When abnormal vibrations or noises are detected in the driveshaft area, this chart can be used to help diagnose possible causes. Remember that other components such as wheels, tires, rear axle and suspension can also produce similar conditions.

Basic Driveshaft Problems

The Problem Is Caused By What To Do

Shudder as car accelerates from stop or low speed Loose U-joint Tighten U-joint or have it replaced
  Defective center bearing Have center bearing replaced

Loud clunk in driveshaft when shifting gears Worn U-joints Have U-joints replaced

Roughness or vibration at any speed Out-of-balance, bent or dented driveshaft Have driveshaft serviced
  Worn U-joints Have U-joints serviced
  U-joint clamp bolts loose Tighten U-joint clamp bolts
Squeaking noise at low speeds Lack of U-joint lubrication Lubricate U-joint; if problem persists, have U-joint serviced

Knock or clicking noise U-joint or driveshaft hitting frame tunnel Correct overloaded condition
  Worn constant velocity joint Have constant velocity joint replaced

Noise Diagnosis

The Noise Is Most Probably Produced By

Identical under Drive or Coast Road surface, tires or front wheel bearings
Different depending on road surface Road surface or tires
Lower as the car speed is lowered Tires
Similar with car standing or moving Engine or transmission
A vibration Unbalanced tires, rear wheel bearing, unbalanced driveshaft or worn U-joint
A knock or click about every 2 tire revolutions Rear wheel bearing
Most pronounced on turns Damaged differential gears
A steady low-pitched whirring or scraping, starting at low speeds Damaged or worn pinion bearing
A chaffering vibration on turns Wrong differential lubricant or worn clutch plates (limited slip rear axle)
Noticed only in Drive, Coast or Float conditions Worn ring gear and/or pinion gear