Have you ever bought a drive shaft, just to realise it’s the wrong drive shaft?
Well, this guide will cover everything there is to know about buying drive shaft and help you get your drive shaft right every. single. time.
This article is not for you if you only wanted to know what is a drive shaft and the top 3 drive shaft problems. You can check out the other articles first before hopping back in!
Shopping in the aftermarket can be a very daunting tasks. There are so many cars out there, with so many different models and so many variations of every single items!
The worst part is that they all look the same to an untrained eyes.
Here’s a fun eye test for you. Can you spot the difference between this…
Fact is, these two are completely different drive shaft! The first picture is a Perodua Myvi drive shaft while the second picture is a Perodua Kenari drive shaft.
Scary, isn’t it?
So how on Earth, do you navigate through all these noise to buy the parts that you want? Fear not, for we have come up with a step by step guide to help you buy the correct drive shaft every single time.
- Step 1: Start with the Basics
- Step 2: Narrow it Down
- Step 3: Special Car deserves Special Care
- Step 4: Finalizing your Order
- Step 5: Install & Check
Step 1: Start with the Basics.
Every car is manufactured differently. That means they will use different drive shaft.
So when you call, start with the basics. Tell them the car maker, car model and car year so the mechanic or salesman know what they are dealing with.
“Hi, I’m looking to purchase a drive shaft. My car is a [Car Maker] [Car Model] [Car Year].”
- Car Maker. This is the brand behind your car or the car manufacturer. Example: Perodua, Proton, Toyota, Honda, BMW, Mercedes Benz etc .
- Car Model. This would be the different types of car that the car maker offers. Example: Myvi, Kancil, Kenari, Axia, Waja, Wira, Saga etc.
- Car Year. This is the year that the car is manufactured. Example: 1998, 2002, 2015 etc.
So when you speak to the salesperson, let him know.
“I’m hoping to buy a Perodua Myvi 2013’s drive shaft.”
“What is the price for Proton Wira 2009’s drive shaft?”
If you are not sure, you can always ask for the customer service’s phone number and send him/her 3 pictures of the car: (i) front view, (ii) side view, and (iii) rear view. They should be able to help identify the car for you.
If you’re worried about privacy issues, you can always censor your car number plate before sending.
Voila, we’ve just established a general idea of what we’re looking for. Great job! But, we’re not done yet.
Step 2: Narrow it Down.
In some cases, some car model may require more information to filter down the correct drive shaft. The salesman should be the one who asks you for the specific information, otherwise skip to Step 3.
I know, I know. It’s annoying.
But, many cars have the exact same car maker, car model and car year but uses a different variation of the drive shaft.
The drive shaft could be longer, shorter, bigger, smaller, or different by just a tiny bit but it will be incompatible with your car. You either can’t fit it in, or you’ll have issues somewhere down the line.
This is where our expertise comes in. We have been in the industry for over two decades and we know how to differentiate them, down to the tiniest details.
Some of the car traits that we may use to help our clients buy the correct drive shafts are:
- Transmission Type. We may need to know whether the car is Auto or Manual. Manual transmission car will have a clutch pedal. If you car has gas pedal and brake pedal only, then it’s an Auto transmission car.
- Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). Does the car come with ABS? You can check by switching on your car and looking at your dashboard light. If there is a “ABS” indicator light, then your car is equipped with ABS.
- Engine CC. You can find it within your road tax on the windshield.
Step 3: Special Car deserves Special Care.
This is goes out to the car enthusiast out there. If you imported your car from abroad or did modification work on your car, it would be a good idea to let the customer service know about it.
We don’t like to be nosy, but it’s important!
Depending on the modification work, some modification changes your drive shaft variation.
This is especially true if the modification is related to the car transmission, car engine, or wheels because the drive shaft is connected directly to these car parts.
Any changes in length, diameter, or shape will cause them to be incompatible.
Step 4: Finalizing your Order.
