Differential Service

Whether your vehicle is front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, four-wheel drive, or all wheel drive, it has a differential. The differential is a gear box located between your vehicle’s drive wheels, and it allows them to turn at different speeds while still providing power. When your vehicle turns a corner your inside wheel has a shorter distance to travel than the outside wheel as you go around the corner. This means your outside wheel has to turn faster to keep pace with the inside wheel. Without a differential, your tires would scrub and hop along the pavement during turns, and they would wear down much quicker.

All the engine’s power is routed through your vehicle’s differentials. The differentials are strong enough to handle this power; however, they need to be properly lubricated in order to stay strong. There are numerous gears inside the differential and these gears turn up to 5,000 times a minute. Plus, the gears strain against the full weight of your vehicle and whatever you are towing. These high stress gears are lubricated by about 3 quarts of lubricating fluid with no filtering system. As time goes by, high temperatures can break down the lubricating fluid that is required to properly lubricate the gears. Considering there is no filter to keep the differential fluid clean, it is important to have your differential serviced periodically. During a differential service, the used fluid is drained and replaced with clean fluid. Some differentials also require special additives to be installed.

The time frame and mileage interval for servicing the differential can vary greatly by vehicle. A front-wheel drive vehicle will need servicing more frequently than a rear-wheel drive vehicle. Plus, how and where you drive will have an impact on your differential. If you drive on dirt roads or through streams, your differential will need to be serviced sooner than if you always drive on pavement. Many car and truck owners commonly fail to have the gear oil replaced periodically even though it is recommended by vehicle manufacturers. You will find many manufacturers recommend having the differential gear oil changed at 15K to 30K miles. Check your owner’s manual to find your vehicle’s requirements for differential servicing, then come to Performance Auto Repair to give your vehicle the differential attention it deserves.

Call Performance Auto Repair of Montgomery today at (334) 245-6600.

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