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.
Working Of Driveshaft-
Watch the video below to understand the working of driveshaft-
While the importance of an engine to the running of an automobile is well known, it can be argued that the drive shaft plays an equally vital role. The drive shaft acts as a medium for transferring the power generated by the engine to the wheels, enabling them to turn. This, in turn, puts the vehicle in motion.
The force that is transmitted by the drive shaft is referred to as torque. Torque is basically the technical term to describe the force associated with a twisting or spinning motion. Because drive shafts have to endure conditions that could cause them to bend or break they are made to be “flexible”. Flexible in this sense does not mean the ability to bend. What it speaks to is an allowance for some small degree of movement at the points where the drive shafts are connected. This is accomplished via what is known as universal joints, or u-joints. It is necessary for drive shafts to be straight and balanced. If this is not so vibrating will result. This can lead to damage to the components that are connected to the drive shaft. One example is the engine, which is turning at high speed.
The importance of the drive shaft is best appreciated in circumstances where it bridges the gap between inconveniently located components. This inconvenience can arise because of the component’s long distance apart, or their awkward positioning/alignment