By now, the salesperson would have determined the exact match for your car model. Now, we just need to decide on what type of drive shaft you are looking for.
There are many different types of drive shaft in the market. You’ll see…
- Reconditioned drive shaft. These are the original drive shafts that are repaired back to their pristine condition.
- Original Equipment Manufactured (OEM) drive shaft. The specification, design and manufacturing of a OEM drive shaft is handled by the same company. They are their own boss!
- Original Design Manufactured (ODM) drive shaft. ODM drive shaft is designed and manufactured by the same company, BUT based on another company’s specifications. For example, Company B will tell Company A “Oh, I need you to use aluminium for this to cut cost.” So, Company A will design their drawings and manufacture to produce aluminium drive shaft.
- Original drive shaft. These are the drive shafts that comes straight from the car manufacturer’s factory. If you haven’t changed your drive shaft yet, you are using an original drive shaft.
|Types of Drive Shaft||Price||Quality|
*Reconditioned drive shaft tend to have a bad reputation for being poor quality. But speaking from experience, reconditioned drive shaft can be cheaper AND also much higher quality than OEM / ODM drive shaft.
The catch is… you have to find a reputable workshop that is both ethical, experienced and have outstanding craftsmanship. Now, how on Earth do you find a drive shaft shop near you that is honest and experienced? *wink wink* I happens to know a repair specialist called D S AUTO. #GiveUsAChanceToWowYou
Great, now that is out of the way, let’s keep moving forward! To recap, by now the salesperson should know what car model we are talking about, the exact variation of the drive shaft you need, and if there are any modification involved.
Now the easy part – the length of the drive shaft.
Most of the time, your car will have a long and a short drive shaft. You have to let the salesperson know which drive shaft you are looking to purchase.
If you are not sure or haven’t removed the drive shaft from the car, you can also tell him whether you want the drive shaft on the left hand side of your car or the drive shaft on the right hand side of your car.
But do pay attention to where you are referencing. If you are standing in front and facing your car, you will realise that your left side is the driver’s side. It would be the exact opposite if you are sitting in the driver’s seat as your left hand side would be the passenger side.
It would make way more sense if you refer to them as the driver’s side or passenger’s side drive shaft.
Bonus: Take Pictures.
Here’s a bonus tip if everything fails.
Taking picture of the drive shaft can help the drive shaft salesperson tremendously. It acts as point of reference to compare your car’s drive shafts and the drive shafts that you are about to purchase.
We would recommend taking the picture from three angle.
- The entire drive shaft
- A close-up view of the inner constant velocity joint
- A close-up view of the outboard constant velocity joint
An experienced repair specialist can instantly tell a drive shaft apart from one another at a glance. That should sort out any uncertainties that you may have.
Step 5: Install & Check.
Congratulation! By now you should be walking away with a brand new drive shaft in your car now. However, that drive shaft will only be a piece of scrap metal sitting in your car unless you install it.
So where do you do that?
Most local car workshop will know how to install a drive shaft. As a reference, the price of labour should be between RM 30 ~ RM 70 / unit depending on where you go.
Okay, what I’m about to say may sound like a sales pitch. But trust me, it’s not!
Genuinely speaking, if you don’t know how to change a drive shaft right now, it may not be worthwhile learning how to do it. The time and equipment you need to invest and the things that could go wrong significantly outweighs the labor cost of changing drive shaft. It’s just not worth it.
I would recommend just getting it to a local workshop and get them to install it for you. Your time and energy is way more valuable. Just sit back, relax and check if everything is working fine after the installation.
The Bottom Line
Buying drive shaft should be a breeze as long as you know what you need to know. When in doubt, all you need to do is just – ask! The salesperson will be there to support you.
If you are not sure whether or not you need a drive shaft, we have listed out the Top 3 Drive Shaft Problems and How to Identify It Yourself. Have a read, it will help you avoid buying unnecessary car parts or repair!
Until then, drive safe and drive smart!