Ask the Tech: What is a Differential and Why Do I Need to Have It Serviced?

First of all – your vehicle does have a differential. If it’s a rear wheel drive, your differential is on the back. If it’s front wheel drive, your differential is built into your transaxle (transmission). Owners with all wheel drive or four wheel drive will have differentials front and rear and maybe one in between.

When you are steering through a turn at an intersection, the wheels on the outside of the Car or SUV have to spin faster than the inside wheels because they have to travel a slightly longer distance through the curve. The differential compensates for these speed differences between the wheels.Simple-Answers-Differential-Service_s

Because it is part of the vital equipment that transfers engine power to the wheels, the differential is working pretty hard. Differential fluid – a special heavy-duty oil – cools, lubricates and protects the differential. It needs to be replaced on a schedule to remove metal shavings and other contaminants. Note: if you have a front wheel drive vehicle, replacing your transmission fluid takes care of your differential service needs.

Differentials have become increasingly sophisticated for car owners. Rather than the simple mechanical devices of yesteryear, they are more complicated and may actually be part of the essential computer controlled Car or SUV stability system. This means they are more expensive so it pays for motorists to have them serviced on schedule at Douglas Automotive Repair, Inc. to avoid premature wear.

At Douglas Automotive Repair, Inc., we provide quality automotive service including Brakes and Tune Up, Coolant Flush and Tire Sales and Repair.

Give us a call today.

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