With front-wheel drive being so common these days in Chesapeake, VA, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most Chesapeake drivers don’t even have to think about it. And rear-wheel drive differentials don’t need to be serviced for years, so it’s understandable that it’s not something on the top of mind for our Chesapeake customers. So it’s not uncommon for auto owners to not know they have a differential let alone know that it needs service.
Call Bells Mill AutoCare in Chesapeake at 757.436.5950 for information about differential service, or stop by our Chesapeake, VA auto center at 964 Bells Mill Rd 23322.
To better understand what a differential does, think about our local Chesapeake high school track. There are lanes marked off on the track. For the longer distance races, the starting lines are staggered. The starting lines for the outside lanes are ahead of the starting lines for the inside lanes. That’s to compensate for the longer length of the outside lanes. Staggering the starting lines means that each runner has the same distance to run.
The differential compensates for the difference in speeds between the inside wheel and the outside wheel in a turn, because they have to travel together through slightly different distances.
It’s a very important function for us Chesapeake car owners. When you think of it, all the power to get a vehicle moving goes through the differential. Most cars in the Chesapeake, VA area weigh between three and six thousand pounds – trucks even more. The power from the engine goes through the transmission and then through the differential to the drive wheels.
That’s a lot of work and requires very heavy duty parts. And those essential parts need protection. The differential fluid lubricates the gears in the differential and keeps them cool.
The fluid eventually gets dirty and worn down. Some kinds of differentials require special additives that breakdown over time. So car makers recommend intervals for replacing your differential fluid.
Your considerate Bells Mill AutoCare service professional will drain the used fluid and check it out for metal bits, which could be a sign of excessive wear on the gears. Then he’ll replace the fluid and install the additives if necessary.
Your Bells Mill AutoCare service advisor can look up the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended service interval or you can check your owner’s manual. Give us a call at 757.436.5950 for more information about your differential service.
Drive Train Service in Chesapeake at Bells Mill AutoCare
Posted on September 26,14 by truck2
The drive train in your vehicle includes all the essential components that transfer power from the transmission to the wheels. Those components differ depending on what type of vehicle you drive, namely, front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. The preventive maintenance your driveshaft needs will also differ by what type of vehicle you drive.
Let’s start with front-wheel drive. In this vehicle, the transmission and the differential are combined in one component, known as the transaxle. The transaxle is connected to two half-shafts (axles), which are then connected to the wheels with a constant velocity (or CV) joint, which is protected by an airtight rubber boot.
Bells Mill AutoCare service for this type of driveline includes servicing the transaxle and inspecting the CV boot. If the boot is damaged, the CV joint will need to be inspected, and the boot will need to be replaced. If you hear a clicking noise in your wheel wells when you turn, you may have a damaged CV joint. A damaged CV joint should be replaced.
Rear-wheel drive vehicles generally have a transmission in the front of the car and the differential in the back. A driveshaft (it looks like a long tube) connects the transmission to the differential. Some vehicles may have a two-piece driveshaft, which are connected to the differential with universal joints or U-joints. Again, the differential is connected to two half-shafts that go out to the wheels.
Bells Mill AutoCare service on the drive train on a rear-wheel drive vehicle starts with servicing the differential. It will need its fluid drained and replaced regularly. The seals on the axles should also be inspected for wear or leaks. Leaking or damaged seals may mean the axle needs to be serviced as well. Also, U-joints can wear out. If you hear clunking or feel a jolt when you shift into drive or into reverse, it could indicate a driveline problem.
All-wheel drive pickups provide power from the transmission to all of the wheels, instead of just to the front or rear. The advantage is that the vehicle can adapt to different driving conditions and transfer more power to the front or back wheels as needed. The disadvantages are that the driveline is more complicated, and the vehicle weighs slightly more.
Many all-wheel drive vehicles are based on a front-wheel drive set-up. They also have a differential in the rear and one in the center of the vehicle that allows power to transfer to the front and rear. A shaft runs from the transfer case to the center differential, and another from the center differential to the rear differential.
