How Often Should I Have My Differential Fluid Checked?
You should have your differential checked regularly. If your fluid gets dirty, it can cause problems with your differential. It is good preventive maintenance to have your differential fluid changed to prolong the life of your differential.
Receive differential service at BRAKEmax’s locations. Our team can provide a differential fluid change if necessary.
HWhat Does a Differential Do?
A differential typically serves two functions: redirect the power flow to an axis in line with the drive wheels and to allow a speed differential or difference between two drive axles to ease turning the vehicle. The amount of speed differential allowed between sides varies with the design of the differential used. The video on the right is very old, but is an excellent explanation of what a differential is and why it is necessary for your car (skip to 1:49 if you want it to get to the point).
A transfer case is a part of a four-wheel drive system found in four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles. The transfer case is connected to the transmission and to the front and rear axles by means of drive shafts. The transfer case receives power from the transmission and sends it to both the front and rear axles. This can be done with a set of gears, but the majority of transfer cases manufactured today are chain driven. On some vehicles, such as four-wheel drive trucks or vehicles intended for off-road use, this feature is controlled by the driver. The driver can put the transfer case into either “two wheel drive” or “four wheel drive” mode.
Frequently Asked Questions
A differential is a set of gears that allow wheels on the same axle to travel at different speeds. Without a differential, tires would scrub and become damaged since on turns, the inner wheels travel slower than the outer wheels.
Most vehicle manufacturers have guidelines as to when you need to have your fluid replaced. These range from 15,000 miles and up. It’s important to use the proper type of fluid as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. If you have questions as to which fluid is correct, check with any of our convenient neighborhood locations or consult your owner’s manual.
A differential service consists of removal of old fluid and replacement with new fluid. In many cases, there is a drain plug on the differential which allows an expert technician to access the fluid and pump it out. Other configurations involve removal of the differential cover (sometimes colloquially known as the ‘pumpkin’ cover) to allow the fluid to drain. In these scenarios, the cover gasket material is replaced as well.