What Happens If My Drive Shaft Breaks While Driving?

A vehicle’s drive shaft is among the most important components. It controls your car’s pace and ensures it is moving. The drive shaft is in charge of converting engine revolutions and power into vehicle performance. This must provide you with an overview of the significance of the drive shaft to an automobile. So Have you wondered what happens if my drive shaft breaks while driving? Let us find out.

What Exactly Is A Drive Shaft?

A drive shaft is among the most important elements of an automotive powertrain, connecting the gearbox and transfer case in four-wheeled drives.

The “driveshaft,” essentially a lengthy steel structure that spins on bushings, transmits torque generated by the engine to the entirety of the powertrain (the components that operate your automobile).

Though some manufacturers choose carbon fiber, titanium, or aluminum, they are often composed of alloys iron or chromium-vanadium. The drive shaft size may fluctuate based on several variables, including the necessity for power and room within the car’s chassis or cover.

How Come The Driveshaft Screw Up?

Aging is the primary factor that leads to malfunction. A USA automobile typically lasts Eleven years on the road. Before 2000, driveshafts were not coated with the stiffening, and protecting materials present now. But there are also additional offenders.

Crashes are an additional cause. The shaft may break when a vehicle collides with another vehicle or items, including its back wheels (such as when you reverse into anything). This is true when running into a barrier; only the jolt of doing so is reported to destroy drive shafts.

The further potential problem is that some drive shafts used throughout SUVs and pickup trucks are not adequately protected from saltwater deterioration, which might cause them to fracture after several seasons on the car.

Since they are situated below shakier portions of the automobile that are simple to impact, striking craters and ledges also raises the potential of harm to these.

What Are the Typical Symptoms Of A Dying Drive Shaft?

Regardless of the make and car model, if you notice any of these symptoms, it’s possible that the drivetrain is ready to break.


As your automobile trembles whenever you attempt to advance or brake, it might be a symptom of a deteriorating drivetrain. This is among the typical indicators of a deteriorating driveshaft.

Nevertheless, trembling isn’t always indicate a faulty driveshaft, so the optimal course of action if you first notice it is to get your automobile inspected by a professional to determine the real problem.

Terrible Turbulence

A faulty shaft will shake your car whenever you travel at a specific pace or press any accelerator. Once left unattended for a prolonged period of time, these severe disturbances might result in the breakdown of other drivetrain parts. Such powerful oscillations can sometimes be attributed to tattered u-joints or bearing in the shaft unit.

Unpleasant Clanking Sound

Whenever you hear a loud rattling while driving, it may indicate that the drivetrain is going to break down due to weak or tattered u-joints.

Wheels Are Hardly Moving

A damaged shaft would make turning your car’s tires challenging, though not catastrophic. This is due to the fact that the driveshaft is an essential part of the powertrain, which turns the tires.

The four most frequent indications that your shaft is going to fail are all these four.

Your shaft could come out while traveling if you disregard these symptoms and choose not to examine your car for the real problem.

Moving when the shaft is out might cause a collision or other major damages, which might drain your bank account.

What If the Drive Shaft Collapses When Driving?

Several events can occur if the drive shaft snaps while you’re traveling.

The following significant events will take place if the drive shaft fractures while you’re cruising:

The Automobile Cannot be Moved

If the drive shaft cracks as you move, your automobile must stop instantly after the breakage. When you are on flat ground, this typically occurs.

On a mass level, you may notice a power reduction in your vehicles after the drive shaft fractures while traveling. Your machine’s energy is converted to torque by the drive shaft, so the tires may spin. There isn’t any method for your tires to drive if it fractures.

Handling Breakdown

Whereas if the drive shaft splits when you’re traveling, there is still a danger the vehicle may skid. This typically occurs if you are traveling at a fast pace on the freeway.

Shortly after pressing the accelerator pedal for propulsion, a sharp response may result from an inappropriate conveyance of power to the tires.

The vehicle may start to jolt uncontrollably, with each and every component aggressively responding to the shift. Although it can seem enjoyable in a film, you won’t desire to do this in actual situations. It may lead to a collision in dire circumstances or at incredible velocities.

Suppose the forward drive shaft were to break during your moving. In that case, the automobile may lean in one direction, overturn, or, in very unusual circumstances, continue to spin unless you drop the transmission in neutral.

Loud Sounds

A terrible sound will come from the gearbox when the drive shaft is fractured near the gearbox. This could sound like loud clunking or crunching noises. It will go on till the automobile abruptly stops.

Threatens Other Motorists on the Roadway

A broken drive shaft while motoring may completely spoil people’s days. In severe circumstances, pieces of the damaged drive shaft may shoot into the empty air, hurting a large number of other pedestrians.

Is Driving Possible Without A Drive Shaft?

Probably. Running with no drive shaft is possible, but it depends on the vehicle you are operating. You can still operate a 4-wheel truck even if certain drive shafts are missing.

A four-wheel drive automobile may travel on three main shafts despite having one, while an RWD cannot be driven if the primary shaft is not there.

Traveling with no drive shaft is not advised, though. Gear relationship is eliminated while traveling with no drive shaft; as a result, you may travel in circles or descend downwards without control.


Pushing off fixes, like driveshaft maintenance, will often result in more extensive and expensive injuries. It is impossible to overstate how dangerous and expensive it may be to drive with a broken or deteriorating driveshaft. Regular service inspections may aid in identifying any problems and allow for early repair. 

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