Servicing an all-wheel drive at Bells Mill AutoCare involves servicing ALL of the differentials and inspecting the joints and seals for wear, leaks or damage.
Four-wheel drive vehicles are rear-wheel drive vehicles that have an option to transfer power to the front wheels. In other words, they can be driven as either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive vehicles. These vehicles are specifically designed for the harsh driving conditions Chesapeake auto owners encounter off-road. The driveline in a four-wheel drive vehicle is similar to that of an all-wheel drive vehicle. The center differential, however, is a transfer case. Maintenance requires servicing both of the differentials and the transfer case, as well as an inspection of the joints and seals.
Chesapeake car owners would be wise to check with their owner’s manual for recommendations on how often to service their pickup drive train. It’s also good auto advice to check with your considerate Bells Mill AutoCare service advisor as well. You may live in an area in VA where weather or driving conditions require more frequent servicing of the drive train.
If you drive off-road, it is essential to service your driveline more often frequently than the typical recommendation. Conditions encountered off-road around the Chesapeake area are particularly hard on your driveline.
Good car care at Bells Mill AutoCare in Chesapeake always includes taking care of your driveline. Without it, your pickup becomes a very large paperweight.
Bells Mill AutoCare is located at 964 Bells Mill Rd in Chesapeake. We provide comprehensive auto repair and maintenance services for residents of Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Suffolk and Chesapeake.
Differential Service At Bells Mill AutoCare
Posted on March 12,14 by truck2
Here at AutoNetTV, we have national viewers, like your neighbors in Chesapeake, who write to us with questions or feedback. One common question we’re asked is: “What is a differential and what does it do?” You may have been told by your Bells Mill AutoCare service professional that your differential needs service, or seen it as an option up on the service menu. Differential service at Bells Mill AutoCare covers a lot of things, so let’s first talk about what a differential does.
As you drive through a turn, your outside wheels and inside wheels turn at different speeds. Kind of like the cars going around a race track – the ones driving in the outside lanes have a greater distance to travel than the cars in the inside lanes. The differential is what allows the outside and inside drive wheels to rotate at slightly different speeds so that the tires don’t hop or skip while taking corners, or lose traction in dirt or snow on Chesapeake expressways. Differentials have gears in them that transfer the power from the drive train to your wheels – which is why they’re often referred to as gear boxes. The gears need to be very strong to do this work, and they need to be properly protected so that they’ll last.
All vehicles in Chesapeake have some form of differential. If you have a front-wheel drive car, your differential is sometimes called a transaxle and is located in the front. If you have rear-wheel drive, the differential is in the back of the car. Chesapeake car owners with a four-wheel drive vehicle have a differential in the front and the back – and in the middle as well. The center differential adjusts for differences in speed between the front and rear wheels.
Differential fluid lubricates and cools the gears. Over time, the fluid can get dirty from bits of the gears grinding off. The additives that keep the fluid clean and protect the differential break down over time. So your auto maker has scheduled intervals for you to have your differential fluid changed. Talk to your considerate Bells Mill AutoCare tech if you are not sure about your recommended schedule.
Differentials are hard working mechanisms, and, along with the gears in a manual transmission, need to be serviced regularly at Bells Mill AutoCare with high-quality, replacement fluid. Your Chesapeake service advisor can give you more information as to when your next differential service is recommended. You can also ask if they have a record of when the service was last completed.
As with most service intervals, if you are driving under more severe conditions in the Chesapeake area, you will want to service your differential more frequently. “Severe service” conditions are defined in car makers’ owners’ manuals, and include: frequent starts and stops, short trips, cold VA weather, hot weather and towing. All these factors add to the stress of the vehicle and its parts. Also, off-roading in VA can be especially hard on differentials, especially if you cross streams. Proper service at Bells Mill AutoCare will extend the life of your gears and keep them running more smoothly. If you have never had your differential checked, visit http://bellsmillautocare.autotipsvideo.com/contact-us for more information.
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