What Is a Car Drive Shaft?

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A drive shaft is a component of a car engine that allows for the transfer of torque from the energy-producing drive train to the other parts of the vehicle. It is most often used on rear-wheel or four-wheel drive vehicles to connect the engine to the rear axle.

Drive shafts are often designed with one or more joints, making them flexible enough to handle variations in alignment between different areas of a vehicle. Drive shafts are often found in off-road or high-performance vehicles, but not all cars come equipped with drive shafts. Some models use a series of internal gears to transfer power to each wheel.