Signs You Have a Bad Rear Differential and How to Fix it in Alton, IL


It is important to know the signs of a failing rear differential in order to drive safely. A working differential is a needed component of your vehicle that helps the handling of your wheel system. It is used to transfer the power from the vehicle’s transmission and engine to your vehicle’s individual wheels. Rather than each wheel turning at the exact same rate, your differential will offer you more control of your vehicle. If you hear weird sounds from your wheels or feel strange vibrations while you are driving, be sure to look at your vehicle as it can be a sign of a failing differential, which if left unfixed could lead to an accident out on the road in Alton, IL.

rear differential

Vehicles that have rear-wheel-drive have a rear differential while front-wheel-drive vehicles use front differentials, or they will use a transaxle. All-wheel-drive vehicles and four-wheel-drive vehicles have both front and rear differentials installed. We would like to take a closer look at rear differentials, symptoms it is going bad, and how to have them fixed.

Hearing Weird Sounds From The Rear Differential

Bad rear differentials are not something you should ignore when you see signs, they are going bad. A bad rear differential can lead to an accident while you are out driving on the road. As mentioned before, one common sign you might notice when your rear differential is going bad is hearing loud and excessive noise from your vehicle. You will hear these sounds get louder or change as you accelerate, decelerate, and while you are turning corners. If your vehicle is making whirring or humming sounds, it’s a sign there is a worn-out bearing in the carrier or axle. Howling and whining sounds are caused by worn-out or damaged ring and pinion gears. These kinds of issues will require to be fixed by your local auto body repair experts in Alton, IL.

Issues With Oil

The most common cause for bad differential is a lack of oil, which causes grinding when going at high speeds, breaking the carrier, or blocking the rear wheels. Low oil issues are often caused by a worn0out differential seal, or the housing of the oil is cracked causing it to leak out. Another issue that occurs with the oil is if you use the wrong type of oil. You might notice puddles underneath the housing of the differential, as using the wrong type of oil can cause it to leak out. You might also smell a burning smell while you are driving.

The oil that is not working as it should will not be able to lubricate the right components including your differential and it will lead to friction that will cause the differential and ring and pinion to fail in your vehicle. Be sure to get the right type of oil for your vehicle to avoid problems like this and more. Be sure to have your oil changed regularly.

Difficulty with Handling the Wheels

Since the differential is used to help make the wheels of your vehicle more controllable, once you find that the control of your vehicle is not optimal, it’s a sign there is a problem with your differential. If you are out driving and you notice that your wheels are becoming hard to control, make sure you pull over immediately into a safe place. If your differential is worn out, it can make controlling your wheels a lot harder.

Strange Vehicle Vibrations

One important thing to be on the lookout for is unusual vibrations from your vehicle. It is not only a sign of a problem with a rear differential, but it can also be a sign of many other issues with your rear wheels. Have a look at your rear wheels whenever you feel these vibrations. Also, be sure to contact a mechanic to inspect your vehicle for issues when these vibrations start to happen.

Auto Repair Services

Problems from Reckless Driving

Differentials might also fail from being pushed too hard. Reckless driving can push your differential to its limits and can cause serious damage to them. If you want to be sure that your vehicle’s rear-end differential stays in shape, do not participate in reckless diving such as drag racing or burnouts. These activities can cause serious damage to vehicles.

Normal Wear and Tear to the Rear Differential

Not all problems with differentials are caused by reckless driving or things you have done wrong. Over time, your differential can suffer wear and tear. It is normal for your differential to deteriorate from regular use. Be sure to treat your differential well and it will stay working for a long time.

If you are looking for an auto body repair company that can inspect your rear differential for any problems in Alton, IL, give our team of professionals over at Marshall’s Transmission a call today!

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