If you're searching for how to replace a driveshaft? All you need to do is inspect the driveshaft, take out the large bolts, remove the flange, remove the old driveshaft, inspect the U joints, install the new driveshaft, reinstall the flange and the bolts, and give your vehicle a test drive.
The driveshaft is one of the most critical components in your vehicle, which is responsible for transferring the energy from the engine to the wheels and getting your vehicle moving. It's not rare to deal with damaged driveshaft at some point in your vehicle's lifetime. It is crucial for you as a driver to keep an eye for symptoms of a bad driveshaft and replace it whenever necessary.
Replacing the driveshaft is not an easy job, but it is also impossible to learn. Many drivers find it useful to learn how to replace their own driveshaft to save a ton on labor costs.
This article provides you with a detailed description and step-by-step guidance on how to replace a driveshaft in any vehicle.
What is the driveshaft, and what does it do?
The driveshaft is an important component in your vehicle because it's responsible for transferring the torque from the engine to all the wheels.
This shaft is designed in a way that allows it to transfer that work in different angles, which means that it's not affected by any vibrations or movement up and down when accelerating or breaking.
Remember that not every vehicle will have a driveshaft, especially those associated with a front-wheel drive. These front-wheel drives are usually equipped with what's called the transaxle. On the other hand, if we're talking about a four-wheel drive, you'll see that the driveshaft allows the transfer of torque from the transition to all the different axles in your vehicle.
Driveshafts are designed from very durable materials, including aluminum, carbon fiber, and steel. These shafts need to be made of strong components because they are continuously exposed to severe vibration and heavy external power.
What are the common symptoms of a bad driveshaft?
Before we dive into the details about how to replace the driveshaft, you must determine whether the driveshaft is having a problem or not.
Luckily, your car will tell you that the driveshaft is going bad before it even does. There are plenty of common symptoms of a bad driveshaft that you need to keep an eye for, including:
One of the most obvious symptoms of a bad or failing driveshaft is excessive vibration or shuddering. When the driveshaft is not Bolt correctly and not secured to the other surrounding components, the vehicle will be out of balance. The driveshaft itself will move excessively, causing this clear vibration.
As a rule of thumb, when you're dealing with any weird noises coming from a vehicle, you must take the issue seriously and never ignore it. While some normal noises might be linked to simple issues, there are situations where the cause can be severe and related to a major internal problem.
When the driveshaft goes bad, it's mostly the joints that failed, and therefore, the driveshaft will not be secured and connected properly, which means that it will rotate abnormally. Any abnormal behavior of the driveshaft can simply cause a weird rattling or clanking noises as it hits the surroundings.
Keep in mind that abnormal noses might come from various issues in the vehicle. Therefore, before deciding to remove the order to replace the driveshaft, you need to perform a thorough inspection to confirm the real culprit of the problem.
When the driveshaft goes bad, you will notice that your vehicle is not behaving normally especially if you're trying to perform any turn. The driveshaft will not provide and transmit the required amount of energy from the engine to the wheels.
This situation is very critical because it affects your safety, especially if you're driving in traffic. That's why any problems with a driveshaft should be taken care of immediately to prevent putting your life and the passenger's life at risk.
How to replace a driveshaft?
After confirming that the driveshaft is the real culprit or all the mentioned symptoms, the next step is to replace it as a final solution to the problem.
Before we discuss the different steps for replacing a driveshaft, you need to be 100% comfortable doing the job. Any problems while replacing the driveshaft can cause undesirable complications that you never want to deal with.
Most automotive experts indicated that DIYs do not work the first type. Therefore, if you haven't changed a driveshaft before, it might not be worth risking your modern or expensive vehicle and doing it yourself.
But, if you confirm that you are ready to replace your own driveshaft so you can save a lot of labor costs, you need to follow the following detailed steps:
Inspect the driveshaft closely
Before moving a step further and taking out the driveshaft, you need to understand how it's connected so you can return it the same correct way. A good idea would be to take a picture of the driveshaft before disconnecting it.
Also, you might need to have your vehicle's owner's manual handy next to you and refer to it whenever needed.
