Your engine creates rotational energy. Co-ordinating explosions of gasoline to spin a metal shaft (the crankshaft), your differential performs the important job of helping to transmit that energy to your wheels, but in a very special way.
Imagine you have a barbell with weights on each side. If the weights were glued or welded to the bar, and you had to rotate it. If the weights cannot rotate independently of the bar, the only way to do so is to drag the weights along the floor.
The same is true of your cars axle and wheels. When your vehicle turns, the wheel on the outside of the turn has to travel a distance further than the one on the inside, meaning it has to turn more. If your wheels cannot turn independently of one another, then the wheel on the outside is forced to drag along the ground until a turn is complete.
Your vehicle’s differential allows your wheels not only to be powered by the engine, but to rotate at different speeds when needed. Keeping it well maintained is important not only to keeping your car running smoothly and reducing tire wear, but also preventing undue strain on your engine components. A poorly lubricated or worn differential can have catastrophic consequences on the integrity of your engine, so keeping it well maintained is critical to protecting the longevity of your vehicle.
Fortunately, differentials are one of the more robust components of your vehicle. Made of solid metal, they are designed to operate under tremendous stress. Inversely, this means that when they do fail, they generally do so spectacularly.
Most differential failures are can be attributed to over-stressing components or improper lubrication. Taking care not to haul weight beyond that your vehicle is designed for, as well as regularly replacing differential gear fluid with high-quality lube, is typically all it takes to avoid costly differential repairs for the life of your vehicle.
For more information about differential servicing or to book an appointment for vehicle repair in Regina, talk to the friendly pros at Progressive Automotive Repairs. We help you with a proactive approach to vehicle maintenance, and we perform repairs with unsurpassed attention to detail and a reputation for honesty & quality.