds while turning. So if your drive shaft goes out, your safety is at risk. Here’s what to expect if your drive shaft fails and what to do about it.

What Causes Drive Shaft Failure?

General wear and tear, combined with a lack of good maintenance, can cause your drive shaft to break. Getting consistent inspections, lubrication services, and alignments can keep your drive shaft in good condition. Another reason your drive shaft might go out is if you load up your car beyond its limits, straining it, so make sure you don’t carry excessively heavy loads in your vehicle.

What Happens When the Drive Shaft Breaks?

When your drive shaft goes out, there are a few telltale signs to look out for:

  • Loss of power — Your car will become sluggish and have trouble maintaining speed.
  • Vibrations — During acceleration, your vehicle may vibrate. These vibrations can be minor tremors all the way up to severe shaking.
  • Strange noises — You may hear clanking, banging, or rattling coming from underneath your car.
  • Steering problems — Drive shaft failure causes excessive play in the steering system, making it hard to maintain control.
  • Loss of movement — In the most severe causes, your vehicle could completely lose movement, leaving your car stranded.

What Should I Do if My Drive Shaft Fails?

If your drive shaft goes out, begin by turning on your hazards and reducing your speed. Since a broken drive shaft can make steering and controlling your car difficult, it’s important to be going as slow as possible. Then carefully maneuver your car to a safe location. It isn’t safe to drive a vehicle with a broken drive shaft, so call a tow truck to take your car to your local auto shop. From there, your mechanics should be able to help you officially diagnose the problem and repair your vehicle.

Having Drive Shaft Problems?

Bring your car to Pearson Auto for a full inspection. We’ll diagnose any issues and get your car fixed and back on the road as quickly as possible. Make an appointment today!

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