U Joint Replacement Cost

Do you have an idea how much a universal joint replacement cost? What will happen to your car if the universal joint gets damaged? What are the symptoms of a bad universal joint, and how can you get a replacement? There’s no need to worry because this article offers all the answers you need.

This article will provide you with all the information you need to know about U joint replacement cost, the symptoms of a bad u joint, and how to get a bad u joint replaced.

What Is U Joint?

U-joints or universal joints are devices installed on automobiles that allow the linking of rotating shafts so that torque or motion can be transmitted. U-joints can also transmit power between two points that do not share a linkage.

This is an important function because the U joint protects the driveshaft from breaking when the suspension is in motion.

If you notice a damaged u joint, ensure that you have it repaired immediately since delay or negligence can cause further damage to your car.

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1. Squeaking Noise

A recently installed new u joint usually has all of the bearing parts lubricated with grease. After some time, after a lot of use, the grease will no longer be able to lubricate the bearing part. As the U-joint and driveshaft twist, the grease becomes less powerful and dissolves from the bearing.

As a result, the bearing gets dry and allows contact with its metal surface, and this causes a squeaking sound. The squeaking sound is common for drive shafts that are moving; therefore, it becomes obvious when you move backwards or forward, and once you reach a speed over five to ten mph, the squeaking sound is reduced as other noises from other vehicles get louder.

2. Clunking Noise

Besides a squeaking sound, the universal joint can make other noises. There can also be a clunking sound accompanied by a ringing sound, especially when switching from drive to reverse. Essentially, it means that the bearing parts have the proper clearance while you move.

Your car could develop this problem if you do not grease the bearings after you have noticed the squeaking. Even if grease is added so that the bearing life can be extended, the damage that has been done can not be reversed.

3. Car Vibrations

When the vehicle makes a forward movement, and you notice any form of vibration, it indicates worn U-joint bearing parts, causing the driveshaft to move beyond proper rotational limits. This results in unevenness and vibration.

The vibration seems worse compared to an imbalanced wheel because the wheels do not move as fast as the driveshaft. Other crucial parts, for example, the transmission is prone to damage due to a ruined U-joint. The U-joint must be replaced as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your vehicle.

4. Transmission Fluid Leak

Sometimes, transmission fluid leaks are caused by a bad universal joint. When this happens, you will detect a leak on the backside of the transmission.

The leak develops only when the other symptoms are not addressed. Wear in the U-joints indicates damage to the transmission output shaft seal caused by the transmission tail shaft bushing, resulting in fluid leakage.

An easy replacement of a damaged U-joint is no longer necessary at this point, and you will need to consider a more comprehensive maintenance plan.

Also Read: Transmission Fluid Change Cost

5. Inability to Move the Vehicle

Any time you see a truck on the roadside with its drive shaft falling off, you can certainly say that the U-joint is the culprit. If you fail to replace faulty U-joints, it can result in further issues such as a dislocated driveshaft.

A break in the driveshaft causes it to go underneath and stop power transfer. At this stage, a simple replacement of a damaged U-joint is no longer important, and replacement of the driveshaft is the only option.

Can You Drive With a Bad U Joint

bad u joint symptoms

You should not drive with a bad u joint as this could result in more costly damages to your vehicle. Usually, the Universal joints last as long as your vehicle. Nevertheless, just like the rest of the car parts, it is susceptible to damage with continuous use and must be replaced sooner or later.

So any observation or warning needs immediate attention and care. Also, you should remember that replacement must be done in pairs to avoid any further damage.

If condition warrants that you drive with a defective U-joint for some time, ensure not to on high speeds as this can cause the shaft to rupture and result in an explosion. We recommend you seek professional assistance if you encounter faulty U-joint issues.

1. Lift the vehicle.

Position the vehicle on a flat, hard surface, leave the transmission in neutral and apply the handbrake. Wedging chocks can be used to keep the wheels from rolling. Raise the vehicle and secure all four corners with jack stands.

2. Disconnect the driveshafts and/or half-shafts.

Before you unbolt, ensure the shaft alignment and orientation are marked with paint relative to the differential flange and transmission. Balance the driveshaft so that it can spin properly from the body line. It must be restored the same way it was assembled.

3. Remove the U-joint from the yokes.

Using the retaining clip, secure the needle roller bearings to the exterior end of the bearing cap. On some U-joints, you might find C-clips on the inner bearing caps; you’ll need to unbolt the clips first.

Using a bearing press makes the process of removing and installing U-joints easier and less stressful. The task still requires expertise, even if hammering it out carefully will work. Pull out the bearing cap once one angle has emerged from the yoke’s hole. Take it to the other position and get the opposite cap removed. Follow the same procedure for the remaining bearings, then release the u-joints.

4. Press in the new joints.

Get rid of surface rust, particularly in the area the U-joints allied with the yokes and the grooves for the retaining bolts. Ensure that you grease all the needles on the bearing. Do the same while replacing the u-joints: Press the end of the u-joints evenly the same way you got them out. Keep all retaining clips in place.

5. Reconnect the driveshaft or half-shaft.

All your markings painted on the shafts should be properly aligned, and bolts and nuts should be tightened according to torque settings.

6. Test drive the car.

Make sure there are no more vibrations or clunking sounds. If you do not hear any noise or observe any, the repair has been completed.

Check out this video to get more tips on u joint replacement

When Should A U-Joint Be Replaced?

Some parts of a car (such as shock absorbers) can be predicted, but not for U-joints. A U-joint can last quite a long time, but it is still possible for it to break, even if it is in a brand new vehicle. The more reason you should check your u-joints at every oil change. A rear-wheel drive has 2-3 u joints. Some vehicles, like buses with a long wheelbase, have more than 3 u joints. A vehicle’s u-joint failure rate is determined by the number of u-joints it possesses.

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Frequently Asked Questions About U Joint Replacement Cost

Can you drive with bad U joints?

If a defective U-joint needs to be driven for a while, avoid running on 4WD since this can cause shaft ripping and explosion. We recommend you seek professional assistance if you encounter faulty U-joint issues.

What happens when u-joint fails?

If your U-joint fails, it can cause your vehicle to break down, resulting in an inability to move. Additionally, you will see substantial damage underneath your vehicle, possibly to the driveline. Even though u-joints are relatively small, repairing them can cost a lot of money when they become damaged.

How long does it take to replace u-joint?

U-joint replacement requires at least one to two hours of Labour, which means that its replacement will cost much more if done by someone else who charges $100/hour.

Are u-joints expensive?

The estimated U joint replacement cost is between $225 and $300. Labour and parts make an additional $100 to $125 and $125 to $200 respectively to the overall cost of your u joint replacement. However, these costs are dependent on the car make and model.

Can bad u-joints cause death wobble?

Death wobble can never be attributed solely to a bad u-joint; countless factors cause it. Driveline vibration is further narrowed down to worn u-joint, incorrect angle or a bent driveline.

What do bad U joints sound like?

Bad u-joint could result in a clunking noise or jolts when you drive, especially when you apply or let go of the accelerator. In the event of a clunking sound or a knocking motion immediately after you engage your gear, you can say it is a cause of the u-joint.

Are u-joints hard to change?

Getting a u-joint replaced is not a complicated task but requires a professional. First, you will need u-joint pressing gear. A loaner tools program organized at your local auto repair store can be helpful. Be sure to adhere to every instruction on ways to replace u-joints.

How long do u-joints last on a truck?

Though U-joints can last quite a long time, they can still break even when the vehicle is new. The more reason u-joints have to be checked every time you change the oil. A rear-wheel-drive has 2-3 u joints, and some vehicles, like buses with a long wheelbase, have more than 3 u-joints.

How many u-joints does a 4 wheel drive have?

A four-wheel drive has two u-joints. Currently, maintaining U-joint is no longer a difficult task for someone who spends much time hitting on the road. Most u-joints are manufactured so that they are usually sealed and do not require grease for maintenance. They only need little maintenance.

Conclusion

A universal joint is an integral factor in the smooth performance of a vehicle. It enhances the vehicle’s engine management system. Ensure to get issues fixed as possible as you can if you notice any warning of a damaged u joint because delay causes problems to your car, making driving difficult.

On average, U joint replacement costs between $225 and $300. Labour and parts make an additional $100 to $125 and $125 to $200 respectively to the overall cost of your u joint replacement. U joint replacements costs are different for diverse car owners and are dependent on different factors such as vehicle model, vehicle lifespan, location and many others.

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