U-joints in the driveline (or driveshaft) allow the engine to put power to the differential in order to power the wheels even when the angle of the driveline is changing relative to the transmission and differential due to the vehicle jouncing and the wheels going up and down.
Some u-joints can be greased through zerk fittings, and others are sealed. Some can be replaced by pressing out the old and pressing in the new, while others require being cut out at a driveline specialty shop.
As the u-joints wear, symptoms may include a rapidly cycling, high pitched squeaking heard especially at low speeds and that varies with the speed of the vehicle. Another symptom is a rapid vibration felt on acceleration and/or perhaps on deceleration against the engine’s coasting compression.
As they get worn enough, another symptom is a clunking that is heard as slack gets taken up between the worn parts when you’re on and off the gas while driving along, or when you first engage the driveline to take off from a stop either moving forward or in reverse.
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