Hometown Garage Tech Question:
I'm Doug. A few years ago I was driving my '85 powder blue Dodge Ramcharger with about 80,000 miles (129,000 kilometers) on it. I was going up a hill in Portland and heard a noise like a tin can rolling down the road. I looked back and saw my drive shaft bouncing down the hill. I put it in four wheel drive and drove to my Portland mechanic to get it fixed.
What could I have done to prevent that?
Hometown Garage Tech Answer:
Now that's quite a story. Doug was fortunate that his vehicle had a part-time four wheel drive system that would let him get home without a rear drive shaft.
This “case of the missing drive shaft” highlights the need for regular inspections. Now most drivers in Portland are familiar with recommendations for preventive maintenance services like oil changes and coolant replacement. What you may not know is that there are also recommendations for inspections at various intervals.
By the time a vehicle gets the number of miles on it like Doug had, the owner's manual would have called for of things like checking the suspension, brakes and the drive line. Chances are that such an inspection at Hometown Garage would have revealed early signs of a worn u-joint, and Doug could have had it fixed before his drive shaft went rattling down the road.
Ask your friendly and knowledgeable pros at Hometown Garage about the inspections your vehicle should have.