There are three very important shafts that make a vehicle work; Camshafts, Crankshafts and Driveshafts. They’re not equally important but with or without them working properly, vehicle failure is a forgone conclusion.


The Crankshaft, also known as a crank works just the way it sounds by cranking. This cranking converts the reciprocating (back and forth) motion of the piston into rotational (round and round) motion which then empowers the vehicle to move forward.

A Crankshaft is not the strongest part in a vehicle and can break because there’s not enough lubrication, leaving it weak for debris or heat to destroy it. Crankshafts can be fixed depending on the damage, but it’s pretty difficult and shouldn’t be attempted by a novice mechanic. Unfortunately, Crankshafts can be really expensive, add labour into the equation and it’ll make you pause to consider all of your options going forward.


A Camshaft, like a Crankshaft is part of the internal combustion engine and works to open and close the valves found inside. The Camshaft uses lobes or cams to push the engine valves open and the Crankshaft returns them to a closed position. The two shafts are directly coupled so the opening and closing of the valves can be timed accordingly. The Camshaft is a rotating cylindrical shaft used to regulate the injection of vaporized fuel in the engine. When a Camshaft wears out it can cause problems with idling, low compression and make your vehicle bog down (making it slower than it normally would be).


The Driveshaft is the main shaft connected to the transmission on the bottom of a vehicle. The Driveshaft, sometimes also known as a propeller shaft was made to replace a chain that performed a similar function. They replaced this chain because Driveshafts are more reliable and don’t require tightening to keep working their best.

The Driveshaft takes the torque produced by the engine into a usable moving force to propel the vehicle. Driveshafts don’t commonly fail, but when they do you’ll be left stranded unless your vehicle has 4x4, then you can still limp your way home. Not ideal, though it’s better than being alone deep in the woods. A Driveshaft breaking can also cause other parts to break and sometimes cause important things like brake lines to be ripped or shredded depending on the make of vehicle.

Adding on huge tires can put massive strain on many different parts of your vehicle and the Driveshaft happens to be one of those parts. Without upgrades, the new tires will wear the Driveshaft down in very little time. The splines in the Driveshaft can be worn down and if they’re worn too much they’ll make it so the Driveshaft stops spinning. This can be very dangerous so make sure to check for wear and listen for noises because it could be your Driveshaft failing.

Who would’ve guessed three shafts were so important to the inner workings of a vehicle, but without them the vehicle would be a massive rock, only able to be moved by winch and another vehicle with those three shafts working together. Either way, the three shafts are essential to producing and utilizing the power generated by the engine. These three shafts are the frame of which your adventure is built on.

Have any questions about these three shafts please let us know in the comments. For those of you looking for one of these shafts, why not stay a while and take a look on


  1. How a Crankshaft Works:
  2. What is a Camshaft:
  3. What is a Driveshaft :

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