Think about it – as you drive around a corner, the “outside” wheels must travel further than the “inside” wheels. Therefore the outside wheels must be able to turn faster than the inside wheels. This is one of the jobs of the differential – to allow the wheels to turn at different speeds by using a combination of gears.
If your car is rear-wheel drive – the differential is located within the rear axle.
Front-wheel drive cars – the differential is located with the transmission in the transaxle.
All-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles have two differentials, one to drive the front wheels and one for the rear wheels. They also have center differential called a transfer case which allow the front and rear wheel to rotate at different speeds.
All of the engine’s power travels through the transmission and then through the differential gears to the wheels. These gears have to be well lubricated and cooled to last the life of your vehicle. Differential oil cools and protect the gears from extreme loads and temperatures.
With time the differential gears wear and the metal particles contaminate the oil. If the differential oil is contaminated or low, the oil will become extra hot causing seals to leak and gears to wear or fail prematurely. Contaminated oil will also increasing heat and friction, causing the gears to grind and / or make a whining noise, resulting in costly repairs.
The differential oil level and condition should be checked during each routine service. Our technician will check the condition of your car differential oil and add oil as required if low.
Eventually, over time the heat and load “breaks down” the oil, reducing its effectiveness.
Follow manufactures recommend differential oil replacement intervals. Typically the oil should be replaced every 30,000 miles or every two years.
Differential repairs are expensive, routinely replacing the oil extends the life of your differential and reduces the possibilities of leaks.
Call (805)685-2900 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your car’s FREE differential inspection or if you have any question – we are here to help by making car care easy!