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The Complete Drive Shaft Repair Cost Guide

Published by: Edison
Date of Publish:

Every working equipment and vehicle demands regular maintenance and proper damage repair to maintain speed, performance, and quality. The same was the case when you bought a car or the one already in use.

The Drive shaft is one important part of the vehicle that carries the energy produced by engine in form of torque (twisting force) to the vehicle's wheel for functioning. These shafts vary from model to model and the type of vehicle; many cars have a half-shaft that supports the front wheels only, while others have a driveshaft that supports all the wheels.  

But when it comes to driving shafts, the question is how to determine that drive shaft needs repair? Well, for most people, it's difficult to answer this question as they are not much familiar with the structure and detailed function of the driveshaft.

However, by noticing the visible and common signs, you can easily detect that there is some problem that needs your attention and repair cost.

In this article, we will discuss the drive shaft repair cost along with the damages and benefits of repair.

What is Drive Shaft?

The Drive shaft is a hollow bar that is designed to deliver the power from the engine to the wheels. The power transmission is usually done in the form of torque. This rod consists of a different elements tube, yoke, and joints that work together to provide the wheel's synchronization required to drive a vehicle.

Symptoms of Bad Drive Shaft

Since the drive shafts play a major role in vehicle functioning, they have a massive load and work to perform. Because of their constant use, these shafts often face different malfunctioning issues due to damage that can impair your driving experience.

Here is a list of common drive shaft issues that you can face while driving. We will also discuss how much it will cost you to repair these damages.

1. Vibrations

Vibration is the most common thing that people observe and face while driving. Different factors can be the cause of these vibrations, and one of them is the trouble in your car's drive shaft. These vibrations are not just uncomfortable and noisy, but they can also lead to significant issues if left untreated.

The primary reason for vibrations in the drive shaft is unbalancing and worn bushings. Unbalancing is easier to deal with as compared with worn bushing. The drive shaft repair cost for unbalancing is about $ 300.

However, the only way to treat the worn-out bushing is a replacement that will cost you $100 to $400 ($5-150 dollar new bushing cost + $100-$300 labor cost).

2. Noise Production

The bending, losing, and damaging of drive shafts can produce weird squeaking or clunking noise.

The squeaking sound usually comes from beneath the vehicle constantly. It can be because of worn-out bushings or driveshaft unbalancing.

However, the clunking noise is usually produced when you speed up or reverse your vehicle. A lousy slip yoke and u-joint can cause this noise that needs quick inspection and treatment.

The drive shaft repair cost for noise production can vary with the reason. In a simple case, proper lubrication can be your solution, but if you need to replace the slip yoke, it will cost you just a few dollars.

3. Car Jam

Car jamming is a pretty intimidating and severe issue that can cause due to different reasons, and one of them is drive shaft damage. If it is due to drive shaft damage, the drive shaft will hit the car parts when you will try to start the vehicle resulting in loud sound production.

So, if you will hear a loud sound, make sure to turn off the car engine and examine the drive shaft for damage. Car jamming is undoubtedly a cost-consuming problem, and it can reach about $1300 if you need to replace your drive shaft.

4. Shuddering While Accelerating

Shuddering of the whole vehicle is a bit more complex than vibration because it cannot be just due to unbalanced drive shafts. The damaged center bearing or universal joint can cause complete car shaking. 

The drive shaft is connected with different car components, and because of its high power movement, a light unbalance, or problem is enough for shuddering while speeding up the vehicle. 

The drive shaft repair cost for shuddering is higher than the above-described problems. If the u-joint requires replacement, it will cost you $200-$300 or more based on the car model. However, replacing the center bearing is even more money-consuming than u-joint as it will cost you about $200-$1100. 

5. U-Joint Rotation Problem

The universal joint is important to move the drive shaft ups and down. These joints rotate in 2D for the transfer of energy. This rotation is usually very smooth, and any resistance can damage the joints.

Both the higher and lower rotation of u-joints can cause a problem. The higher rotation can result in an unbalanced, while the lower might not transfer enough energy to move the vehicle. 

The high u-joint rotation is a pretty serious issue because it can damage the associated elements of shafts and cars. In this situation, you must replace the u-joint as soon as possible—the replacement cost of u-joints as mentioned above. 

In case of a low rotational issue, properly lubricate the u-joints and other connected parts. 

Which One to Choose - Replacement and Repair?

The damages and problems of drive shafts come with many questions, one of which is whether to repair or replace the shaft. Many people that are not familiar with the details get confused that if the fixed drive shaft will work as efficiently as the new one and end up spending much more than the problem.

The type of damage and problem determines which option is appropriate for your vehicle. If you want to avoid the costly drive shaft replacement, make sure to detect and resolve the issue as soon as possible.

As described earlier, the delay in repairing the drive shaft can lead to many huge damages because the shaft is connected with important car elements and moves continuously. However, replacement is a good option when drive shaft repair cost is also much higher, as in the case of central bearing replacement.

Drive Shaft Repairing Benefits

The drive shaft repair cost is much less than the benefits you will get in this process. By the timely and proper repair, you cannot only safe the cost but also protect yourself from serious accidents as driving with worn-out shaft is as risky as without brakes.

So, avoid taking any risks and enjoy the full-speed comfortable ride after repairing the drive shaft of your vehicle.

Drive Shaft Inspection Period

The proper and regular inspection of the drive shaft is essential even when you are not feeling or detecting any damages. This inspection will save you from unexpected and upcoming problems. But the question is how often a drive shaft needs an inspection?

Well, if you don’t want your vehicle to jam halfway through the drive or you hate the sudden car shivering; have a full drive shaft inspection after every 100 hours of drive. This is the proper lubrication period of drive shafts that keeps the joints smooth but also helps check all the parts correctly.

Save the Drive Shaft Repair Cost by Eliminating the Causes

The only way to minimize your drive shaft repair cost is to eliminate the causes. Here are some significant causes that result in drive shaft damage or unbalancing;

1. Fast Driving on Bumpy Roads

Not all cars are designed to drive on rough and bumpy roads. But you might get excited by watching your favorite action movie and start driving your vehicle on rough ground that can cause the unbalancing of drive shaft joints. The unbalanced shafts can detect by noise or vibration. So, before being a real-life hero, ensure your vehicle is suitable for the action.

1. Delay in Lubrication

The drive shaft is designed with multiple elements that join together to transmit torque as the shaft is made. For high-quality metals, lubrication is important to keep the joints smooth and functional. However, the large delays in drive shaft lubrication will the friction between joints and decrease the rotation of its parts like u-joint. Such situations usually end up with high drive shaft repair costs.

2. Use of Low-Quality Lubricants

The lubrication doesn’t mean that you can use any grease. The low-quality lubricant will provide you with much more harm than benefits. So, make sure to use only recommended and good-quality lubricants to avoid drive shaft repair costs.

3. Dirt or Corrosion Penetration

The dirt and corrosion are common issues in drive shafts as they are exposed to the outer environment of mud and water. You cannot protect the shaft from getting dirty, but proper and regular cleaning can improve its working and minimize the metal-eating corrosive conditions.


This guide contains all the possible drive shaft problems and their associated causes, along with the drive shaft repair cost for them. If you don’t want your drive shaft to go wrong, follow the above guide to avoid the causes, detect the problems and get the proper repair method.

Remember that the drive shaft repair cost varies with vehicle model, type, damage type, and damage level.

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