Simple Answers from Dakota Ridge Auto for Littleton: Differential Service

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Simple Answers from Dakota Ridge Auto for Littleton: Differential Service

Question:
What is a differential and why do I need to have it serviced?

Answer:
First – your vehicle does have a differential.  If it’s rear wheel drive, your differential is on the back.  If it’s front wheel drive, your differential is built into your transaxle (transmission).  If you have all wheel drive or four-wheel drive you’ve got differentials on the front and rear and maybe one in between.

When you are steering through a turn, the wheels on the outside of the vehicle must spin faster than the inside wheels because they have to travel a slightly longer distance through the curve.  The differential compensates for these speed differences between the wheels.

Because it is part of the equipment that transfers engine power to the wheels, the differential is working pretty hard.  Differential fluid – a special heavy-duty oil – cools, lubricates and protects the differential.  It needs to be replaced on a schedule to remove metal shavings and other contaminants.  Note: if you have a front wheel drive vehicle, replacing your transmission fluid takes care of your differential service needs.

Differentials have become increasingly sophisticated.  Rather than the simple mechanical devices of yesteryear, they are more complicated and may actually be part of the computer-controlled stability system.  This means they are more expensive, so it pays to have them serviced on schedule to avoid premature wear.

Give us a call

Dakota Ridge Auto
13074 W Ida Ave Unit A-2
Littleton, CO 80127
303-795-2600

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