What is a Universal Joint on a Car?
If you have driven for a while, you have probably heard a mechanic or do-it-yourselfer use the term "universal joint." Often they'll include the name of this mechanical part in a car in a statement like this: "I think it's a universal joint" or "The u-joints are going bad."
Of course, car parts aren't like aging vegetables. They don't "go bad." Nevertheless, when you hear something like this, you naturally want someone to explain the answer to the question: what is a universal joint on a car?
The answer is important because some types of vehicles won't move at all without functioning universal joints. Further, understanding the proper operation and maintenance of u-joints can save you from a giant repair bill, and that's something we'd all like to avoid.
U-joint failure is typically gradual and, left unchecked, can be expensive to repair or even dangerous while you're driving. The good news is there are telltale signs that your u-joints need some professional attention.