Experiencing signs that you may need differential repair?
Did you hear a whirring noise when you are slowing down your car? Or when you are accelerating beyond 30 km/hr? Do you also hear a clunking sound, particularly when turning a corner? If so, your car may be having problems with its differential and you may need differential repair. Let our mechanics check this for you, to determine the cause of the noises and whether this is indeed the differential or other causes e.g. struts being worn out.
How the differential works
- The differential is a gear train, working closely with the transmission, to relay power from the car engine to the wheel.
- The differential is also the final port when reducing gears, to lower the rotational speed that gets transmitted to the wheels.
- Another important function of the differential is that it allows the wheels to rotate at different speeds, particularly during a turn, with the turning wheel rotating slower than the outer wheel.
- The differential works through the side gears arrangement and orientation.
- Given these essential functions, it is key to ensure the differential is functioning properly and to get timely differential repair and service when this is required.
Front wheel drive differential, Rear wheel drive differential
For front wheel drive, which is the more common type of cars in Singapore, the differential is at the transaxle. For rear wheel drive vehicles, the differential is at the rear axle. For all wheel drive, the differential is handled by both axles. Given the movements taking place at the gears, it is essential that there is sufficient differential fluid so as to lubricate the movement.
Common differential repair needed
If you hear clanking sounds from your axle area, it could be that the gear tooth is damaged and you may need differential repair. It could also be that the gears have gone out of alignment. If your car is fairly new, it could be a misalignment that should be corrected soon; otherwise extended continued use could damage the components. The noise could also mean that the bearings are worn out and need to be replaced, as the gears are then not adequately supported.
Differential fluid top up
When you hear the clanking sounds, it could also be from a low level of differential fluid, which needs to be topped up to ensure the gears and bearings are adequately lubricated soonest, as the parts would otherwise be subject to higher levels of friction. The lubricant also helps to cool down these moving parts. When the differential fluid gets overly contaminated, it would also need to be replaced as it would otherwise not be able to provide adequate lubrication.
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