Can You Have a Drive Shaft Balanced?

Written by jay motes
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Can You Have a Drive Shaft Balanced?
A shaking steering wheel may be a sign of an unbalanced driveshaft. (steering wheel image by BaSSaBaS from Fotolia.com)

A driveshaft transfers the force created by the engine to the drive wheels. Driveshafts can become out of balance, which may cause a number of problems both in terms of mechanical soundness and driving comfort.

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Symptoms

An unbalanced driveshaft will wobble while spinning. This wobble may create a vibration felt in the steering wheel while driving or may shake the entire vehicle. The driveshaft may wobble only at certain speeds and not be felt otherwise. An unbalanced driveshaft will also cause increased wear to related components that may require frequent replacement.

Causes

Driveshafts can become unbalanced for a variety of reasons. A vehicle wreck may bend the driveshaft. The driveshaft may also become unbalanced due to loss of balance weights, corrosion or other damage. Bent or significantly damaged driveshafts may be incapable of being balanced and will require replacement.

Repair

Balancing driveshafts requires specialised equipment. A large device similar to a lathe spins the driveshaft and measures balance. Technicians weld small weights onto the driveshaft where needed to properly balance the driveshaft. Car owners should use only an experienced repair technician to tune driveshafts, as the process is complicated.

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