What is the Center Support Bearing?
While many of the vehicles on the road today use a front-wheel drive format, there are plenty of rear-wheel drive cars out there. These range from trucks to SUVs to passenger vehicle, and they all use drive shafts that link the transmission to the rear differential in order to rotate the rear wheels.
However, in very long drive shafts produced with two sections, strains are problematic. A center support bearing is used to offer support for the shaft, reduce strain on drivetrain parts, and let the shaft to turn freely. It is a universal joint that lets free motion even if the shaft is not fully straight. If the center support bearing is worn, seized, or spoilt, you will hear excessive squeaking noises or noticing a “binding” feeling when driving.
Bear in mind:
- Changing the center support bearing will need removing at least part of the drive shaft.
- Driving with a failed or failing center support bearing can create serious damage to the transmission, the differential, or the drive shaft.
How it is done:
- The car is raised and supported on jack stands
- The transmission drive shaft with the center support bearing is taken out from vehicle
- The bad center support bearing is taken out from the driveshaft
- The new center support bearing is mounted to the driveshaft and driveshaft is re-installed
- The car is removed from jack stands and road tested for proper operation
Your center support bearing should be checked on a regular basis (during regular maintenance, such as an oil change) for signs of wear and tear. It should be changed by an expert mechanic immediately if they notice any damage.
What common signs indicate you may need to change the Center Support Bearing?
- Grinding/squealing noise when the car is moving
- A feeling of resistance/lack of performance
How vital is this service?
Because the center support bearing upholds the drive shaft and makes sure that it can spin freely, part failure is a serious concern. If the bearing siezes, you can easily damage transmission parts, differential parts, or even the drive shaft itself. We recommend immediate change.