Aside from the engine and transmission on your vehicle, there are a number of other components that make up what is known as the driveline of your vehicle. These components take all of the power and torque that your engine produces and converts that energy into motion. The driveline components include the driveshaft, axles, transfer case, differential, wheels and joints. These components collectively work together to steer your vehicle in the direction you are wanting it to go.
Modern drivelines often include computer systems that help increase stability and how smooth your driving experience can be. If you’re pulling a trailer or if road conditions are wet or snowy, the driveline and computer systems work together to ensure safety in these tough situations. The computer systems help to assess when to engage four wheel drive systems and are also helpful in maintaining fuel efficiency. Because of the complexity of the driveline system, components can be more expensive to repair when needed.
With the primary purpose of your driveline being to turn your vehicle’s axles and eventually the wheels, anything related to poor steering or handling of your vehicle could mean you have an issue somewhere in your driveline.
The driveline is connected to the transmission and the differential through a series of joints. If your vehicle begins to shudder when you attempt to accelerate, this can be an indicator that one of these joints or a center bearing needs maintenance or repair. These joints are typically surrounded by a protective cover called a boot. If the boot gets cracked, moisture gets inside causing the joints to corrode, dry out or fail altogether. This can become a very serious issue and should be attended to immediately if it is noticed.
If you are an average vehicle owner, these symptoms can be hard to diagnose, so it’s important to consult an expert. JW Auto Centers has license technicians available to assess the more complicated problems that come with maintaining your driveline.