Most engines will deliver power through a rotary motion known as torque. The driveshaft is the carrier of this torque. A drive shaft needs to be exceedingly strong to carry the engine torque to the place where the torque can be applied to some useful work – such as towing a trailer or accelerating fast enough to pass a truck.
Most motor vehicles use a rigid driveshaft to deliver power from the transmission to the wheels. Obviously, the drive shaft in a front-engined rear-wheel drive vehicle will be much longer than the driveshaft used in a front-engined front-wheel drive vehicle (or, for that matter, the drive shaft in the rear-engine rear-wheel drive traditional VW Beetle).
Driveshafts aren’t just for cars. BMW has used driveshaft technololgies in some of its motorcycles since 1923. Drive shafts in motorcycles have the advantage of being lower maintenance. However, some power is lost in the process. You will also find a drive shaft in power-driven ships, and as an alternative to chain-driven bicycles.
In the most technical terms, the drive shaft is a shaft that connects the transmission output shaft to the differential drive pinion shaft. The universal joints that provide the drive shaft with flexibility are considered part of the drive shaft by mechanics.
A drive shaft, like other parts of the drive train, needs regular maintenance to make sure that the car runs smoothly, relatively quietly and without unnecessary vibrations.We hope that helps answer the question ‘What is What is a Drive Shaft?’!
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