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What Happens if my Drive Shaft Breaks While Driving What Causes Drive Shaft Failure

What Happens if my Drive Shaft Breaks While Driving? What Causes Drive Shaft Failure?

Is it that you randomly came across this question and searched Google for its answer, or is your car helping you digest your food faster as it vibrates? It’s fine if the random question brought you here, but not if it’s the second scenario.

Your car vibrating its parts off is one of the pointers that your driveshaft is on the verge of splitting into two parts, and breaking you into multiple, given the higher chances of losing control of your car, and ultimately meeting a deadly accident.

But that’s only one sign, there are more signs that we’ll list in this guide and that you can observe to prevent an unfortunate mishap while you drive your favorite car. However, before we get to the signs, it would be more helpful to know the reason the driveshafts break into two or more parts, as it will solve the entire problem itself.

Why do driveshafts break or fail?

Driveshafts are some of the most overlooked parts of vehicles, and due to this reason, they are left to age for a considerable amount of time, which is one of the reasons why they break or fail. Yes! It is the age. The older the driveshafts, the higher the chances of them getting damaged. As a result, you need to take an extra careful look over their condition from time to time, so you don’t end up with a broken shaft in the middle of nowhere.

That was the first reason, now for the second reason, which is when a car hits another car from the back. The closest opening to a driving shaft is the rear of a car, which is when hit or hits another car, delivers the most impact on the driveshaft, causing it to break into two or more parts. It has the least probability, for it’ll only occur if your car is hit or hits another car, but from the back.

The quality of the driveshafts also has an impact on their breakage. Some vehicles, which could be small or large, don’t feature optimally treated driveshafts, which exposes them to corrosion, and over time, they break, irrespective of what state the vehicle is in, whether it’s been driven or parked. Also, if you are not careful with bumping them into speed breakers and potholes on the road, they’ll eventually break, no matter how new and strong they are.

How would you know if the driveshaft is about to break or fail?

 Now that you know possible reasons why driveshafts break or fail, it’s time to learn the signs that point towards if the driveshaft of your car is about to break.

  • Intense Vibration

As we discussed in the introduction above, vibration is one of the most prominent signs of a breaking driveshaft. Your vehicle will start vibrating whenever you drive it or change the gears, or accelerate. It will vibrate to an extent where you feel that stopping and parking the car makes more sense than driving it.

Now for the cause, entailing why your car vibrates, it is because of the worn-out or damaged u-joints that further cause the driveshaft to break or fail while driving. Again, you must not be relaxed with this vibration, you immediately need to visit your mechanic and get your driveshaft repaired.

  • Failed Knuckle

Failed or broken knuckle means your driveshaft is on the verge of breaking and that you’d know by the sound of a loud clunk while you change the pedals or shift through the gears. Furthermore, the failed knuckle also relates to the vibration, which will keep getting worse, and would ultimately ruin the balance of your car leading to lost control.

Being the second most frequent sign, it has more severe outcomes than any signs on this guide, which is another reason to have your car inspected for the vibration and clunk sound, which will only do you better.

  • Stiff Steering

If your driveshaft is out-of-order or failed or broken, you’d experience quite a stiffness while steering across the roads or directing your car towards a certain direction. It is because your driveshaft is not distributing the torque optimally, which is an explicit sign of a failed or broken driveshaft.

These three are the most common signs of a broken driveshaft that may expose you to a range of unfortunate incidents and accidents that you’d never want to experience. And here is what those unfortunate events look like.

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What happens if my drive shaft breaks while driving?

It would not be unwise to declare the driveshaft one of the most important parts of a vehicle as they are responsible for optimal distribution of torque that further enables you to drive your car flawlessly. Now that this part is gone or broken, obvious and following results will occur:

  • Lost Control

One thing is sure, if your driveshaft breaks, either you or your vehicle will bear the damages. Depending on where it has broken, whether from its rear axle or front knuckle, your car will lose its control and stop in the middle of the road, or it will lose its control and roll over the road like a rolling dice over the Jumanji board game.

Now, if you look for precautions or preventions, then dear friend, there are none, we’d recommend you stay proactive as a possible precaution, and before hitting the road where you think your car would need an extra touch of mechanical proficiency, you should take it to the mechanic, so you go and get back without ruining all the fun of your trip.

  • ‘Collateral’ Damage

Sounds familiar? Well, it is an understood fact that whenever there is a car on the road rolling to meet its end, you can’t expect other cars to stay safe, they will definitely be hit from random spots, and let you become the source of damage other people have born.

We know that sounds mean, but it is what it is. You must have your car checked and up at all times to prevent mishaps that could make you feel guilty and others furious at you for ruining their perfect day.

God forbid if you ever come across the situation like, depending on the speed of your car, you’d want to get out of the vehicle after immediately pulling over, and if you can’t do so, you need to switch off the engine of your car and try steering as gently and carefully as possible until the speed of your car reduces to the minimum, and eventually stops.

P.S: you can use the breaks, it is the driveshaft that has broken or failed, not the breaks.


We are evidently convinced that you have now found the answer to what happens if my drive shaft breaks while driving, and would follow all the possible precautions and preventions listed on this guide to counter the respective event diligently.

The best way to prevent the breakage of the driveshaft is to get your vehicle optimally inspected for possible touchups, and pay great attention to the signs that usually range from that loud ‘Clunk’ sound to failed knuckle to stiff steering.

If your vehicle is producing even the slightest of any of these signs, you need to get as conscious as you would if it were producing any of these signs intensely. This is the only way to not end up rolled over in the middle of the road.

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