What is the Center Support Bearing all about?
While many of the cars on the road today use a front-wheel drive format, there are plenty of rear-wheel drive vehicles out there. These range from trucks to SUVs to passenger cars, and they all use drive shafts that connect the transmission to the rear differential in order to turn the rear wheels.
However, in very long drive shafts made with two sections, strains are problematic. A center support bearing is used to provide support for the shaft, reduce strain on drivetrain components, and allow the shaft to turn freely. It is a universal joint that allows free motion even if the shaft isn’t fully straight. If the center support bearing is worn, seized, or damaged, you will hear excessive squeaking noises or experience a “binding” feeling when driving.
Keep in mind:
- Replacing the center support bearing will require removing at least part of the drive shaft.
- Driving with a failed or failing center support bearing can cause serious damage to the transmission, the differential, or the drive shaft.
How it’s done:
- The vehicle is raised and supported on jack stands
- The transmission drive shaft with the center support bearing is removed from vehicle
- The defective center support bearing is removed from the driveshaft
- The new center support bearing is installed to the driveshaft and driveshaft is re-installed
- The vehicle is removed from jack stands and road tested for proper operation
Your center support bearing should be inspected on a regular basis (during normal maintenance, such as an oil change) for signs of wear and tear. It should be replaced by one of our expert mechanics immediately if they notice any damage.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Center Support Bearing?
- Grinding/squealing noise when the vehicle is moving
- A feeling of resistance/lack of performance
How important is this service?
Because the center support bearing upholds the drive shaft and ensures that it can spin freely, part failure is a serious concern. If the bearing freezes, you can easily damage transmission components, differential components, or even the drive shaft itself. We recommend immediate replacement.