Do I need to balance the drive shaft in my truck?

Ford F-150
Ford F-150 –Ford

My truck seems to run fine, but someone recently asked me if I had the drive shaft balanced.  Do I need to get it balanced?

Q. During one of the severe snowstorms this past winter, I got hung up on a snowbank with my 2014 Ford F-150. It has four-wheel drive, and I lost the drive shaft to the rear wheels. I managed to get the truck off the snowbank and drive it to a mechanic. He was able to weld the broken part of the driveshaft and put it back on the truck. It seems to run fine, but someone recently asked me if I had it balanced.  Do I need to get the drive shaft balanced, and who would be able to balance it if I do?

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A. There are specialty shops that balance drive shafts, but most shops will either replace it with a used unit from a salvage yard or replace it with a new one. If a drive shaft is out of balance, the body of the truck or the seat will vibrate. If you are not feeling any vibration and the welding was performed correctly, I wouldn’t be concerned. If you want to be absolutely sure, you could have your shop take out the drive shaft and send it to a machine shop to check the balance and the integrity of the welds.

John Paul is AAA Northeast’s Car Doctor. He has over 40 years of experience in the automotive business and is an ASE certified master technician. Email your car question to jpaul@aaanortheast.com.