When you are driving and about to turn a corner, it is important to know that the wheels on the outside have a longer distance to go compared to the wheels on the inside. What does this mean? Basically the wheels on the outside need to turn faster than those wheels on the inside. The mechanism that allows this to happen is the differential.
Essentially, he differential makes sure the drive wheels rotate at different speeds during turns without hopping or binding. If your vehicle has rear-wheel drive, this means the differential is located on the rear axle. When you're driving next to or behind a truck, and you see a bulge placed in the middle of the axel you are looking at the axel.
If your vehicle has front-wheel drive, this means the function of the differential is managed by your transaxle. Finally, vehicle with all-wheel drive have differentials on both of their axles. All-wheel drive vehicles also are equipped with a center differential or a transfer case in between the rear and front axles in order to account for the speed differences between them.
Due to the fact that all of the power from the engine is transferred by varying differentials, they are very strong and are made to last for long periods of time. Because of this, it is important to keep your differential lubricated properly. Differential fluid is used to protect and cool the gears.
Your Frank's Servicenter Southampton, Pennsylvania service technician will check the differential fluid level of your vehicle and top it off, if necessary. If the fluid is running low, the differential will run too hot and as a result, wear prematurely. Be sure to ask your Frank's Servicenter service advisor when it's best recommended to get your differential fluid changed. It is important to know that fresh fluid will allow your differential to run properly for longer. Your service technician will also inspect the u-joints which is used to connect your driveshaft to the differential. Service may be recommended if needed. Some u-joints can be simply lubricated as a part of a routine lube, oil, and filter change.
As you can imagine differentials do eventually wear out and need replacement. If you hear a strange noise from or around your axle area, this can be one of the first warning signs. When the differential shows signs of failure, it needs to be repaired quickly. If left too long which may result is it freezing up while driving, you can potentially lose control of your vehicle, including other parts such as the driveshaft and axle. As a result, your transmission could be damaged as well.
Stop by Frank's Servicenter or give us a call.