At Automobile Repair Shop San Diego, we often get questions about the differential. What is it? What does it do? You may have been notified that your differential requires service, or you may have noticed it on the service menu as an option at your auto repair shop in San Diego. Because differential service encompasses so much, let’s first define what a differential is.
What Is a Differential?
Your outer and inside wheels revolve at different speeds when you drive through a turn. Like the automobiles on a racing track, those driving in the outside lanes must drive a further distance than those driving in the inner lanes. The differential allows the outside and inside driving wheels to rotate at slightly different speeds, preventing the tires from hopping or skipping around bends or losing grip in mud or snow. Differentials are commonly referred to as gearboxes since they include gears that transmit power from the drive system to your wheels. To accomplish this task, the gears must be extremely robust, and they must be adequately protected in order to last.
Differentials are found in all cars. Your front-wheel-drive car’s differential is known as a transaxle, and it is positioned in the front of the vehicle. The differential is in the back of the automobile if you have rear-wheel drive. If your car is four-wheel drive, it will have differentials in the front and back, as well as in the middle. The center differential compensates for variations in front and rear wheel speeds.
Servicing Your Differential
The gears are lubricated and kept cool by differential fluid. The fluid might become contaminated over time when parts of the gears grind off. Over time, the chemicals that keep the fluid clean and preserve the differential degrade. So your vehicle’s manufacturer has set up a plan for you to have your differential fluid replaced at certain intervals.
Differentials, like the gears in a manual transmission, are hardworking systems that need to be maintained on a regular basis using high-quality replacement fluid. An auto mechanic in San Diego can tell you when it’s time for you to have your next differential service. You can also inquire as to whether or not they have a record of when the service was last performed.
If you’re traveling in more severe conditions, you’ll want to service your differential more regularly. Frequent starts and stops, short commutes, cold weather, hot weather, and automobile towing are all examples of “severe service” conditions included in most owner’s manuals.
Auto Maintenance San Diego
Automobile Repair Shop San Diego is a family-owned and operated repair shop that has provided quality auto repair in San Diego for years. We offer you hassle-free estimates and repairs in San Diego starting with a precise assessment of your vehicle’s current issues. We will tow your vehicle for FREE to our shop, organize a rental car, and work directly with the insurance company to streamline the repair process. We will even pay up to $500 of your deductible. Contact us today at (619) 330-0862 to see how we can help.