How Long Can You Drive With A Bad U Joint (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Up to 200 miles

The person will not be able to drive more than a few miles with bad universal joints. These universal joints are responsible for helping the driveshaft to rotate freely. The failing of the universal joint would determine how long the car can go with a bad u joint.

A person experiencing a transmission fluid leakage along with a U joint would not be able to drive for more than a few kilometers. It’s not safe to drive a vehicle with a bad u joint as it may break at any point of driving. Some vehicles can be driven for around 100 to 200 miles, while others may break down before 50 miles.

How Long Can You Drive With A Bad U Joint

How Long Can You Drive With A Bad U Joint?

Bad U JointDistance
In miles200 miles
In kilometers321.86 kilometers

Once the U joint stop working completely, the person would not be able to drive the vehicle. Driving with a bad U joint will affect the break line and driveshaft. Therefore, it’s always recommended to check the conditions of each and every part of the vehicle before driving long distances.

The driver never knows when the vehicle may also if the universal joints fail. The bad u joints will also affect the transmission line of the vehicle which can cause huge internal damage. The universal joints are capable of lasting for decades without any issues. Just like tires or any other parts of the vehicles, the U joint may get damaged anytime.

The person may have to run to the mechanic for replacing the universal joints if they fail. If someone observes any problem with the universal joint, then the person may get it repaired or replaced for avoiding repercussions. The person should always replace the universal joint in pairs as you never know when the other u joint may fail.

The person should avoid driving the car on 4WD as it would cause the driveshaft to explode. After someone knows that the U joints are getting worse, then the person should run the vehicle on the bad U joints. Running a vehicle on 4WD may tear the drive shafts apart which would be very dangerous for the vehicle and the driver.

The driver should take professional help before taking any steps for bad U joint. The rotational power of the engine is transferred to the wheels of the vehicle with the help of the Universal joint. Sometimes, the alignment between the power transmission and rear axle may not match.

Here, the Universal joint would help in adjusting the misalignment. These Universal joints are great for preventing fluctuation of speed by providing the required amount of torque.

Why Can You Drive With A Bad U Joint For This Long?

There is no such fixed time or distance till which the driver can drive the car with bad Universal joints. The person should always make a note of how the Universal joint is behaving. Generally, the Universal joints don’t make any free. If the Universal joints are going to get damaged, then they may make low or high noises when the vehicle is running.

If someone decides to drive the vehicle with bad Universal joints, then it may result in fatal accidents or irreversible damage. The driver will feel the vibration in the car when the speed is increased if the Universal joints are getting damaged. The leaking transmission fluid is another sign that the Universal joints are getting bad.

The car won’t be able to move with the vehicle’s power and this is the sign of a bad Universal joint. Any sounds or speed fluctuation can also be some signs of a bad Universal joint.


The condition of the car would get highly affected if the driver neglects the bad Universal joints. The chances of severe accidents are high when people drive a car with bad U joints. Replacements of driveshaft take a lot of effort and money. If the driver has o replace the Universal joints only, then it may not be very expensive.

If someone knows that the Universal joints are not in good condition, taking the car to a repairing store is important.


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