Take out the driveshaft bolts
Depending on your vehicle's type, the driveshaft will be connected to certain bolts that need to be removed as the first step so you can take the driveshaft out.
Keep in mind that the driveshaft is connected securely to the vehicle, which means that these bolts will be hard to be removed. Thus, for this 12 point heads bolts, you might need to use a 13-millimeter socket to be able to remove them.
Locate and remove the driveshaft flange
After removing the tight bolts, the next step is to simply use a plastic hammer and shock the driveshaft to take out the flange.
In certain vehicles, you might need to 1st remove the center support before taking out the shaft. This support is responsible for holding and supporting the middle part of the driveshaft to prevent bending, especially in longer vehicles.
Take the driveshaft out carefully
Once everything is disconnected, the driveshaft should be free to be removed. Make sure when pulling the driveshaft out to pull it very gently to prevent causing any damages to the surrounding components.
In some scenarios, you might deal with fluid leaks after taking out to the driveshaft. Therefore, keep an empty bucket nearby to avoid any leaks from getting to the surrounding sediment, which can harm the environment.
Inspect the U joints
In most cases, when the driveshaft is replaced, your joint is also replaced. Thus, at this point, you need to take a closer look at THE U joints to see if they have any problems.
You can inspect them to move them around and see if there are any rough spots around them.
Detecting any rough spots indicates that these U joints require replacement before finalizing your job and re-installing the new driveshaft.
Compare the new driveshaft to the old one
Before installing the new driveshaft, it is crucial to compare the old one to what you purchased. In a lot of situations, drivers can accidentally buy the wrong driveshaft or any other components.
A good habit would be to compare the old driveshaft to the new one or maybe opening the vehicle's owner's manual to confirm the parts number.
Install the new driveshaft
After confirming that you got the right driveshaft, the next step is to install the new driveshaft.
Before installing it's, automotive experts recommend applying some grease to help lubricate it and make the process easier for connecting the new driveshaft.
When re-installing the new driveshaft, you need to install it carefully to damage the seals or affect the other surrounding components. Thus, gently place it back in the right location.
Put back the flange and the bolts
After placing the driveshaft in the right spot, the next step for you is to reinstall all other components that were securing the driveshaft.
Start with putting the flange back carefully and then insert the bolts.
Both the bolts and the flames must have the right alignment to prevent any abnormal behaviors of the driveshaft, which can damage it. Bolts must be tightened enough to prevent loose driveshafts. Therefore, automotive experts recommend applying 55 to 65-foot pounds of torque as the right threshold for tightening these bolts.
Give your vehicle a test drive
At this point, your job should be done, and the next step is to give your vehicle a test drive. Whatever symptom of a bad driveshaft should not exist now because you have installed the part successfully.
However, if you notice abnormal behaviors after installing the new driveshaft, it might mean that you've done something wrong or there is another damage around the driveshaft. The best course of action at this point is to consult a professional mechanic and have him either complete or fix the work that you've done.
How much does it cost to replace a driveshaft?
Driveshaft replacement cost is one of those expensive repairs, and in some scenarios, they can cost you up to $2000. Labor costs can reach about $70.00 depending on the location where you get the job done. The average price for driveshaft parts ranges from $400 to $600.
That's why many drivers prefer to change their driveshaft to save a lot on labor costs. However, many drivers prefer to visit the nearest dealership to get the driveshaft replaced as they completely trust the dealership mechanics in replacing the driveshaft without introducing any major damages to the vehicle.
Again, it is important not to remove your own driveshaft unless you're 100% comfortable doing the job, so don't introduce undesirable complications requiring thousands of dollars in repairs.
The driveshaft is one of the most crucial components in any vehicle, and it must be in good condition all the time.
Over time of use, and since this driveshaft is continuously exposed to a lot of vibration and power from surrounding components, you might be dealing with a damaged driveshaft, which indicates that you have to replace it immediately.
This article provided you with step-by-step guidance on how to replace the driveshaft without causing any damages to the surrounding components.
By learning how to replace it yourself, you can save a ton on labor costs. However, you have to be cautious about what Are you ready to do the job yourself or not because most DIYs do not work the first time.
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