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What Is Differential Repair and Why Does It Matter?

You may not think that the word differential applies to a car, unless you’re just trying to compare features between one or another, but a differential is actually a specific part on vehicles. What is a differential, and more importantly when you do you need differential repair for your vehicle?

Car wheel in Sandy Springs

How the Differential Works

When you’re making a turn in your car, the wheels on the outside of that turn have a slightly longer distance to move than those on the inside. This requires the outside wheels to actually turn more quickly than the inside ones in order to remain at the same speed.


It’s a lot like runners in different lanes on a racetrack. The runner in the outside lanes has to go even faster on a turn to give the appearance that they’re moving at the same speed as the runner in the inside lane.


The differential lets your vehicle’s wheels rotate at different speeds when you’re turning without the wheel getting stuck or making a weird jump. If you have rear-wheel drive the differential is on you back wheel axle, and if you have all-wheel drive you have a differential on both axles.


Differential Care

The differential is a very strong part, and it gets used every time you make a turn in your car—which is a lot. The fact that it is used so much means that differential maintenance is really important. You want to keep this part properly lubricated, because differential fluid protects these little gears and keeps the part from getting too hot. Differential maintenance involves checking these fluid levels and adding some if it’s needed. Technicians also check what are called the u-joints, which is where the differential and the drive shaft connect. This part area may need to be oiled.


Transmission Repair Service

If you notice a strange noise coming from your vehicle during a turn, it’s probably the differential and you’ll want to get that checked out. If you don’t get it checked out in good time, it could result in you losing control of the steering in your vehicle while driving.


That’s why differential repair and maintenance are important as soon as you notice anything strange.


Talk to an auto technician at Mr. Transmission of Sandy Springs to get an estimate on the cost of a differential repair directly. With a little more information from you on the make and model of your vehicle, they can answer your questions and give you a more accurate estimate on the cost for any repairs.