Differential - What is it?

Ever think of what happens to your car or truck when you take a corner as you are travelling around Worcester? One of the things to occur is that the outside wheels have a slightly longer distance to go than the inside wheels. What this means is the outside wheels have to turn a bit faster than the inside ones. The differential is the part of your vehicle which handles this. It allows the wheels to rotate at slightly different speeds without the wheel binding up.

If your vehicle is rear-wheel drive, the differential is on the rear axle. Have you ever noticed a pumpkin shaped bulge in the middle of the axle when you're behind a truck? Well, that's the differential.

If you have a front-wheel drive vehicle, the differential function is handled by the transaxle. All-wheel drive vehicles have differentials on both the front and the rear axles. They also have a center differential or a transfer case to compensate for speed differences between the front and rear.

Since the power of the engine is transferred through the differential(s), they have to be very strong and are built to last a long time. They do require maintenance on a regular basis, generally changing out the fluid,  as determined by the vehicle's manufacturer. The function of the differential fluid is to cool and protect the gears. Low fluid can cause the differential to run too how and wear out prematurely.

The technicians  at AutoPro in Worcester, using the technical specifications from your vehicle's manufacturer, can check and service your differential as necessary. Fresh fluid will extend the life of your differential. We will also inspect any accessible u-joints which connect your drive shaft to the differential. Some u-joints can be lubricated as well.

Over time, differentials can eventually wear out and may need to be replaced. You might notice a strange noise or vibration from your axle area as one of the first warning signs. If the differential shows signs of failure, it is time to replace it. Waiting too long can cause further damage to your vehicle's axles, driveshafts or the transmission. You may also run the risk of the differential freezing up when driving which can cause a loss of control of your car, truck or SUV. 

AutoPro is here to help. Get your differential services as needed. Have AutoPro check your car, truck or SUV out, if you are experiencing any noises or vibrations. Together we can keep your vehicle in tip top shape and running for miles to come.