How to Troubleshoot a Few Common Problems With Your Car's Drive Train

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How to Improve Your Car

Welcome to my new auto blog. My name is Kevin. I am 48 years old and I live with my family in Alice Spring, Australia. Living so far out in the middle of nowhere means that you need a car to get around. I have been driving cars since I was 17 and I used to spend hours hanging out at the local auto repair shop. During those long summer afternoons, I learnt all about how a car works, how to repair the different components and systems, and how to accessories a vehicle so it looks cool. I hope you enjoy my blog.


How to Troubleshoot a Few Common Problems With Your Car's Drive Train

3 August 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Your ability to steer your car is managed by several different systems and parts under its body; this includes the steering column, the axles of the car, and the tie rods that connect the tyres to the steering column. Along with those are what's called the differentials; these are gears that allow two tyres to turn at the same speed even though one is turning on a tighter radius than another. A problem with any of these parts can affect your ability to control your car, so note a few troubleshooting tips on how to diagnose any of them so you know what to expect by way of repairs.

Rumbling when turning

Bad bearings are almost always the fault of rumbling, and if this happens when you turn, these are usually the bearings in the car's differentials as this may be when they have the most pressure. You may also notice a loud squealing noise to go along with the rumbling when the bearings are bad.


If the vibration in your car increases when you accelerate, this often means that the driveshaft is out of balance. One tyre might not be balanced with the other or there may be worn teeth in the gears of the differential. In turn, your car vibrates as it tries to hold the tyres in place at higher speeds. A simple wheel balancing can fix this, but if not, check the gears of the differential and have those replaced as needed.

Banging when you turn

If you turn a corner and notice a distinct banging sound, this too can be caused by broken gears in the differential. The differential works when the car turns, as it's needed to keep the tyres spinning evenly even though one is turning more tightly than the other. When the gears are worn, the tyres or differential may then clunk every time the differential reaches that area of worn metal.

Note that banging at other times can be caused by a bent or broken tie rod. This rod keeps the tyres connected to the steering column and if it's bent, the tyre will not stay level and even; you may confuse the sound with a broken shock or spring, but the tie rods work to balance the tyres just like the shock absorbers. If the shocks are fine when you hear this banging, check the tie rods and note if they need replacing.