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Your car’s differential is one of the key players in keeping the car moving in the right direction. It’s essentially what keeps your front and wheel tires on the same page, making sure each set is given the right amount of power to go in whichever the direction the driver wishes. When your differential goes bad, it could be bad news for your car. 

We’re going to take a look at bad differential symptoms to look out for and what causes a rear differential to go bad in the first place. Hopefully, this knowledge will help you keep your car differentials in working order and alert you when you need to take it in for service.

What Causes A Rear Differential To Go Bad

Let’s start with getting to the root of the problem. What causes a rear differential to go bad?

Well, one of the main reasons a differential goes bad, is the way in which one drives their new car. There’s a grace period where your car has to be ‘broken in’ and putting too much stress on your engine too soon can cause some front or rear differential noises that signify a larger issue. By putting too much stress on the new car, we mean driving too fast (more than 50 mph) for long periods of time or by towing or hauling another object, such as an RV or a boat. This can cause your differential to overheat and start to break down.

The easiest way to cause problems with your differential is allowing your car to spin out a lot. Every once in a while, unintentionally, spinning out shouldn’t cause too much harm. But instances, where your front wheels remain on the road while your back wheels slide out, will cause harm. It’s these kinds of driving maneuvers that could crack or damage parts of your differential. 

Bad Differential Symptoms

Knowing what causes a rear differential to go bad should help you avoid making any of these mistakes and hopefully avoid breaking your differential. But it is also important to know what the bad differential symptoms are so that you can take your vehicle into an auto shop immediately for repairs. This is not one of those things that you can procrastinate on.

Some of these bad differential symptoms could be symptoms of a multitude of problems, but two or more of these symptoms together should be a clear cut sign of a malfunctioning differential. Here are the most common bad differential symptoms to look out for:

  1. Your vehicle is quickly going through oil.
  2. Difficulty steering. 
  3. A loud front differential noise, such as the grinding of gears, clunking, or a “howling” sound. 
  4. Rear differential noises. This would be caused by gears that are out of place or lack of lubrication.
  5. Extensive and inexplicable wear and tear on your tires. 
  6. Vibrations that are constant and/or enhances while accelerating the vehicle.
  7. A driveshaft that is out-of-balance.

There are some issues that may arise with your car that wouldn’t necessarily require immediate attention. However, since the differential is one of the key players in the steering power of your car, it’s best not to push it. AC Transmission in Golden, Colorado, provides differential repair for a variety of vehicles, including those which are foreign, domestic, or diesel. Our experts have years of experience in differential repair. You’ll be in good hands! 

Call or email us today to schedule an appointment!



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