Learn How To Identify a Driveshaft That Fits Your Car
If your driveshaft breaks, then you’ll be in the market for a new one. Learn how to find the perfect driveshaft for your needs to ensure that you find a replacement part that checks all your boxes.
What Type of Configuration Does Your Car Have?
There are four different main types of driveshaft configurations, so you’ll need to be sure of the type that your vehicle uses. Otherwise, even if you get the right size shaft, the end pieces might not be compatible with your car. The four different types of driveshafts are end yoke-to-end yoke, spline-to-end yoke, flange-to-flange, and end yoke-to-flange. If you’re unsure which one you need for your vehicle, you can look up the car’s schematics, speak with your mechanic, or contact a customer service representative of the manufacturer.
How To Measure Your Current Driveshaft
Once you understand the configuration of your driveshaft, you can measure it. The driveshaft connects your transmission to the axel, so it needs to be the exact right length to connect to the two parts correctly.
- For end yoke-to-end yoke shafts, you’ll measure from the center of one U-Joint to the center of the other U-Joint.
- For spline-to-end yoke shafts, you’ll measure from the tip of the spline to the center of the U-Joint.
- For flange-to-flange shafts, you’ll measure from the face of the first flange to the front of the second flange.
- For end yoke-to-flange shafts, you’ll measure from the center of the U-Joint to the face of the flange.
OEM vs. After-Market
When getting a new driveshaft, you’ll have to decide between getting an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) part or an aftermarket piece. An OEM part would be identical to the shaft that originally came with your car off the factory line. An OEM part is typically the option for drivers who are already satisfied with their vehicle’s performance but need to replace a broken shaft. However, you can use the fractured driveshaft as an opportunity to upgrade to an aftermarket part for added performance. Aftermarket driveshafts of aluminum vs. steel are much lighter, by as much as 20 pounds, and less weight translates to increased max speeds. Also, aluminum is more durable in frigid climates, where the cold winters can cause some OEM parts to rust faster.
Check Out Internet Forums for Advice
When having trouble finding the right driveshaft, struggling with the install, or needing the answer to your questions about your specific car, your biggest help will be car enthusiast message boards on the internet. It can be hard to take car mechanics and parts salesman at face value even when they’re being honest, so you’ll probably be more comfortable listening to a third party with zero financial interest in your purchase. The group mind will help filter out any wrong answers, and their past experiences means they can teach you everything you need to know about car maintenance.
After learning how to find the perfect driveshaft for your needs, you’ll hopefully feel more confident about picking out the right part for your vehicle.