Question: My name is Doug and a few years ago, I was driving my 1985 powder blue Dodge Ram Charger that had about 80,000 miles on it at that time. I was going up a hill and heard a noise like a tin can rolling down the road. I looked back and saw my drive shaft bouncing down the hill. I put it in four-wheel drive and drove to my mechanic to get it fixed. What could I have done to prevent that?
Answer: Wow, that’s quite a story. Doug was very fortunate that his vehicle had a part-time four-wheel drive system that would allow him to get home without a rear drive shaft.
This case of “the missing drive shaft” highlights the need for regular inspections. Most of us are familiar with recommendations for preventative maintenance services like oil changes and coolant replacement. What may not be as familiar to you is that there are also recommendations for inspections at various intervals.
By the time a vehicle gets 80,000 miles on it, like Doug had on his vehicle, the owner’s manual would have called for inspections of things like the suspension, brakes, and the drive line. Chances are that such an inspection would have revealed early signs of a worn u-joint and Doug could have had it fixed before his drive shaft went rattling down the road.
Ask your service adviser about the inspections your vehicle might need so something like this doesn’t happen to you.
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