What is a Differential? Common Reasons it Needs Repair


What’s that? The differential is the component that allows your vehicle’s wheels to turn at the appropriate speeds. Contrary to popular belief, all the wheels on your vehicle are not operating equally. In most vehicles, one pair of wheels is powered while the other pair is not, unless your vehicle is a four wheel drive. The differential is a component located on the wheel axle that adjusts the speed at which the wheels rotate.

Driver Error

Driver error is the cause for a differential repair more often than we’d like to admit. It can simply be the way that drivers handle their vehicles on the road. We’re all guilty of it from time to time, especially after we get comfortable with it. Sometimes too comfortable! Newer vehicles are just as vulnerable as older vehicles, if not more. Drivers who are pushing the limits of their vehicle’s speed and handling, or intentionally “spinning out” can cause a differential repair need.

Rough Conditions

Your vehicle’s differential may encounter rough conditions from the elements, the terrain, and the driving purposes. It takes the highly qualified and experienced technicians at L&R Transmissions in Winston Salem, NC to analyze the causes and the possible solutions for your differential repair needs. A careful inspection of your vehicle’s differential and any information about your vehicle usage and symptoms will tell everything we need to know to get you in optimal condition.

Common Symptoms of Problems

Monitor all of your vehicle’s components for extreme temperatures. This goes for the differential as well, even though it’s normal for it to become extremely hot to the touch. Driving at excessive speeds for extended periods of time can ultimately cause damage to the differential from overheating. Noises are always a clear sign of trouble. Loud grinding, squeaking, or clunking noises can be caused by a differential repair need. If you notice that your vehicle is going through oil a lot faster than usual, there may be a problem with the differential. And of course, any difficulty steering your vehicle, especially around corners, can be caused by a differential repair need.

Written by L & R Transmissions

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