A drive shaft or propeller shaft is a piece of an automobile which takes power from the engine and delivers to the wheels. A drive shaft has to be strong enough to absorb the torque of the engine and lightweight to reduce the overall weight of the vehicle.
A drive shaft should be perfectly balanced and should spin equal to the torque coming out of the engine and the transmission for a smooth driveline performance. In the recent times most of the automobiles are front wheel drive, soothe drive shafts are between the transaxle and each front wheel.
In simple words, a drive shaft is a shaft that drives the vehicle. For example in a rear wheel drive, the rear wheel rotates. This rotation of the wheel is done through the drive shaft.
Driveshaft transfers torque from a remotely mounted engine to drive the wheels. Example, a front engine car with the rear-wheel drive will have a driveshaft to deliver the torque. A driveshaft is also commonly used in 4WD/AWD cars.On front wheel drive cars the driveshaft is not used. The transmission and differential are combined into one unit called a transaxle.