So you think you may need work on the rear end differential? No problem! But before you bring your car or truck in for rear differential repairs, look through this list of common signs pointing to rear differential problems.
What is a rear differential?
Your differential is responsible for distributing the torque in your crankshaft to your vehicle’s wheels. Without your differential working, you auto is useless and inoperable. In the simplest form: You need the rear differential to transfer power from the engine to the wheels.
Signs of Rear Differential Problems
The only real symptom of trouble with your rear differential is some noises. These noises are being created by friction, but sometimes aren’t even all that noticeable. The sounds made are also often written off to being a tire noise too. Diagnosing a sound as being the differential before it is completely shot is definitely to your advantage.
Signs That May Mean Rear Differential Trouble
Humming noises are most often the earliest sign of trouble. Gear grinding from within the rear differential causes this. A low lubricant level is often the cause at this stage. In many cases, some slight adjustments or a boost to the lubricant level can get things working properly again. If you believe this is a noise you are hearing, you really should have the rear differential looked at. All of the many gears within the differential MUST work in perfect precision. Grinding gears over time will definitely lead to more extensive damage if left untreated.
Growling Noises When Turning
Once you have gone beyond gear damage, the rear differential will begin to growl a little. It may be confused with a tire noise, but remember, your differential growling will only be noticeable while your car or truck is turning. At this point, you are most likely looking at a permanently damaged ring and pinion. This is where things have crossed over to being a bit more serious. Having your ring and pinion replaced will require you to head to an auto repair shop, like ours in Columbia, SC. If the differential problems get too bad before you get to a mechanic, your car could just seize up completely if the rear differential goes out entirely. Your wheels will stop turning and your vehicle will be dead in its tracks.
By the time your rear differential is causing vibrations, you are already beyond the point of no return. Just before failing entirely, the rear differential may cause the vehicle to vibrate while operating at high speeds. The vibration may be felt in the floor, but often is experienced throughout the whole car. Once this occurs and the differential breaks down completely, the ability to accelerate will be impacted and fluids will start to leak. By this point, you’re looking at needing a tow truck to get you to a reputable auto repair shop for an entire rear end differential replacement.
Due to the importance of your rear end differential, you should always get it looked at right away if you believe you are having any of the trouble signs listed. Catching a problem like this early can save you money and buy some time before needing a full replacement. Feel free to come by our auto repair shop to have your rear differential looked over. You can even set an auto repair appointment to suit your needs by calling 803-735-7902.