A vehicle's differential's are what makes it possible for the wheels to properly rotate without binding. Because when a car turns, the wheels on the outside of the turn have a longer distance to travel than the wheels on the inside of the turn, they have to turn at slightly different speeds. Without functioning differentials, making turns with your car would be like making turns with a go kart.

Differentials are located in different places depending on what type of drive-train your vehicle has. The differential is located on the rear axle in rear wheel drive vehicles and on the front axle in front wheel drive vehicles. On all wheel or 4 wheel drive cars there are differentials on both the front and rear axles and a transfer case in the center to rectify speed differences between the front and back wheels. Differential fluid (gear oil) runs through providing a slippery and cool protector for the gears. It is important to change this fluid out at the correct mileage maintenance interval, and also to check for leaks periodically. Low or dirty gear oil can cause extreme heat and will eventually damage the parts.

Signs of Damaged Differentials:

  • Whining or howling noise from differentials or transmission
  • Vehicle has exceeded gear oil service interval
  • Clanking from moving out of a stop
  • Drag when coasting down the road

Did You Know?

Differentials have been around for a long time! Originally invented in 1827 and first used on steam powered vehicles, it was a well-known device when internal combustion engines became popular in 1859.

What Should I Do?

If you notice any of the above problems, bring your vehicle into K-Motion into our Englewood auto repair and service center where our expert ASE certified technicians will inspect your differentials to assure that all of the components are intact. Locating a differential leak or problem early can save you from a financial headache later on. We have been expertly serving Englewood, Denver, Littleton, and Sheridan for 25 years so you can be sure at K-Motion we have your car's differentials covered.

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