Drive shafts are designed to transfer power from the transmission to the wheels.
Constant Velocity (CV) Axle Shafts. CV axle shafts are used on front-wheel, four-wheel, and all-wheel drive vehicles. On front-wheel drive vehicles a CV shaft on each side connects the transaxle to each front wheel. Rubber boots protect the flexible CV shaft joint and hold grease for lubrication.
Standard Drive Shaft. On rear-wheel drive vehicles, the standard drive shaft connects the transmission to the rear differential, which sends the power to the rear wheels through drive axles. Four-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles usually have CV and standard drive shafts. Standard drive shafts are steel or aluminum tubes with welded ends. The standard drive shaft joints, called universal or U-joints, accept the moving chassis. U-joints can fail if they lose lubrication or eventually wear over time.