Getting Familiar with Differential Repairs

It is common for some vehicle owners never having heard of diff repairs and this is because this is one of the least likely automotive repairs that you would need for your car. Typically, the differential of your vehicle is designed to last for its entire road life. It begins to show symptoms of failure and malfunction if your vehicle has unusually high mileage. As such, it is more common in vehicles used for long distance transportation rather than cars that are used for regularly commuting. However, if you purchased your vehicle second chance, there may come a time when you would need diff repairs. Here are some of the things you should know about your vehicle's differential and symptoms of it malfunctioning.

What is a vehicle's differential?

Your car's differential refers to a complex system located at the vehicle's drivetrain. This system works toward splitting the torque from the engine between your car's wheels. This is to ensure that the wheels can rotate at varying rates depending on how you are driving. For example, when you are driving and need to make a turn, the interior wheels do not have to cover as much distance as the exterior wheels. Therefore, the differential will ensure that the wheels are rotating at the most adequate speed for that particular situation, which enables you to make a smooth turn. The location of the differential will depend on your vehicle's type of drive. Standard drive vehicle will have the differential located at the back axle. Front drive vehicles will have the differential located at the transaxle. Four-wheel drive vehicles will have the differential at both the front and the back axle.

What are the signs of impending differential repairs?

When your vehicle's differential begins failing, it is a gradual process that will have an array of symptoms. It would be prudent to catch these signs early on so that you can have the problem diagnosed and remedied by an auto mechanic post haste. Putting off diff repairs will not only exacerbate the damage to your axle, but it also puts you at risk of a major breakdown while driving. Here are some of the signs to look out for:

  • Whistling noise from your vehicle: This will typically come from the axle, but could become drowned out if there is loud music in the car.
  • Clanking sounds from the vehicle: This will typically happen when you are trying to accelerate the vehicle and can get worse as the vehicle is coasting.
  • Dragging by the vehicle: Your vehicle begins feeling sluggish, especially when driving at slow speeds. 

For more information, talk to a professional like Gearbox Express.