Even experienced vehicles owners sometimes get confused when they hear the term differential repair. A problem commonly experienced in high mileage cars, the differential regulates control of your vehicle by balancing the torque between various wheels.
It is important for you to pay attention to warning signs associated with a failing differential, because it can lead to the drivetrain of your vehicle locking up, causing you to lose control. Diff repair is therefore an important automotive service, and you should have your vehicle regularly checked for differential issues.
Understanding your car's differential
Are you still wondering what a differential is? It is the part of your drivetrain that controls how much torque is distributed to each wheel in your car. When you turn your vehicle, the inside wheels don't travel as much as the outside wheels. The differential is responsible for correctly adjusting the speed of the wheels so that your car can turn smoothly. The differential can be located at the front axle, rear axle, or both, depending on the transmission of your vehicle.
Although a differential is meant to operate throughout the life of the car, it can eventually begin to malfunction. Older vehicles are even more susceptible to differential damage.
Importance of differential repair
Maintains control of your wheels
The differential allows for each tire in your vehicle to rotate at independent speeds and to be independently controlled by the drivetrain. This gives you better maneuverability of your vehicle in multiple terrain and curvy roads.
Keeps vehicle components lubricated
An important part of diff repair involves adding differential fluid to the bearings and gears of the differential system. The fluid cools and reduces friction between the bearings, allowing for the smooth operation of the vehicle.
Extends the life of your vehicle
A damaged differential can lead to dangerous accidents and costly repairs. Regular diff repair as part of your vehicle maintenance routine can allow you to extend the life of your vehicle over a longer period.
How to tell when it's time for differential repair
A failing differential often gives warning signs. Some of those signs include the following:
Whistling noise on the axle:
a high-pitched sound (similar to a whistle) that occurs around the axle is often the first warning sign you will hear.
A rumbling, clunky axle:
if you notice your axle rumbling, especially when you accelerate, this often points to a differential getting worse. A rumbling sound during regular driving indicates that the problem is further escalating.
Experiencing vehicle drag:
if the car feels as if it is sluggish during coasting, even at low speeds, then your differential may be having problems.
For more information or help, contact a local mechanic.