Serving Portland OR | Gresham OR | Clackamas OR | Vancouver WA
The differential is the mechanism on your vehicle’s axles that splits power between your wheels, allowing for the difference in speed between your vehicle’s wheels while cornering. When you are turning, the outside wheel on your car travels faster than the inside wheel. If your car’s axle was one solid piece, this difference in speed between the two wheels would cause huge problems.
If you have a bad differential, you need a differential repair shop that knows what they’re doing! Your car should only be looked at by an experienced differential mechanic in order to determine whether you need a differential rebuild or replacement.
Drivetrains and Differentials
Differentials are a part of a “drivetrain”, or a system that diverts power from the transmission to your wheels.
There are four types of drivetrains, otherwise known as “Drives”:
- Rear-Wheel Drive: All power is diverted to your rear axle. The front-axle does not have any power, but it does have a front-end differential to help the wheels turn at different speeds.
- Front-Wheel Drive: All power is diverted to your front axle. The rear-axle does not have any power, but it does have a rear-end differential to help the wheels turn at different speeds.
- 4 x 4: In a four-wheel drive vehicle, all wheels are powered equally. Essentially, your rear differential and your front differential receive the same amount of power.
- All-Wheel: In all-wheel drive, the power to the wheels is automated. A computer within the car decides when to divert power to all wheels, just the front wheels, or just the rear wheels. The difference between all-wheel and 4 x 4 is the automated power re-balancing; 4 x 4 just sends power to all four wheels, all the time.
Each drive train has its own requirements for differentials, and those requirements can vary significantly with the make and model of a car.
All differentials, whether front or rear, can have serious problems. A differential receives a huge amount of power from the transmission, and if even one gear is slightly out of alignment, the differential can grind to a halt, stopping power from going to the wheels. Any kind of clunking, knocking, or dragging from the rear or front end needs to be looked at immediately. If a differential has problems, your car is on borrowed time, and you’re going to need a tow truck!
Differential Repair Signs and Symptoms
- A whining or rumble coming from the rear of the vehicle could be a sign of a differential that needs repair.
- If you hear a loud ‘clunk’ whenever the car accelerates from a parked position, your differentials need to be checked out.
- If the noises and symptoms seem to be worse when coasting, as compared to accelerating, you need to have your differential checked out.
A bad differential or transfer case could cause serious and expensive damage to other components on your vehicle such as your transmission, not to mention also creating unsafe driving conditions. If your vehicle is exhibiting any of these signs, your car needs to be taken in for a differential service immediately. The experienced differential repair mechanics at Marty’s Transmissions can evaluate the differential, determining whether you need a differential rebuild or an entirely new one.
Differential Service at Marty’s Transmissions
Keeping a differential properly working involves more than changing or topping off the differential lubricating fluid. Sometimes components must be replaced, or units rebuilt completely. Marty’s Transmissions has been performing differential repair and differential rebuild work for more than 45 years, and our technicians have the experience to see problems developing before serious damage occurs.
If you are looking for a differential rebuild shop that does the job right every time and stands behind its work with a comprehensive warranty, call the differential repair experts at Marty’s Transmissions today.
Differential Repair in Portland OR and Gresham OR
Serving Clients in the Greater Portland OR Area: