What is the Difference Between a Driveshaft and a CV Shaft?

An automotive mechanic repairing a hoist car

The drivetrain system in your vehicle is made up of many parts, each carefully designed to power your car safely. Driveshafts and CV shafts are essential components of the drivetrain system. However, they serve different purposes and are suited for different types of vehicles.

What is a Driveshaft?

Driveshafts transmit torque (the engines rotational force) from the gearbox to the wheels. Driveshafts are usually only found on Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) and 4 Wheel Drive (4WD) vehicles.


Diagrams sourced from: https://www.moogparts.com/parts-matter/failing-driveshaft.html

What is a CV Shaft?

A CV shaft is a type of driveshaft that has two CV joints on either end. CV stands for Constant Velocity. Constant Velocity Joints transfer torque from the gearbox to the wheels at a constant speed. All Front Wheel Drive vehicles have CV shafts.


What is the difference between a Driveshaft and a CV shaft?

There are many variations of driveshafts across different vehicles. Driveshafts utilise Universal Joints (U-Joints) to connect it to other drivetrain system components, whereas a CV shaft utilises CV joints.

Driveshafts utilise universal joints (U-joints) to connect to other drivetrain system components, some newer cars even use viscous couplings, rubber couplings and CV joints

CV Joints allow a vehicle to maintain speed while turning at a wider range of angles without causing an increase in friction.

For those interested in learning more, please see this informative technical video.

What types of cars use CV Shafts?

All front-wheel drive vehicles, such as the Mazda 3, Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. Some four-wheel and all-wheel drive also use CV joints, as well as some trucks.

What types of cars use driveshafts?

Rear-wheel vehicles and some four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive cars utilise driveshafts.

DBS Perth

Your driveshaft may be in need of replacement or repair if you are experiencing any of these issues in your car:

  • Problems with turning and controlling the car
  • Shuddering when accelerating
  • Strange noises
  • Any abnormal vibrations originating underneath the car

Driveshaft Balancing Perth’s experienced team can help you to ensure your vehicle is operating safely. DBS Perth is a proud WA owned and operated business with over 15 years of experience working with all types of vehicles, including modified cars, 4WDs, mining vehicles and heavy. Our expert team can aid you in all aspects of service, part sourcing and repair of vehicles components, including:

  • Custom Axles
  • Differentials
  • Diff Modifications
  • Crimped Universal Joints
  • Universal Joints
  • CV Shafts
  • CV Joints and CV Boots
  • Ratio changes
  • Wheel bearings
  • General machining
  • E-lockers
  • Ratio changes
  • Refurbishment
  • Housing and axle modifications
  • Tail shaft centre bearings

We can also assist in the following areas.


  • Balancing
  • Repairs
  • Manufacturing
  • Truck shafts
  • Universal joints (U-joints)
  • CV-joints
  • Centre bearings
  • Crimped universal joints


  • General machining
  • Splining
  • Stub pattern change
  • Machining of threads
  • Building up and machining of bearing areas

Tyres – Can also be the cause of the issues mentioned on the page above.

  • DBS can check your tyres and rims for balance as well as supply, fit and balance new tyres.

To get a quote for your vehicle today, please call 08 9249 9778 or complete our enquiry form, and our team will be in touch.

Need a price?

Contact DBS today for experience you can rely on and service you can trust.

We are happy to quote you on services and repairs, so give us a call on (08) 9249 9778 and talk to one of our friendly team or submit your inquiry via this form and we will be in contact soon.