Technician working on trailer

Driveline Noises & What They Mean

There are some sounds that you want to hear when you’re out on the road like birds chirping or children playing. However, if the sounds are coming from your vehicle, it can definitely be a cause for concern, especially if they’re associated with your driveline. That’s because your driveline is one of the most important parts of your entire vehicle and when it’s not functioning properly, it can quite literally put your truck at a standstill and have a negative impact on your ability to run your business efficiently.

There are a number of noises that can indicate problems with your driveline and in this blog, we’ll dive into what they are and where you should go for assistance when you suspect something’s wrong.


What Is A Driveline?

The driveline of a vehicle transfers power from the engine and transmission to the wheels. Depending on whether you have a front-wheel, rear-wheel, or 4-wheel drive vehicle, your driveline system can vary. However, no matter which one you have, it’s very important that it is kept in tip-top shape in order to operate your vehicle safely.

Hearing odd noises and having difficulty controlling your vehicle are two of the major clues that something is off with your driveline or one of its associated parts. That’s when it’s time to reach out to a professional for help. 


Main Parts & Components of the Driveline 


The driveshaft is a component for transmitting mechanical power and torque from a vehicle’s engine to the wheels. It is what gets your vehicle’s wheels turning and allows you to actually move – that’s pretty important, right? 


The differential is a set of gears that sends engine power to your wheels and allows them to turn at different speeds. This is crucial because when you’re taking turns, your wheels need to go different distances. If they moved at the same speed, it could cause damage to your tires and other parts of your vehicle.

Axle Shaft

Axle shafts connect the transmission to the wheels of the vehicles and by transferring the rotational force and power from the transmission, the vehicle is able to move. 

U-joints & CV Joints

U-joints (also known as universal joints) and CV joints (also known as constant-velocity joints) connect the transmission with the driveshaft and provide rotational power to the axles. 


Carrier bearings, which are located on the axles or the driveshaft, keep the axle or driveshaft in place. The center support bearing connects the two driveshaft sections. Both types of bearings help reduce vibration when the vehicle is accelerating. 


Identifying Driveline Sounds

When there’s something amiss with your driveline, you won’t always be able to see it but if you pay attention and listen, you’ll definitely be able to hear it. Below, we’ve listed some of the most common sounds associated with driveline failure along with the parts that might need to be adjusted, repaired, or replaced as a result.

Squeaking & Grinding At Fast & Slow Speeds

If you’re on the road and notice squeaking or grinding sounds, it’s probably because your U-joint or CV joints are worn, damaged, or in need of lubrication. 

Vibrations That Increase With Speed

Should you experience intense vibration that increases as you go faster, wear and tear on the U-joint or CV joint could be to blame. An out-of-balance driveshaft may also cause excessive vibration. 

Clunking When Removing Foot From Gas/Throttle

Do you hear a clunking sound after taking your foot off the gas? The likely cause is worn slip yoke splines or a worn-out U-joint or CV joint. 

Rumbling While Moving

If you feel rumbling while your vehicle is in operation, there are several possible culprits including a worn gear set due to lack of lubrication, worn carrier bearings, a worn rear pinion, or bad wheel bearings. 


How To Prevent Vibrations, Clunking, & Driveshaft Noise

With any noise, the bottom line is this: take your vehicle to a trusted mechanic sooner than later. While some problems are relatively minor and can be fixed easily, delaying maintenance can cause greater damage to your driveline and lead to astronomical costs down the road. Plus, you could be putting yourself and other motorists at risk if you’re operating a vehicle with faulty equipment. Why take that chance?


Get Your Truck Serviced By Driveline Service Professionals

If you’re starting to hear unwanted noises coming from your driveline, it’s time to contact the driveline professionals at Blaine Brothers for help! Our highly skilled repair technicians can assist you with all your driveline and driveshaft needs so you can stay on the road safely for many miles to come.

After more than 40 years in the business, we’ve proud of the reputation we’ve built among the trucking and transportation community in the upper midwest and we’re pleased to provide service to companies of all sizes. Our mission is to offer every one of our customers and partners a helping hand in realizing their full potential by delivering value in parts, service, and sales in the industries we serve.

Since our founding, we’ve been dedicated to taking care of our customers and treating them as members of our family. Why? Because we know that if we do a good job for them, they’ll keep coming back to us over the life of their fleet and that’s something that’s really important to us. When it’s time for driveline repair or replacement, we hope you’ll contact us and let us show you why so many trucking companies trust us to care for their vehicles.

Blaine, MN


10011 Xylite Street NE
Minneapolis, MN 55449

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1325 Hwy 45
Scanlon, MN 55720

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750 Heaton BLVD
Clearwater, MN 55320

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Baldwin, WI 54002

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10070 Davenport St. NE
Blaine, MN 55449



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