Differential Service at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.: Viva la Difference

Posted August 9, 2016 2:08 AM

Every vehicle on Ontario roads has a differential, and it is important to the proper operation of the vehicle.  But most Mississauga residents 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 vehicle 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 bulge 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 job they do. But those tough parts need proper lubrication. You don't want your differential to seize up. That results in damage to your vehicle.

So you need to have your vehicle differential serviced regularly. It's not a complicated job. At Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga, we've been servicing differentials for years. The used lubricating fluid is simply drained and then replaced. Some vehicles require specific additives in the differential fluid; your Mississauga service center will ensure you are getting what your vehicle needs.

The intervals in time or mileage for servicing your differential vary greatly from vehicle to vehicle. Check with your owner's manual or Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. service advisor to find out how often your vehicle differential needs to be serviced.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



Differential Service

Posted August 24, 2011 12:00 PM

When you take a corner in your car, the outside wheels have a slightly longer distance to go than the inside wheels. That means that the outside wheels have to turn a bit faster than the inside. The piece of mechanical wizardry that makes this possible is called the differential.

The differential allows the drive wheels to rotate at different speeds in turns without the wheel binding or hopping. If you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the differential is on the rear axle. You've seen that bulge in the middle of the axle when you're behind a truck; that's the differential.

If you have a front-wheel drive vehicle, the differential function is handled by your transaxle. Of course, all-wheel drive vehicles have differentials on both axles. They also have a center differential or a transfer case between the front and rear axles to compensate for speed differences between the front and rear.

Because all the power of the engine is transferred through the various differentials, you can imagine that they are very strong and are built last a long time. That's why it's important to keep your differential properly lubricated. Differential fluid cools and protects the gears.

Your Mississauga, Ontario, service technician will check differential fluid level and top it off if necessary. With low fluid, the differential will run too hot and wear prematurely. Ask your service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. (905-821-4992) for when it's recommended to change your differential fluid. Fresh fluid will extend the life of your differential. Your technician will also inspect the u-joints which connect your drive shaft to the differential and may recommend service. Some u-joints can be lubricated as part of a routine lube, oil and filter change as well.

Now, of course differentials eventually wear out and need to be replaced. You might notice a strange noise from you axle area as one of the first warning signs. When the differential shows signs of failing, it's important to repair it. If you leave it too long and it freezes up when you're driving, you could lose control of your vehicle, and other parts like the axle, driveshaft and transmission could be damaged.




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