The Bells Mill AutoCare Guide To Servicing Your Differential
Posted on June 18,15 by truck2
Differential? What’s that? And what’s it for? I’ve been told by my tech that I need to get it serviced, but is that on the level?
Do these questions sound familiar? They’re not uncommon for Chesapeake motorists. A lot of us in Chesapeake don’t know what a differential is or what it’s for. Every vehicle has a differential, and, yes, it does need to be serviced. In fact, it’s more critical to the operation of your pickup than the air conditioner or windshield wipers.
A differential allows your pickup tires to move at different speeds. This happens more than you think. The best example is when a vehicle is turning. The inside wheel travels a much shorter distance than the outside wheel during a turn. This means the outside wheel has to move faster than the inside wheel. Without a differential, your tires would hop and skip while turning. They would also lose traction in sand or snow.
The location of your differential depends on what kind of vehicle you drive. On a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the differential is located in the back. For a front-wheel drive vehicle, it is located on the front, but it is usually called a transaxle. Four-wheel drive vehicles have three differentials: one on the front, one in the back, and one in the middle. This center differential compensates for differences in speed between the front and rear wheels.
Your differential contains strong gears that need to be protected from dirt, debris, water and other contaminants. A differential is sometimes referred to as a “gear box.” The work of these gears is to transfer power from the pickup drive train to the wheels.
Your differential needs fluid to lubricate and cool the gears. This fluid, even though enclosed in the “gear box,” can get dirty because the gears grind down over time, releasing tiny bits of themselves into the fluid. Also, the additives in the differential fluid break down and need to be replaced. That’s why important preventive maintenance for your pickup needs to include servicing the differential.
Your owner’s manual can give you recommendations on how often to service your differential. But you should also consult with your considerate Bells Mill AutoCare service professional. Bells Mill AutoCare can give you some good auto advice on whether your vehicle needs to be serviced more frequently. For example, if you drive in hot or cold Chesapeake weather conditions, your differential will need to have its fluid changed more often.
Severe conditions will also affect your car care routine, and your differential. Check your owner’s manual for a definition of “severe service” conditions that affect your vehicle. Examples may include driving with frequent stops and starts, a lot of short trips around Chesapeake, hot or cold VA weather conditions, and towing.
Off-roading is particularly hard on a vehicle’s differential. If you are an off-roader, especially if you cross VA streams or waterways, it is critical that you service your differential more frequently than the recommendations suggest.
Properly servicing your differential will extend its life and keep you out of Chesapeake auto repair shops. A smooth ride for Chesapeake drivers is the result of proper preparation and smart choices.
Differential Service At Bells Mill AutoCare: Vive ala Difference
Posted on April 10,14 by truck2
Every pickup on VA expressways has a differential, and it is essential to the proper operation of the vehicle, but most Chesapeake auto owners don’t have a clue what it is.
The differential compensates for differing wheel speeds. For example, when you turn, the inside tire on the turn travels a much shorter distance than the outside wheel. So the inside wheel of the pickup must move at a slower speed than the outside wheel. Without a differential, the wheels would hop and scrape while turning.
Have you ever seen the large bugle-shaped object in the middle of the rear axle of a truck? That’s the differential. In a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the differential is located on the back axle. Four-wheel drive vehicles and SUV’s have differentials on both the front and the rear axle.
You might expect that the differential is located on the front axle of a front-wheel drive vehicle. You’d be right. But the differential is called a transaxle on a front-wheel drive vehicle because its location allows it to be combined with the transmission.
In an all-wheel drive vehicle, an additional differential or transfer case is located between the front and rear axles. Differentials are strong: They have to be because of the key job they do. But those tough parts need proper lubrication. You don’t want your differential to seize up. That results in pricey damage to your pickup.
So you need to have your pickup differential serviced regularly. It’s not a complicated job. At Bells Mill AutoCare in Chesapeake we’ve been servicing differentials for 5 years. The used lubricating fluid is simply drained and then replaced. Some vehicles require specific additives in the differential fluid; your Chesapeake service center will ensure you are getting what your pickup needs.
The intervals in time or mileage for servicing your differential vary greatly from vehicle to vehicle. Check with your owner’s manual or Bells Mill AutoCare to find out how often your pickup differential needs to be serviced.
Generally, however, front-wheel drive vehicles need their differential serviced more often than rear-wheel drive vehicles. Also, if you spend a lot of time off-road or on Chesapeake area dirt or gravel roads, or if you drive through water, you will need to service your differential more often than the standard recommendation – check with your considerate Bells Mill AutoCare service specialist.
Preventive maintenance for your differential is good car care that can spare you expensive repair bills. Knowing what your differential is and how it operates is vital and will help you understand why this is good auto advice. Remember, take care of your pickup, and it will take care of you.
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