A Beginner’s Guide to Checking Drive Shafts in Your Subaru for Optimal Performance and Cost Savings


Subaru is a popular brand for car enthusiasts who are looking for reliable and high-performance cars. However, even the best maintained cars will experience issues at some point. One essential component of your Subaru that requires regular attention is the drive shaft. A faulty drive shaft can cause severe problems, and ignoring the issue could lead to costly repairs. Therefore, it’s critical to know how to check your drive shafts and identify any potential issues before they adversely affect your driving experience. In this article, we will guide you through the process of visually checking your Subaru’s drive shafts and test-driving your car to identify any problems.

Understanding the Functions of the Drive Shafts

The drive shaft is an essential component of your Subaru’s drivetrain as it transmits power from the transmission to the wheels. A typical Subaru has two drive shafts – the front drive shaft and the rear drive shaft. The front drive shaft is responsible for transmitting power to the front wheels, while the rear drive shaft transmits power to the rear wheels.

Identifying Signs of a Faulty Drive Shaft

Before checking your drive shafts, it’s essential to know the signs of a faulty drive shaft. Common signs of a malfunctioning drive shaft include vibrations, clunking noises when shifting gears, difficulty in turning, and uneven wear on the tires.

How to Check the Drive Shafts Visually

Here are easy steps to check your drive shafts visually:

  1. Park your Subaru on a level surface, engage the parking brake, and make sure that the engine is turned off.
  2. Locate the drive shafts underneath the car. The front drive shaft is located between the transmission and the front differential, while the rear drive shaft is attached to the rear differential.
  3. Check for any physical damage to the drive shafts such as cracks, deformation, or signs of leakage.
  4. Ensure that the bolts that attach the drive shafts to the wheels are secure.
  5. Check if the universal joints (U-Joints) are lubricated and in good condition.
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How to Check the Drive Shafts by Test-Driving the Car

Here are easy steps to check your drive shafts by test-driving your car:

  1. Drive your Subaru on a straight, flat, and empty road.
  2. Gradually increase your speed and feel for any vibrations. If you feel unusual vibrations, it could be an indication that your drive shafts are misaligned or damaged.
  3. Try to turn left and right to identify any issues with the steering.
  4. Check if there are any unusual sounds such as clunking or whining noises when accelerating or coasting.
  5. Determine if there is any difficulty in shifting gears or a sudden loss of power.

Common Issues with Subaru Drive Shafts and How to Troubleshoot Them

Some common issues with Subaru drive shafts include damaged U-Joints, worn out CV-joints, and misaligned drive shafts. Here are measures to troubleshoot them:

  1. For damaged U-Joints, have them replaced or lubricated if they are still in good condition.
  2. Worn out CV-Joints should be replaced immediately.
  3. Misaligned drive shafts should be inspected to determine the root cause of the problem, then correctly realigned.

The Importance of Regular Maintenance to Prevent Drive Shaft Issues

Regular maintenance is vital in ensuring that your Subaru’s drive shafts remain in optimal condition. Here are some measures you can take to maintain your drive shafts:

  1. Regularly inspect the drive shafts for physical damage or wear.
  2. Lubricate the U-Joints and CV-joints at the recommended intervals.
  3. Have your drive shafts realigned if you notice any issues with the steering or unusual vibrations.
  4. Ensure that the bolts that attach the drive shafts to the wheels are secure.
  5. Replace any worn out or damaged parts.
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Q: Can I drive my Subaru if I notice a problem with my drive shafts?
A: It’s not recommended to drive your car with faulty drive shafts. Continued use may cause significant damage to your Subaru, resulting in costly repairs.

Q: How often should I inspect my drive shafts?
A: You should inspect your drive shafts at least once every year or whenever you suspect a problem.


Maintaining your Subaru’s drive shafts is essential for optimal performance and avoiding costly repairs. By following the steps outlined in this article, you will be able to check your Subaru’s drive shafts visually and by test-driving the car. Additionally, you’ll be able to identify common issues and troubleshoot them accordingly. By performing regular maintenance on your drive shafts, you’ll be able to prevent issues before they become significant problems, thus saving you money in the long run.

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Joseph Weaver

With a background in engineering and a passion for cars, Joseph brings a unique perspective to our blog. He's particularly interested in the technology and innovation behind Subaru's advanced safety features, and his articles on this topic are always insightful and informative. When he's not writing, he enjoys playing video games and spending time with his family.

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