The differential regulates how fast your wheels spin. This is important when taking a corner since the wheels on the outside of the turn need to spin faster than the inside wheels to prevent slipping. All vehicles have a differential or a variation of a differential system.
At Sher Automotive, we provide differential repairs. Bring your vehicle to us if you live in O'Fallon, MO, St Charles, MO, St Peters, MO, and the surrounding areas.
Differential repairs are uncommon, because most differentials are built to last the life of the vehicle (with proper maintenance). However, problems can occur earlier than manufacturer expectations and some differentials aren’t designed to last as long as others.
While a differential repair isn’t something you’ll be going to the mechanic for every few months, you should expect to change the differential fluid during the life of your vehicle. Check your owner’s manual for recommended maintenance intervals, and make sure to get it done. Old differential fluid can cause sludge to build up and create problems down the line.
There are few reasons why a differential makes noise:
Bad Differential Fluid: A common differential problem is bad fluid. If you hear grinding while turning, you may have bad differential fluid. Heat from friction gradually causes differential fluid to break down, making it harder to keep the differential lubricated. Degraded differential fluid causes poor differential performance, excessive noise, and disproportionate wear. In severe cases, old fluid may cause complete differential failure.
Gear Misalignment: A humming sound indicates a problem with ring and pinion gear installation. An adjustment is necessary to prevent gear failure.
Loose Bearings: If you hear a whirring noise that increases as your speed does, it could be caused by worn or loose pinion bearings.
Worn Parts: A clunk indicates one of several differential problems with most relating to worn bearings, gears, or nuts. Have a technician inspect the differential and diagnose the cause of the problem.
This is not a comprehensive list of differential noise and noise causes. For proper diagnosis, come in for a differential check. Whenever you hear an unusual noise from your vehicle, it’s important to understand the cause and get the proper repair.
Replacing an entire differential system is costly and can often be avoided with routine maintenance as indicated by your owner’s manual.
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Info on Differential Repairs
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