Drive shaft broken: What now?

Drive shaft broken: What now?

Audi in der Werkstatt

The drive shaft plays a crucial role in your vehicle, ensuring that the power is transferred from the transmission to the wheels. But what happens if the drive shaft is broken? In this blog post, you’ll learn how to detect damage to the drive shaft, what causes it, and what steps you should take when faced with this problem.

Symptoms of drive shaft damage

A broken drive shaft can have various symptoms that become apparent while driving. Do you feel unusual vibrations, especially when accelerating or cornering? These vibrations can be an indication that the drive shaft is no longer performing its job properly and the force is not transmitted evenly to the wheels.

Another common symptom is clicking sounds that can occur when you turn or accelerate the steering wheel. These noises often indicate that the joints of the drive shaft are damaged and require repair or replacement.

Another indication of drive shaft damage is leaks under your vehicle. These leaks may indicate a lubricant problem caused by a damaged drive shaft. Lubricant helps lubricate the drive shaft joints and reduce friction. When lubricants leak, it can signal a serious problem.

Vibrations while driving, especially when shifting, can also indicate problems with the drive shaft. If the drive shaft has been damaged, this often leads to an uneven flow of force, which is noticeable in the form of vibrations.

How do I detect damage to the drive shaft?

The identification of a drive shaft damage requires some measures. Start with a visual inspection to check the drive shaft for cracks, damage, or leaks. Cracks or damage are obvious signs of a problem, and leaks can indicate that lubricants are leaking from the shaft.

A test drive can also provide information about possible damage. While driving, pay attention to the symptoms described above, such as vibrations, clicking noises or vibrations. If any of these symptoms occur, there may be a problem with the drive shaft.

If possible, lift your vehicle onto a lift to inspect the drive shaft more closely. On a lift you have a better view of the entire shaft and can better detect cracks or other damage.

Causes of drive shaft damage

There are several factors that can cause damage to the drive shaft. One of the most common reasons is normal wear over time. The drive shaft is heavily stressed because it transfers the power from the transmission to the wheels. This permanent load can lead to cracks or breaks over time.

Excessive load on the drive shaft can also cause damage. This load can be caused by aggressive driving, frequent driving on uneven roads or pulling heavy loads. If the drive shaft is overwhelmed, this can lead to wear and damage.

An accident, especially a collision with an obstacle, can also damage the drive shaft. The sudden application of force in the event of an accident can cause deformations or breakages that require repair or replacement.

Can I repair the damage myself?

Repairing a driveshaft requires special skills and tools. It is not a task for beginners in vehicle repair. However, if you have extensive knowledge and experience in vehicle repair, you might consider fixing the damage yourself. Note, however, that this is a challenging task and requires certain tools.

In most cases, it is advisable to have the repair carried out in a workshop by trained specialists. The mechanics in a workshop have the necessary expertise and experience to properly diagnose and remedy the damage. This ensures that your vehicle remains safe and reliable.

What are the repair costs?

The cost of repairing a drive shaft can vary depending on the type of vehicle, extent of damage and labor costs. However, it is usually an expensive matter. Prices for spare parts may also vary depending on the brand and quality of the parts used.

When choosing spare parts, you have the option of choosing between original spare parts and cheaper replica components. Original parts are usually more expensive, but they are designed specifically for your vehicle and meet the highest quality standards. Replica components are cheaper but can vary in quality and durability.


Drive shaft damage can have a serious impact on your vehicle. If you notice signs of such damage, it is important to act quickly. Whether you try the repair yourself or leave it to professionals depends on your skills and resources. Make sure that you do not compromise the quality and safety of your vehicle during the repair. In case of doubt, it is advisable to consult an expert to avoid further damage or safety risks. Plus, if a repair is out of the question, offers a way to sell your damaged vehicle quickly and easily.

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