Have you ever heard of a differential? Well, it’s the heart and soul of your car. It is one of the most important parts of your vehicle that helps it turn easily. The differential allows for each wheel to turn at different speeds while driving on uneven surfaces. Without this, your wheels will spin and can get stuck which can be very dangerous! Try Swezo to find the best car services in Melbourne. Let’s now discuss what a differential does and why it needs to be maintained.
What’s a Car Differential?
Differentials are among the most neglected components in car maintenance. Despite their vital function in propping up your vehicle’s drivetrain, many drivers take differential fluid for granted. Always ensure a properly functioning differential, to potentially extend the life of your loved car. Whether you’re a novice or an expert, it’s always great to get your car serviced at regular intervals for maximum fuel efficiency.
The differential is a part of the front and rear elements of the axle that joins them and makes them rotate together. The inside wheels run slower than the outside wheel because of their shorter distance around the bend. The differential component is a part of most cars designed to compensate for this distance.
Why do we need a Differential?
- The differential transfers power from the engine to the wheels by splitting torque between two drive shafts connected with gears in a housing.
- It also provides stability when turning corners because both wheels are free-rolling on their respective axle during cornering which provides more traction on the outside wheel.
- An efficient differential allows wheels to smoothly turn around the same axle at different speeds.
- The purpose of a differential is to allow one driveshaft to operate at a different speed from the other. A car’s front wheels turn faster than its rear wheels because they’re responsible for propelling the car forward.
The design of differentials may vary according to car models. But most commonly, it falls into three categories;
How can you Care for your Car’s Differential?
For the smoother performance of the differential, the gear oil should be changed at regular intervals like engine oil. Changing gear oil is often a neglected part of caring for cars. There are a few must-follow steps to save car gears to give longevity to our vehicles.
But before following those steps, we need to look into which oil should be sued as differential oil. In our recommendation, the best choice for car differential will be the one who will satisfy the following conditions.
- Proper weight or viscosity (most preferential will be 90W): SAE grading system indicates that the higher the viscosity, the easier its flow between the gears. The standard weight for the proper functioning of car differential is between 80W to 90W
- GL rating (most preferential will be GL- 5): Gearbox oil is used to minimize metal-to-metal contact between gears. Thus, the higher the GL rating, the more sustainability pressure without any metal-to-metal contact.
- Limited slip differential (LSD), or traction-sensing differential: LSD allows the car to take faster cornering while turning the car or over the bend. As inner wheels run slower than outside wheels, LSD helps sense the loss of energy and shuffles the torque produced in the gearbox while turning.
Any car oil satisfying the above conditions can be used as a car differential. To start with, we must tell you that differential oil smells horrible, either like rotten eggs or worse. So, while changing the oil, please use the clothes that you won’t regret discarding later.
Steps involved in Changing the Car Differential
- Changing your car’s differential is a complicated process that requires some time and patience. The first step in changing out the differential on an automatic or manual transmission vehicle with 4-wheel drive capabilities is getting it raised up so you can access all relevant drain plugs for fluids such as ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid), LSD fluid, etc.,
- You will need to use jack stands or a lift to get your car up high enough so that you can access the differential’s drain and fill plugs. Make sure it remains level when raising this for safety purposes,
- Find and remove the fill plug, located on top of your car’s differential. Drain out all fluid with something – like an old kitchen towel.
- Remove anything that may be blocking access like rocks or dirt clumps in front of your tire tracks which will allow more room on top for us when filling up!
- You should also remove any rust obstructions because these items could end up getting stuck inside during installation.
- Now that you’ve drained the old fluid from your differential, it’s time to put some fresh juice in. First off: new drain plug and torque wrench- don’t forget them! Next up will be refilling with whatever manufacturer recommends for your particular car make/model (engine).
- Now, carefully replace the fill plug with its matching washer, and voila! You’re good for now (at least until next time).
If you want to keep your car in good condition, make sure to take care of the differential. The differential is an important part of a vehicle’s drivetrain that transfers power from the engine to all four wheels and provides stability when turning corners because both right-side and left-side wheels are free-rolling on their respective axles during cornering which provides more traction on the outside wheel. An efficient difference will ensure less wear and tear for your tyres as well as provide better fuel efficiency by running at optimum levels. Get your car examined by certified mechanics from Swezo today!