Whenever you drive your vehicle, you are going to make turns quite frequently. You must turn when you need to change streets or pull into properties. There are certain components in a vehicle called differentials which make your turns quite smooth. Each time you turn around a corner, your vehicle’s wheels are rotating at varying speeds because of the differentials. This is important because the rotation of your inner wheels is faster than the rotation of your outer wheels as you go to make a turn. Without differentials, your wheels would rotate at the same speeds. This causes all kinds of problems with your driving that are both uncomfortable and kind of dangerous.
5 Bad Symptoms
Each vehicle has two sets of differentials. There are the front differentials for the front wheels and the rear differentials for the rear wheels. If any of these differentials were to malfunction or wear out, then you can expect a lot of noticeable symptoms to arise. You need to repair or replace the bad differentials before they cause worse problems for you and your vehicle.
Below are the top 5 symptoms of bad front and rear differentials. Once you recognize these symptoms, take your vehicle to the nearest mechanic in your local area immediately.
1) Damage to the Tires
When you make turns around corners, your wheels and tires need to be rotating at different speeds. Otherwise, there will be more wear and tear done to your inner tires because they spin faster than the outer tires. As a result, your tire treads are excessively worn out and flat. In some cases, the treads may even be damaged too. This will lead to even more nasty symptoms that make driving more difficult. Save money in tire replacement costs by replacing your differentials before you need to replace your tires too.
There are a couple of reasons why you’ll feel vibrations if your differentials go bad or wear out. First, your differentials have universal joints which can go bad. Once that happens, there will be vibrations coming from your drive shaft. When you step on the gas pedal to go faster, the vibrations will become more intense. Second, the differentials may be leaking fluid from them. This will cause more intense vibrations. And, of course, having worn out tire treads cause vibrations too.
3) Whining Sounds
One very noticeable and annoying symptom of bad differentials are whining sounds. In most of these cases, a lack of lubrication for the differentials will cause them to make these noises. This lack of lubrication could be due to a differential fluid leak. The differentials will malfunction very quickly if this happens. But the first symptom will be these whining sounds.
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4) Hard to Control
The whole point of differentials is to provide great handling for your turns, so they are smooth and manageable. Differentials cause the wheels’ speeds to readjust themselves as you’re turning. But if you have bad differentials, there is no readjustment. This causes you to have more difficulty handling your turns around corners. If there are a lot of cars around, it could lead to an accident.
5) Grinding Gears
When your differentials go bad or get worn out, there will be a lot more grinding coming from their gears. You will know the gears are grinding because you will hear humming sounds in addition to the whining sounds mentioned before. As you step on the gas pedal, the humming will only get worse. But the worst part is that all this grinding will ruin your gears if it continues for too long.