If you only use your car for short-distance traveling, you will probably not come across the term "differential repair" during your car's lifetime. However, this does not mean that you should ignore signs that your vehicle's differential is failing. Ignoring even the slightest warning sign of a failing differential can be the difference between life and death; a damaged differential might cause your drivetrain to lock—a situation you do not want to be in, especially when you are cruising. Therefore, although differential problems are not common, it is safer to pay attention to any changes in its functioning.
Strange Noises -- The first warning signs that your car's differential needs to be checked is a strange, high-pitched noise originating from the differential's position on the axle. Usually, most people fail to notice this because of environmental noise. However, if you hear a whistling sound from underneath your car, you should slowly drive to a quiet area and turn off the radio. If the sound is still there, it is time you took the car to a transmission expert. If the sound you hear is a rumble, then you must have missed the first-warning whining noise. What this means is that the problem is getting worse and you should drive straight to an auto shop.
Fluid Drips Underneath the Axle Position -- If you notice that there are drops of fluids underneath the vehicle, do not be quick to conclude that engine oil is leaking. In most cases, a drop of oil on the ground where the car is parked is misdiagnosed as an engine problem. However, it might be gear oil caused by a damaged differential gasket. Therefore, use the elimination method to ascertain the origin of the drips of oil. This is the only way you will know whether you need to repair the differential or not.
150k+ Miles -- As was mentioned earlier, you might not need to fix your differential if you usually use your car for short-distance travel. However, that is not to say that over the course of your vehicle's lifetime, it will not hit the 150k mile mark. Most differential issues become noticeable the moment the odometer reaches this mark. Once your car has done 150,000 miles, it is time you started paying attention to the way it behaves. However, you should not wait until you start hearing strange noises or seeing puddles of oil appearing underneath your vehicle. Visit the mechanic's repair shop for a differential checkup once your car has accumulated this amount of miles.Share
1 June 2017
Hello, my name is William and my passion in life is riding my automobile around town. I love to buy old wrecks and then spend months bringing them back to their former glory. My wife thinks I am completely mad but I keep telling her that you don't have to be mad to do what I do, but it certainly helps! I was a later comer to the world of auto salvage and repair. It was about 12 months ago when my friend Neil introduced me to it. Neil is a real expert and has taught me everything I need to know.