On a four-wheel-drive (4WD) vehicle, power needs to be transferred to both the front and rear axles. The transfer case is the mechanism that makes that happen. There are many drivetrain configurations out there, so we’ll just talk in generalities.
Trucks and larger SUV’s are often primarily rear-wheel-drive. When the driver (or the vehicle’s computer) selects 4WD, the transfer case also sends power to the front axle. The transfer case may also contain an additional gear set for off-roading.
The transfer case is lubricated and cooled by special gear oil. Over time, the oil gets contaminated and needs to be changed, just like your engine oil and transmission fluid. Your car maker will have a schedule and Douglas Automotive Repair can help.
Now many vehicles have all-wheel-drive (AWD). AWD vehicles are often based on a front-wheel-drive or rear-wheel-drive vehicle with the addition of a center differential that sends power to the rear wheels when needed. This center differential, like the transfer case, has a vital service schedule for replacing contaminated lubricant. The work of transfer cases and differentials is demanding and proper maintenance should not be neglected.
Knowing the service schedule for your transfer case and differentials will help keep your Car or SUV running well and avoid premature wear.
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