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Your car’s differential is what allows the wheels to turn independently of each other so you can turn corners smoothly. When turning, the radius of the inner and outer wheels is different, so if the wheels turning together at the same rate, either the inner or outer wheels would skip across the road instead of maintaining good contact and traction.
Differential service is draining and refilling the lubricating oil that prevents friction on the gears which would otherwise cause excessive heat while grinding away at the metal components.
Moving parts always grind against each other and cause wear and tear, so lubrication is required to prevent extraordinary damage over time. Theoretically, the gears could be machined to lower tolerance and then coated with a Teflon substance, but such a process would make the vehicle more expensive than the price of changing the differential oil every 30,000 to 50,000 miles. Unfortunately, over time grime and grit can build up in the fluid, causing friction within the gears the oil was intended to prevent.
The worst thing that can happen if the differential fluid isn’t replaced is the system overheats, burning the oil and causing the gears to lock up, preventing the car from moving. At that point, the entire system would have to be replaced or else the car is considered salvage material. More likely, however, is that the car will become too uncomfortable to reasonably drive before it gets to that point. It will start making horrible noises, jerking and causing a bad driving experience, and refuse to corner properly as it becomes an obvious safety hazard. As with any other maintenance schedule or repair, it is best to address the issue at the first sign of a problem as it will only get worse, damage the surrounding parts, and become a much more expensive repair the longer it is postponed.
Although there are options towards doing repairs yourself or hiring a local mechanic, it’s usually best to use a dealer’s services such as Bryden Motors in Beloit, WI and serving the surrounding areas. Our technicians are trained on the specifics of how the manufacturer recommends the differential to be serviced, and our knowledge and experience allow us to conduct the repair quickly so you can get back on the road without any further worries. We offer particular amenities to suit your needs, whether you prefer early morning hours before starting your regular daily routine, we offer wi-fi during your wait or shuttle service and rental cars in case of longer repairs.