Discover what you need to know about differential service and repair and learn what Mister Transmission can do for you and your vehicle’s differential.
All automobiles have a differential. It compensates for the difference in distance the inner wheels and outer wheels travel as the automobile rounds a corner. In a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, the differential has its own housing and lubrication. For a front-wheel drive vehicle, the differential is often integrated in the transmission housing and it shares the same fluid. In an automatic or continuously variable transmission, this would be automatic transmission fluid. In a manual transmission, it could be automatic transmission fluid, hypoid gear oil, engine oil, or transmission oil.
The lubrication is needed for the ring and pinion gears that transfer power from the driveshaft to the axles. If your vehicle has a limited-slip differential, the lubrication also keeps the moving parts in that assembly healthy. Because the differential might be in the same housing as the transmission and use the same lubricant, many transmission shops, such as Mister Transmission, also offer differential service and repair.
As with pretty much any auto part that requires lubrication, that lubrication is key to maintenance and repair. Good maintenance means ensuring you have the right amount of lubricant and the right quality of lubricant. At Mister Transmission, we can ensure your differential has the fluid it needs to operate smoothly, whether that’s transmission fluid or another lubricant.
However, if you’ve been driving around with too little differential lubricant, you’re going to have problems. You certainly wouldn’t be the first to make this error, but it can have severe consequences. Without lubricant, the differential can grind down and suffer from all the friction it endures. In the worst cases, this can necessitate a complete replacement.
How can you know if your differential needs a repair? There are a few telltale signs. The first is noise. If you hear a whining sound, especially when you turn, there’s a good chance that your differential is lacking lubricant.
Uneven tire wear and bad handling are two other common symptoms. A malfunctioning differential means the inner wheels on any turn have to spin faster, reducing tread life. A bad differential also makes it more difficult to steer. Last, excessive vibration or grinding may also indicate a bad differential.
At Mister Transmission, we are transmission and differential experts. If you suspect there’s an issue with your differential or transmission, we can assess and repair or replace it as needed. Please contact us today to schedule a maintenance service or repair.