When you take a corner in your car, the outside wheels have a slightly longer distance to go than the inside wheels. That means that the outside wheels have to turn a bit faster than the inside. The piece of mechanical wizardry that makes this possible is called the differential.
The differential allows the drive wheels to rotate at different speeds in turns without the wheel binding or hopping. If you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the differential is on the rear axle. You've seen that bulge in the middle of the axle when you're behind a truck – that's the differential.
If you have a front-wheel drive vehicle, the differential function is handled by your transaxle. Of course, all-wheel drive vehicles have differentials on both axles. They also have a center differential or a transfer case between the front and rear axles to compensate for speed differences between the front and rear.
Because all the power of the engine is transferred through the various differentials, you can imagine that they are very strong and are built last a long time. That's why it's important to keep your differential properly lubricated. Differential fluid cools and protects the gears.
Your service technician will check differential fluid level and top it off if necessary. With low fluid, the differential will run too hot and wear prematurely. Ask your service advisor for when it's recommended to change your differential fluid. Fresh fluid will extend the life of your differential. Your technician will also inspect the u-joints which connect your drive shaft to the differential and may recommend service. Some u-joints can be lubricated as part of a routine lube, oil and filter change as well.
Now, of course differentials eventually wear out and need to be replaced. You might notice a strange noise from you axle area as one of the first warning signs. When the differential shows signs of failing, it's important to repair it. If you leave it too long and it freezes up when you're driving you could lose control of your vehicle and other parts like the axle, driveshaft and transmission could be damaged.
To get an estimate on a repair contact Cook Automotive Repair at (248) 264-6338.
I was referred to Cook's Automotive and I am so thankful. I received kind, respectful, and honest service from the gu... MoreI was referred to Cook's Automotive and I am so thankful. I received kind, respectful, and honest service from the guys up front as well as the employees working in the bays. I cannot thank them enough for the great service I received. I went to Cook's in a time of need and they did not disappoint. I will continue to use Cook's Automotive for all my vehicle needs.
- Janeen Hoover
These people are a blessing! Good hearted, hard working, and affordable! I am so grateful for these people.
- Ashton Mondoux
I have used Cook on a number of occasions to diagnose and repair the cars we own and have always had great service. Fair honest prices, good clean work and have never tried to up sell anything that was not needed. Keep up the great work.
- Richard Jasper
Called crying on Friday around noon, car just stopped while driving. Got it towed and they called me by 3 with diagnosis and price. Back working much better than before Monday at 1pm...I just have to thank them for the compassion they had with me while I was hysterical. The front desk guys were amazingly kind and understanding. I’ve had my car fixed at many places but never received customer service this great. I actually felt better knowing they were on top of things and actually felt like they cared. Thank you front the bottom of my heart.
- Sarah M.
After they took such great care of my parents vehicles I decided to take my car there and I now won't go anywhere els... MoreAfter they took such great care of my parents vehicles I decided to take my car there and I now won't go anywhere else for repairs. I have a decent amount of knowledge when it comes to my vehicle and I greatly appreciate how Austin talks me through what is wrong with the vehicles and gave me reasonable options for repairs. They have worked on several things on my vehicle and not once have I had to take it back due to reoccurring issues...unlike other places. I would recommend them to anyone.
- Alyssa Cooke
I'm witnessing quite possibly the best customer service I have ever seen; some 5-star resorts included. While I've only had my vehicle's oil changed here twice, I would bring my vehicle here for diagnostics and service without any hesitation. I've heard them thoroughly explain (in laymen terms) what is going on with someone's vehicle, what needs to be done to resolve it, and an estimated time. They are extremely professional and customer conscious. When something happens to someone's car it is usually costly and annoying to deal with - they handle every personality with care.
- Kim Woodham